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The Westin Hamburg, Germany [Master Thread]

The Westin Hamburg, Germany [Master Thread]

Old May 15, 2017, 4:45 pm
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The Westin Hamburg, Germany [Master Thread]

The Westin Hamburg

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The Westin Hamburg

Platz der Deutschen Einheit 2 Hamburg, DE 20457

Westin Hamburg [Master Thread] (8 Photos)

The Westin Hamburg

We stayed for three nights in the new Westin Hamburg for a most convenient access to a concert in the Elbphilarmonie. They could actually fit a 200-room-hotel inside the glass-part of this architectural marvel. Design before function unfortunately led to some dissappointments at this hotel, as you can read below.

For a complete trip report (with photos from inside the concert hall and a review of the fantastic Jacob's restaurant) you are welcome to read my blog as well: https://www.continentaltraveller.blog/home/2017/5/15/acoustic-and-other-pleasures-in-hamburg

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Check In

We parked our car in the hotel's car park at first. This was ridiculously expensive with 40 EUR per day. The next day we moved it to a car park that was just a ten-minute-walk away in the Speicherstadt and paid 12 EUR for the same time.

When you arrive by car, after you have fought your way through the tourist masses and busses in front of the Elbphilarmonie, you can stop for baggage drop-off in front of the hotel doors or for 10 minutes in the car park for free.

There was no one in sight when we arrived, so I stepped inside to look for someone. I had to wait in line to get to a concierge. A recurring theme during our stay...

The situation improved when a staff member took all our bags onto a cart and said we could just use the lift to go to the actual reception in the eighth floor.

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The lady at the reception counter bid us to wait and offered us a glass of bubbly. That was a nice touch. Again we had to wait, though. The checkin itself went great, my membership at SPG was recognized (I have no status though) and she even asked whether I want the points of our two separate bookings on my account. We were two parties and I booked both the rooms.

Room

We were led to our rooms and our bags arrived with us. The rooms are one of the positive aspects of the hotel. We had a medium category (Deluxe City Panorama View) and as you enter the shades of the large floor-to-ceiling windows automatically open - pretty cool effect - and a white room with a lot of daylight is exposed.

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Since the hotel is brand new, the carpets were still clean and not worn and the bathroom facilities were very modern and nice. The wood furnishings didn't impress me though. It looked like Ikea to me. But that could just be my bad taste. The bathtub with glass window to the room and from there over the city was great.

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Service

The positive first: I used the free shoe shine service and wanted them back by six pm. I got them back at five and they looked flawless.

The staff was usually friendly, but they were not in control in many situations.

As mentioned already, the main problem with the Westin was that most of the "public" spaces were too small for a fully occupied hotel. We had to stand in line in the morning to get a table for breakfast, the spa area was too small and so was the bar. I strongly recommend to reserve a table at the bar after a concert well in advance, which we did, fortunately. But the staff always seemed overwhelmed from the masses both at breakfast and in the bar - everything took ages to arrive at our table.

The tables were also not cleaned fast enough, but everyone created a very busy situation. A relaxing breakfast was not possible here.

 

Spa

I am sorry, but I have to be more negative first to end on lighter note later on. The spa was quite small and the room layout didn't make much sense to me.

The changing room was through a long floor left of the spa reception, the actual spa area with small pool and saunas was on the right of the spa reception, which meant you have to walk by the lift and desk again after changing. This seemed odd because there was another door (for staff only) next to the changing rooms that had to lead to the saunas as well (granted, I couldn't confirm, because it was closed).

The next confusion: there are two separate sauna/steam-bath/shower-room combinations that looked exactly the same. At first I thought, one is for women and the other for men. But there was no indication to that. Only the toilets inside those rooms pointed to that theory, since they were one gender only. Either part it or mix it, but don't have everyone confused. I saw both genders in both, so no one knew exactly.

Then, there are no towels. You can get one or two at the reception, but in such a hotel I can expect to have towels everywhere. And again, not enough room to hang your bathrobe. Unfortunately, no view to the Elbe river outside from the saunas.

The one cool thing about the spa was the relax room with a balcony. The spa floor is actually in the lower red-stone-part of the building, so here you have some industrial-style black cast iron balconies that protrude out of the building. I like to have the fresh Hamburg-air after the sauna. But beware: tourists that visit the plaza (there were a lot of people) are able to see you when looking down. Some guests have been quick to properly put on their bathrobe after looking up :)

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Dining

Compared to the breakfast experience, dinner in the Saffron, the hotels fine dining restaurant, was actually pretty good. We had the pre-concert menu and taste and presentation of the three courses as well as service were as expected for a five star hotel (I sometimes forgot that fact in this Westin).

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Location

The location is just the one asset of the hotel that would really make me stay there again, especially when attending a concert there. You get direct access to the plaza, which is the area between the piece-of-the-ocean, wave-like glass building and the old red-stone warehouse building, while long lines of people have to wait downstairs to get on the long escalator. And of course when you go to the concert, you just go down the lift, over the plaza to your hall - no need to stand in line at the entrance or the wardrobe.

Additionally, the old harbour district turned hipster area HafenCity is nowadays much more lively than I remember a few years ago. Good restaurants and cafes pop up there and a 15-20 minute walk takes you to the city center.

Overall

Hamburg, the pearl of the North, is always worth a trip, especially if you combine it with a concert in the Elbphilarmonie. Next time I would probably stay at the Jacob's (they'll offer a private shuttle boat to the concerts). That hotel has the same prices but seemed much better regarding service, food and public spaces (the Park Hyatt might be another option). I'd gladly trade the Westin's direct concert hall access for the Jacob's warm and understated luxury.

They will never be able to properly handle the 200 rooms in the Westin Hamburg. The only way I see that it actually becomes a real five star hotel is if they turn half of the rooms into residentials or offices. The Elbphilarmonie is an awesome building, but you can't add more room to the public spaces of the hotel without messing up the architecture.

Westin Hamburg [Master Thread]

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Old Mar 13, 2023, 1:10 am
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Moderators, can this thread be merged with the other master thread for this same hotel: Westin Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany [Master Thread]
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