Hamburg: Art, Culture & Understated Luxury

The Fontenay View Summary: House and Alsterlake view

Hamburg is an off the beaten path destination for US travelers, once known as "the gateway to the world" (between 1850-1939), and now greeting visitors with its old-fashioned charm and romantic undertones around every corner.

Visitors can experience a soft side to the second-largest city in Germany. A city with more millionaires than anywhere else in Germany, the town of superlatives offers something for everyone.  With its Japanese nickname of “The green city in the woods”, Hamburg is comprised of 27 percent natural areas with 1,400 parks and 150 scenic lakes, so a picturesque view is always close. Arts, culture, fashion and distinguished cuisine will charm you on your visit.


Recently opened in March of 2017, The Fontenay Hotel is paving the way for the international luxury market in Hamburg. Located on the peaceful outer shores of Alster Lake, the majestic white structure features 130 high-tech rooms, with 17 suites. All rooms feature dramatic floor to ceiling windows, comfortable seating area, desk, walk-in wardrobe, satellite TV, minibar and private balcony. 

The Fontenay

The light, bright colors of the room color palette are peaceful and play into the indoor/outdoor living theme used throughout the hotel. The rich oak wood floors originate from the forest of the Fontenay Abbey in Burgundy, France, and the intricate artwork is by Peruvian painter Antonio Máro. The whole room can be operated by touchpad, and guest can open/close blinds, adjust lighting and air conditioning temperatures. The terrace is perfect for a private breakfast or a glass of champagne at sunset with a view of the lake. 

Named after 19th-century merchant John Fontenay, the hotel is set to be an icon of modern luxury. The inspiration of the building by Berlin` architect Jam Stömer was “Hotel in the Park”, with three intertwining circles seamlessly blending nature and the structure. All rooms face outwards, and the views. At the interior, an 88-foot atrium showcases a glassed-in courtyard.

Right outside your door, a sunset stroll around the lake or quick access to boat tours, museums and cute shops make this an ideal location. 



First stop: Elbphilharmonie. The grand concert hall was finally completed in January of 2017 and is a stunning presence in the city, with the title of one of the most advanced concert halls in the world. Shaped like a raised sail, the glass building stands tall at over 354 feet. The Elbphilharmonie is host to acclaimed soloists, festivals, and orchestras from around the world. Designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Mueron, the Grand Hall is a sophisticated concert hall boasting 2,100 seats, an organ with 4,765 pipes and acoustic perfection. The plaza of Elbphiharmonie is open to the public and offers 360-degree views of the city and port. 

Cruise the waterways 

Water is present everywhere in Hamburg, and with so many waterways and more bridges than Amsterdam, London and Venice combined, a cruise is a must and the best way to explore Hamburg. The Port is Europe’s second largest and is home to a hive of energetic activity from restaurants, the fish market and sightseers. Boat tours by ferry or boat can last anywhere from 50 minutes -3 hours, with departures from the Jungfernstieg located on the Inner Alster lake. Watch life go by as you glide on the calm waters past the waterfront mansions and serene water views. 

Hamburg Ballet

 The internationally acclaimed Hamburg Ballet focuses on creating innovated, contemporary dance forms that enrich traditional ballet. John Neumeier overseas the ballet as the Director and Chief Choreographer since 1973, and has been internationally acclaimed for his creativity.


Surprisingly, Hamburg is a great region for golf, with some of the most beautiful courses in all of Germany. The right green is available for any level player, with 68 different courses to choose from. Golfers can enjoy 200 tees off spots at the largest driving range in Northern Germany at Green Eagle Golf Courses, stay overnight in the exceptional Golfanlage & Hotel Schloss Lüderburg or admire the view of the Baltic Sea at Golfpark Fehmarn. 


Minimal fashion favorite Jill Sander started off in the Hamburg district of Pöseldorf, where her minimalistic style became popular worldwide., and her Hamburg store reflects her super clean essence.  Former Alexander McQueen employee Stephan Eckert showcases his own collection inspired by 1950's French couture houses in Pöseldorf. Another German favorite ( as well as to Lady Gaga) include Herr Von Eden, known for unconventional designs and timeless elegance. 


 For a unique Hamburg experience, have lunch at Cölln’s, the oldest oyster bar in Germany, where fish and seafood have been traded since 1760. The historic building is filled with 30,000 hands painted tiles, and has a charm that can only be found in Germany. All of the ingredients are locally sourced. Try the traditional Hamburg dish of Labskaus (a mix of meat, fish and mashed potatoes) or another local specialty of “Königsberger Klose” (Meatballs in a white sauce with capers). For breakfast, commuters stop in for fresh-brewed coffee a special local sweet cinnamon treat called Franzbrötchen.

The Fortanay Hotel has one of the hottest restaurants in Hamburg at the moment. Parkview, located in the lobby and boasting relaxed park and water views and serving seasonal specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner by Executive Chef Stefan Wilke. The striking interior perfectly complements the artfully served dishes. 



Kimberly Fisher

Kimberly Fisher is a Freelance Writer and On-Camera Host based in New York City. Kimberly's work has appeared in over 45 publications including Huffington Post, JustLuxe, Luxe Beat Magazine, Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, Ocean View Magazine, Pursuitist, Sherman's Travel, Sunset Magazine,, and USAToday. Her travels have taken her to sip champagne cliffside in Portofino, shark feedi...(Read More)

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