Hooded and dripping wet, my suitcase leaving a slippery trail behind me, I quickly pulled out my phone from under my jumper, a quick glance to check my whereabouts. Locating the star on my Google Maps, I spun around until my blue dot lined up, lifting my head to discover that my destination was in fact the large wave shaped building across from me. If it hadn’t been for the industrial lettering that labelled it as the 25hours Hotel, I would have mistook it for another of Hamburg’s contemporary designs, which could as easily house a graphic design company as hotel rooms.
In fact the modern manufacturing feel is intentional and it’s done so well that the HafenCity property has created an entire story around its theming. Taking every kind of influence from its city’s harbour heritage, the hotel isn’t just decked out in anchors and rope knots. From the moment you give your name over a wooden crate check in desk, to the choice of tongue-in-cheek door hangers provided in each room, every minute detail has been carefully crafted with equal amounts of wit and imagination.
The 25hours humour is one that runs throughout their European properties, welcoming guests to a clean comforting home without the formalities of a 5 star hotel. It’s down to earth, friendly and fun with the right amount of cheek to keep you on your toes.
Staying in one of the 170 cabins, I adored the intense level of decoration. A wall of mixed language innuendos had me chuckling at every glance whilst a spinning globe lamp almost got mixed up with my luggage upon leaving.
Every corner of the room held a new surprise, from a boom box speaker to a complimentary canvas bag. Even the desk was full of delights, a giant suitcase of magazines, books and photographer albums… none of which I could understand mind.
Perhaps my favourite find, apart from a branded cuddly sheep and hot water bottle, was the cabin logbook. This bible of real-life tales included local’s recommendations (from teens to those in their 60s) and seafarer stories of stormy nights. There was enough entertainment in the room to keep me from ever having to leave my rather comfy bed.
The bathroom was less intense; I’d almost been worried that I’d be bathing with a sailor. Instead I settled for a raunchy pin up that stared at me as I did my business, admiring a bin made from a rusty bucket and rope.
When you finally feel hunger and decide to explore further, the Heimat Kitchen and Bar is a great place to start, serving up a short menu of German dishes throughout the day. Upon evening the place is surprisingly busy, packed with hotel guests and even PG hen parties toasting to marriage over wiener.
I enjoyed a late dinner of rustic bread and radishes before my first sample of schnitzel. As far as German food goes, it wasn’t too bad, reminding me of a slightly dry Dino-nugget.
The restaurant is additionally where you’ll come weary eyed and hungry for breakfast, and be ready for a feast. A fantastic fry up serves the crispiest bacon I’ve ever had, alongside your usual selections of fresh fruit, baked goods and European continental. I however wasn’t enamoured by a loose leaf tea offering, perfectly good quality yet I’m too tired to do anything in the morning other than pour boiling water over Yorkshire Blend.
Once you’re back from sightseeing in Hamburg, there’s only one more thing to experience at 25hours HafenCity and that’s the rooftop terrace. Now of course you’re not going to be sunbathing to sunset beach views, but the shipping container sauna is quite impressive, stocked with a mini fridge, punching bag and two sunbeds for the occasional bikini day.
Spending just a moment or two more than 25 hours at the HafenCity hotel, I pulled my suitcase past doors containing sleepy sailors, down in an industrial elevator and out into the lobby-cum-garage. I resisted a complimentary Mini car (rather an extravagant freebie for any hotel) and instead headed back out into the rain, this time feeling slightly more upbeat and much better rested.
My stay at the 25hours Hotel HafenCity was complimentary but as always all views are my own even when entertained by constant witticisms.