Some places in Europe are interesting because they don’t immediately strike you as rewarding weekend getaways. If you had asked me at the start of 2017 whether Hamburg would be at the top of my list to visit, I probably would have said no. However, that all changed when I was offered a trip to explore the city by Come to Hamburg, and drastically changed my view of the city. In this two-part blog, I hope to show you all just how lovely the north German city is, and provide you with a multitude of reasons to get booking your trip to this abstract and unique city.
Part One – The Best Western Alsterkrug Hotel
I remember staying at Premier Great Western hotels across Europe when I was younger, and overall I have always had a great experience with them. Hamburg’s Best Western Alsterkrug, however, was by far a cut above the rest! This family-run hotel is located in the North of the city, just 2.5km away from the airport (which was very convenient after an early morning flight!). The hotel has a variety of useful features, such as a spa, restaurant, well-equipped rooms and provides guests with free public transport around the city, making it the perfect place for travel-obsessed people to stay.
The Alsterkrug Hotel is situated to the north of Hamburg, in its the leafy district of Alsterdorf. Within walking distant of the hotel is the beautiful river Alster, along with the Eppendorder moor and Ohlsdorf Cemetery, which is well worth a visit. Although the hotel is approximately 6 miles from the city centre, it is well connected within the network of buses, trains and trams, and so getting around is very easy.
We arrived at the hotel pretty early in the morning, feeling absolutely wiped-out from our early start and flight from Gatwick. Our great plans of getting some sleep on the plane had been destroyed when two noisy passengers sat down behind us and didn’t stop talking (very loudly) for the whole journey – just what you want at 6am… .
As we walked into the hotel, we were greeted by a very modern, European-style entrance, where the décor was sleek and atmosphere was friendly. Arriving into reception, we were immediately greeted by the concierge and were speedily checked into our rooms. We had arrived well before the official check in time so had expected to put our bags away and begin exploring the city. Much to our surprise, however, our room was already prepared, which meant that we could have a much-needed power nap before our explorations began.
Our room was located on the second floor and after a rather long walk – the hotel is much bigger than it looks from outside – we finally arrived at our room for the following two nights, number 217.
Opening the wooden door we entered into a lovely large space divided into three sections; a hallway, the bedroom and the adjoining bathroom/ ensuite. Another small surprise awaited us in the bedroom – a little box of Milka chocolate, a thoughtful touch which really made the hotel seem special.
The bedroom was exceptionally large by hotel standards, and featured a king-sized bed, a large television, an espresso machine and a nice view down onto the small garden below. The décor was classically European, with wood-woven chairs and wooden wall panels.
There was also two duvets for the bed, something which those who have not stayed in mainland Europe before may consider bizarre. The room was an en-suite, and came equipped with a large, beautifully-kept bathroom. This also had a walk-in power shower, which was just what was needed on the freezing nights Hamburg had in store for us.
Hospitality in this hotel was second-to-none. This was maintained all the way through our stay, whether that be a friendly hello in the morning, or leaving us a box of chocolates on our bed in order to welcome us to the hotel. Each evening yet more chocolate featured in the form of a small Milka cube on our pillow.
Unfortunately, I only managed to try the strawberry one, as Jack ate the hazelnut as soon as it arrived in the room. It was little things like this which really made this hotel stand out for us, and it was clear to see that it was a family-run hotel, where customer care was of paramount importance. As well as this, it was obvious as well that the hotel put in a lot of effort to ensure that the hotel was marvellously kept, and appearance was clearly of paramount importance. This lead to such a wonderful atmosphere in the hotel, to the extend where we were sad to leave it behind.
One of the highlights of staying in a European Hotel is, of course, the Continental Breakfast. Not being so well-travelled, Jack had not had much experience with this. However, he quickly caught on to the idea of meats and cheeses for breakfast, and loved every second of it. The breakfast was an all-you-can-eat buffet, which meant we spent a good hour each morning stuffing our faces with a wide-variety of foods. A particular food item that sticks to mind was their take on mini-pastries, where we easily had 6 or 7 each at every sitting. There was also a wide-selection of fresh juices, and waiters who were exceptionally friendly and professional.
Overall, I cannot recommend the Alsterkrug Hotel enough. It ticked every single box that I had for my city break, including that uniqueness that is missing from so many hotels. More importantly, it had personality and it was hard not to fall in love with the place.
Hotel Best Western Alsterkrug
Phone +49 (0)40 513 030
I really hope you enjoyed my review of the Alsterkrug Hotel. If you are considering a trip to Hamburg, I would certainly recommend it as the base for your stay! Love V x
Have you seen my Hamburg vlog? Find our what I got up to during my visit to the city!