Preparations to open Hamburg’s latest luxury hotel “The Fontenay Hotel” on the banks of Lake Alster are going full speed ahead after water damages in August put paid to plans to open in October. Now, the hotel is more likely to open in mid December in time for Christmas and New Year festivities.
Already counting among “The Leading Hotels of the World”
However, the wait is likely to be worthwhile. Designed by Jan Störmer of Störmer, Murphy and Partners architects and hailed as a homage to the Hanseatic city, the sculpture-like architecture mirrors Lake Alster’s fluid lines and surrounding park to create a perfect balance between nature and urbanity. The concept of urban nature is likely to hold a few surprises in store, according to experts. And prior to its opening, “The Fontenay” is already one of seven in “The Leading Hotels of the World”. Flooded with daylight, all rooms and suites feature parquet flooring, walk-in closets and balconies with lake views. “Today, luxury means space, size, light and tranquillity,” said Thies Sponholz, Director of “The Fontenay”.
No rear walls
Notably, hardly any of the walls are straight and make the hotel appear even more vibrant and natural. “Our rooms are concave or convex in shape and none of the walls run parallel to another – and appear open to guests. The building does not have rear walls and new perspectives and views pop up all over the hotel,” said Sponholz.
The “Himmelsspiegel-Brunnen“ or well in the hotel entrance puts guests in a relaxed mood on their arrival. The well, built of 2,200 granite blocks measures 13.5 metres in diameter and holds only five centimetres of water that mirror the sky, clouds and trees. A reception island has been created instead of a classic reception area. One of 200 employees serves a drink to arriving guests. “Our 131 rooms and suites reflect the emphasis we place on personal care,” said Sponholz, who previously managed Berlin’s five-star “Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome” for eight years.
1.000 m² spa with panorama vistas
The heart of the building is made of 198 sandblasted glass panes forming the Atrium Lounge with an unobstructed view of a golden mirror on a height of 27 metres. Some 131 suites, four event rooms measuring up to 220 square metres and a 1,000 square metre spa with indoor and outdoor pools on the sixth-floor roof terrace with panoramas of Lake Alster and the city have been built at a cost of over EUR 100 million. The lounge features a 25-metre long sofa while the library holds 1,000 books for guests to leaf through. The hotel is co-operating with Felix Jud, one of Hamburg’s oldest bookshops, to provide reading material.
On the seventh floor, Swiss chef Cornelius Speinle reigns supreme in the gourmet restaurant. Speinle has joined “The Fontenay” from his restaurant, dreizehn sinne in huuswurz, which he opened in Schlattingen, Switzerland in 2014. There, he won a Michelin star and 16 Gault Millau points within months of opening. Guests can expect many treats when the hotel finally opens in December.
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