Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Review
This 19th-century hotel overflows with antiques (including a priceless set of 17th century Flemish-Gobelin tapestries) and rare paintings.
Located on the western side of the Binnenalster lake, an impressive location to say the least, the Vier Jahreszeiten is also in the heart of the business district and its cafés, bars, and restaurants attract a local crowd in addition to visitors. Hamburg, a city of merchants, is a bustling port on the edge of Scandinavia, with never-ending river traffic along the Elbe. The hotel has 156 rooms and suites.
My room, a Junior Suite Lakefront, was tastefully furnished and comfortable and had incredible views of the Binnenalster (the Alster is divided into the Binnenalster and the Außenalster, inner and outer Alster, respectively). A welcome gift of fruit (from the hotel) and a bottle of wine (from a friend who knew my itinerary) were waiting on the table in the living room. The living room included a comfortable work area and a partial (waist-height) wall separated it from the bedroom. Both areas had a fairly small television with limited offerings. An extensive renovation is planned for mid 2008 that will add 42” flat screen televisions, video on demand, complimentary wired and wireless Internet access, and improved climate controls to all rooms.
ROAD WARRIOR SUPPORT
The desk and chair were comfortable and lighting was good all around. Wi-Fi was usually acceptable but sometimes very slow. The views were a pleasant distraction from work. The hotel has six conference rooms and a business center.
I noticed many Hamburgers came to afternoon tea in the Lounge, which featured live piano music and a fireplace. I dined in the art deco Jahreszeiten Grill, which had to be one of the most beautiful hotel restaurants I’ve seen in Germany. I heartily recommend the Consommé double royal soup, which comes with veal dumplings and vegetable stripes as well as the sushi-grade tuna fish in a mustard seed marinade. Rote Grütze, red grits, is a favorite in northern Germany and points north and east. Originally conceived of as a light summer meal, served with milk or cream, the dessert, which typically includes red currants, raspberries, cherries and often a sprinkling of black currants or blackberries for contrast, is cooked with a bit of sugar and cornstarch to a thick mass, chilled and served with vanilla sauce.
Before I made the trip, many told me that I was in for a treat. From the moment I arrived to the moment I left (all too soon, I might add), I found myself spoiled by the traditional Hanseatic hospitality, a refined yet comfortable atmosphere, and a staff that was eager to ensure I enjoyed every moment of my stay.