The Westin Hamburg is a well orchestrated symphony of excellence
The glacier-inspired Westin Hamburg hotel is fast becoming one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. This hotel is not just a place to stay, but rather an experience that showcases a sophisticated ensemble of architecture, service, comfort and style, leaving the guest yearning for an encore.
While in Hamburg I stayed at what is undoubtable the most distinguishable buildings in the city—the Westin Hamburg, also known as the Elbphilharmonie (a concert hall/performing arts theatre). The Elbphilharmonie is ensconced within the middle of the Westin, which makes it an interesting implementation of private and public space. The Westin Elbphilharmonie looks sort of like a giant iceberg placed upon a pedestal. The base of the hotel and theatre is an old square brick warehouse, which creates a dramatic contrast to the upper part of the building.
It’s the remarkable windows that make this structure truly one-of-a-kind. The floor-to-ceiling windows were custom made in Italy and are five panes thick. Each window has both curves and waves, providing a dramatic design element that defies physics. The outward curvature is so significant that guests are able to step to the very edge of the floor and look straight down to the ground; in my case, 19 floors.
Another feature within the rooms that is worth mentioning is the ship-like port windows. There is a beam that separates one window from the next. Where one window is dramatically curved out, the next is curved inward, creating a gap which is closed by a support beam of sorts. A small oddly shaped novelty window carved out of the beam allows guests to open and peer out.
The 244 rooms and suites have an elegant and minimalistic design so as not to distract from the extraordinary views of the river and port city skyline. The Westin is known for providing comfort, and this property does not disappoint. Luxurious bedding, quiet rooms and spa-like bathroom make a stay quite comfortable.
If you’re staying in a suite, you’ll have access to the club/executive lounge, which will showcase some other interesting architectural elements of the building. As one would expect in a club lounge, some tasty treats and drinks are available for those noshy moments.
The lobby is located on the 8th floor, which is where you’ll find a massive wrap-around veranda for both guest and the public to take in the city views from every direction.
As in most European hotels, breakfast is included. It’s a lovely buffet with a sufficient spread of cheeses, cured meats, fresh fruits, artisan breads and more. There is also a chef’s station where you can get made-to-order omelets and other hot items.
There is event and meeting space, a spa, gym, pool and many other amenities, including a fine-dining restaurant and lounge, both taking advantage of the abundant views.
The location of the Westin Hamburg is also well-suited for those who wish to walk around and explore. From harbor cruises, walking tours to some stupendous restaurants, there is no shortage of things to do from the front doors of the Westin Hamburg.
Nearby Restaurant Recommendations:
- Bianc –I had one of my most memorable meals ever at this newly opened restaurant. Its not inexpensive, but a culinary experience you’ll not soon forget. A prix fixe menu took me on a culinary journey to places I’ve never been. Located an easy half mile walk from the Westin Hamburg.
- VLET – Looks like a brand new restaurant, but it’s actually been around for 10 years. It was one of the first restaurants to open in what is now a hip warehouse district. It features sophisticated atmosphere and creative cuisine and is located less than a half mile from the hotel.
- Carls Brasserie – Located a stone’s throw from the Westin Hamburg, this outstanding restaurant boasts fantastic port views, vibrant atmosphere with delicious traditional French brasserie food.
- Kaffeemuseum Burg – Fantastic coffee shop and museum to grab a snack. See the coffee beans being roasted along with coffee memorabilia while relaxing in the spacious old warehouse space.
Tips while staying at the Westin Hamburg Elbphilharmonie
- Parking is very expensive at 50 Euro a day, you might want to consider a nearby car park after you’ve checked in. Contact the hotel for suggestions.
- If you want to book a performance at the Elbphilharmonie, do it well in advance. Tickets sell out fast.
- If you can’t get tickets for a show, you might want to consider a tour. It’s a fantastic venue.
- Hamburg is a fascinating city and one of the best ways to learn about it is by taking a walking tour with a guide. I highly recommend Tomas Kaiser.
Staying at the Westin Hamburg is a performance in hospitality excellence. You might just enjoy it so much that you’ll have to return for an encore.
If you’ve ever stayed at the Westin Hamburg, please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about your experience. Or, if you have questions about staying at this property.
Westin Hamburg Contact Information:
Phone: +49 40 8000 100
Address: Platz der Deutschen Einheit 2, Hamburg, 20457
Rates: $230 for a standard room, $300 for a deluxe room with a view. Suites are $700-$1300. Owners Suite $3500. (Rates vary on availability and accommodations)