Overlooking Hamburg’s Lake Alster is the The Fontenay, the city’s first luxury hotel in two decades. It’s a celebration of circles and nature.
Architect Jan Stormer thinking in cyclically. Or so it seems. The building layout is three intertwining circles while the facade is an undulation of white tiles- each curve inspired by the curves of the lake. Set in Lake Alter’s lush, pastoral landscape, a microforest of beech, oak, and sycamore trees surround the property and the Fontenay takes this to heart. Inside the rooms and suites, parquet floors are made from oaks harvested, appropriately, in the forest of its namesake Fontenay Abbey in Burgundy, France.
Taking its name from 19th-century shipbroker John Fontenay, who once owned this plot of land on the shores of manmade Lake Alster, the Fontenay celebrates the seasons. The lake and its greenery can be seen from more than half of the 131 rooms and suites, which are done in aqua, beige, and cream and bathed in natural light.
Don’t Forget the Details
Onsite Dining and Spa
Lakeside is the rootop restaurant and Michelin star winner helmed by Chef Julian Stowasser. On the ground floor is Parkview, the garden restaurant by Chef Stefan Wilke. The rooftop Fontenay spa, where many of the full-service treatments incorporate sea-inspired Creme de la Mer lotion made with nutrient-rich fermented sea kelp. The best seat in the house is on the edge of the 66-foot indoor-outdoor infinity pool, which offers panoramic views of the city skyline.
Lake Alster is the city’s picture- perfect picnic destination and premier outdoor recreation spot. Keep it simple with a pick-up Frisbee game or break a sweat canoeing, kayaking, kiteboarding, or even ice-kiting on one of the rare occasions when the lake freezes over. In August, it’s all about Alstervergnügen, a four-day festival that floods the park with some 500 artists, acrobats, and athletes.