From the mighty Elbe to the Alster lakes, Hamburg’s identity is inextricably linked to its relationship with water.
The creators of The George hotel knew how important this was when they chose their location just a block away from the larger of the two lakes, the Außenalster. The choice of neighborhood was equally important. No tourist shops line the streets around the hotel. Instead it’s surrounded by residential buildings, parks, and the trendy boutiques and restaurants of the St. Georg district.
But location isn’t the only thing The George has going for it. When I walked into the hotel, I was immediately struck by the hip design, the chic lounge with its overstuffed leather sofas and dark wood accents, and the sleek restaurant.
I checked into my room and took the elevator up to the fifth floor. On the way up I watched a simulated fish bowl on a screen in the dim light. When I emerged, I found myself in a long hallway and opened the door to my room.
It was small, but well-appointed, with a large bed and fluffy white linens, a low table with a bright red stool, a flat screen television, a chair with a Union Jack pillow, and an en suite bathroom with a black tiled shower and a large sink.
Back downstairs, the hotel had a huge outdoor terrace, a spa, and a bar that opened onto a restaurant that also had al fresco seating. I had breakfast there the following morning. The warm weather meant that all of the large windows lining the front of the room were open to let in the sunshine. I made my rounds at the buffet, picking up everything from eggs to fruit to yogurt, and enjoyed a relaxing start to my day as my server brought a fresh pot of loose-leaf tea.
I could have sat at the breakfast table all day, but there were other parts of Hamburg to see. I checked out of my room and waved goodbye to The George, ready to explore the city on the water. – Julie Falconer