If you head to Germany for old fashioned charm or rustic ambiance, this is not the place, but if you like modern architecture and design, it is hard to beat Side in Hamburg. They call themselves a 5-star hotel in design and I would agree. I love modern design and so I loved every minute I spent here…well almost every minute.
The design experience starts with the facade of the hotel, which is completely muted and understated--I was not sure about my taxi driver's sense of direction when we pulled up. But then the huge glass doors magically and smoothly open on their own and you enter Side. The lobby is a simple, sleek rectangular space with an atrium that is over 6 floors high and whose walls are not parallel in any dimension. The walls have diffuse lights that slowly change color and the chill, ambient music immediately creates the sense of calm that defines the feeling of this hotel.
The rooms are generously designed with tons of nice lighting features, lots of glass (finally a hotel room with enough light, both natural and artificial!), and only high end fixtures. The water in plentiful and my only request would be (to all hotels) to remove the tub and give us a decent shower stall with glass walls! I had no view to speak of but did not care as I got something much more important--light!!
The staff were terrific, even the cleaning staff, always polite and helpful. I spoke German to them so have no idea about English language skill level but that is rarely a concern in modern, urban Germany.
The only small down side--the glass wall at the elevator end of the lobby contains major chunks of meat hanging from hooks. I read that this is some sort of storage space for the [m]eatery Restaurant attached to Side so this is apparently real meat. As a vegetarian, I may be oversensitive, but I cannot imagine many people enjoying the esthetic of a meat locker in this otherwise so visually rich and calming space. Lose the meat!
I avoided the restaurant for their meat fetish and super limited vegetarian menu (even by Germany standards) and found lovely Italian eateries with outdoor seating right around the corner.
But if you can ignore the bizarre meat-centric perspective of the place, the rest of Side is a treat to your senses and is a reason to seek out excuses to visit Hamburg---a lovely city in its own right.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- As Hamburgs first 5* Superior Design Hotel, SIDE is directly located in the heart of the city. Built by architect Jan Störmer, designed by Matteo Thun and illuminated by Robert Wilson, space and light have been put perfectly in relation to one another. These are the factors, which essentially shape the heart of the hotel and make the SIDE a sensual location for the urban generation of today. The 168 rooms in different categories are minimalist in style, yet welcoming, comfortable and with a personal touch. Ten "flying" suites on the 10th and 11th floor are all decked out in white. A further highlight of the hotel is the Sky Lounge and the roof top terrace on the 8th floor which offer an impressive view over Hamburg. Both are perfect venues for summer parties, events or photo-shootings. On the ground floor, the [m]eatery bar +restaurant serves dry aged steaks, different self-made burgers and special tartars. Colourblocking is a key theme in the SIDE SPA. This wellness oasis is refreshingly colourful and luxuriously furnished ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Side Hotel Hamburg
- Side Hamburg