Well designed hotels are my Achille's heel. I pride myself in being a cheapanista when travelling but one thing I rarely skimp on are my accomodations. One way of getting luxury at an affordable price are small boutique hotels. Boutique hotels, also known as design hotels, usually focus around a common theme in an intimate setting (less than 50 rooms) and often feature personalized service offerings. Boutique hotels are rarely affiliated with larger chains which means the designers can be more liberal. From the moment you walk in the lobby it is clear that you are walking into someone's vision and not just another mass produced copy and paste job. It is quite possible to over design a hotel, but perfection is achieved in the details, balancing aesthetically pleasing elements with function.
|British tradition with a contemporary touch and intercultural reminiscences of colonial times|
The George Hotel is quickly becoming one of my favorite hotels in Europe, recently I visited the hotel for a second time on a trip to Hamburg. Situated in the heart of the St George district, it's a short walk from the main station which is perfect since I typically arrive via ground transport from Berlin. The theme on the website is described as "British tradition with a contemporary touch and intercultural reminiscences of colonial times". I'm not really sure what that means but the place looks cool. There is great antique inspired furniture, Union Jack pillows, and pictures of Twiggy above some of the toilets. One design element that I really enjoyed were the interesting lamp fixtures. In the hall to the elevators you can find a trio of jellyfish wall lamps, in one of the sitting areas between two gorgeous leather couches there is a gold rifle lamp, and in a conference room I spotted a penguin with shade on its head. Totally quirky!
The Size S (small) room is comfortable for two people, I have stayed in a Size M (medium) room before and I didn't really notice much difference. The Size M room, however, was located on a higher floor and featured a small balcony with a view of the water, so if these are important to you, it might be well worth the addition pennies. The Size S room does sacrifice a bit of function, there is a boudoir cushion that looks great but not really practical if you plan on using the desk. It still doesn't lose many points with me because in my eyes the boutique hotel is not really intended for the business traveller but more so tfor he life escape artist. Regardless of size the rooms typically offer a damask motif, comfoy slippers, and a great shower.
On both visits I skipped spa treatments but did partake in the sauna. The sauna experience can be odd for Americans because Germans really dig being naked :) The tradition of saunaing is blog worthy within itself but try to prepare yourself. There is a shower off to the side of the sauna exit where you might get a free show. Don't fear, if you aren't brave enough there are showers behind closed doors in the dressing room. Although I didn't have any treatments I did lounge about in the spa waiting area. It looked great and the couch was inviting, on the other side of the spa, you can also relax on recliners.
|Sitting area in the Hotel Spa|
The eating and drinking areas of the hotel are also nicely done. I had a cocktail on the rooftop bar and a burger one sunny afternoon. To my disappointment the burger in the birthplace of burgers wasn't that impressive. There are amazing eateries in the vacinity of the hotel. Dinner at the Turnhalle was fantastic and I had a great fish soup for lunch at a tapas place just a stone's throw away from the hotel. I can recommend the tasty beverages as well as the breakfast buffet for 18 Euros.
The George is well worth the trip if you are ever in Hamburg, I am sure I will be back. More picture of The George and it's decor can be found on the Nicole is the New Black Facebook Fanpage
The George Hotel