Hilton Worldwide opened its first Curio by Hilton hotel in Europe today.
The former Maritim Reichshof Hotel in Hamburg has undergone a €30 million renovation over 15 months to reopen as The Reichshof Hamburg, Curio – A Collection By Hilton.
I happened to be in the city, and so took a tour.
The hotel is owned and operated by RH Operations GmbH & Co. KG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cologne-based Event Hotels, which owns and operates some 30 hotels in Germany including several under other brands such as Westin and Pullman.
The property’s listed interior and art deco exterior has been preserved under the renovation, with the lobby retaining the original Carrara marble pillars, although there are a mixture of modern design pieces and original features, most noticeable in both designer and 1920s gilt chandeliers.
There are framed black and white photographs celebrating Hamburg’s maritime history, as well as a large photograph showing the interior of the hotel from the 1930s.
The hotel was originally three buildings, and the lobby slopes down gradually to the Slowman restaurant, the design of which takes inspiration from the HAPAG luxury liners of Albert Ballin with its walnut panelling and configuration.
Hamburg is often compared with Liverpool, and this use of skilled craftsmen from the shipyards on bars and restaurants reminded me of some of the beautiful interiors of that city such as the Philarmonic Dining Rooms.
New chef Frank Bertram is a musician, and has placed various musical instruments (guitars and drums, most noticeably) around the restaurant and will be playing in the adjacent Bar 1910 from time to time. The restaurant focuses on sustainably produced, fair-trade products, and regional producers.
Bar 1910, also protected in its design, though updated, has a focus on whisky and has a billiard room at one end. A sign still reads “Casino” from a previous incarnation.
The renovation saw the room count reduced from 303 to 278 rooms and suites, and I was told by general manager Folke Sievers that the hotel has over 60 different rooms sizes and varieties, though these have been grouped together into broad categories.
The 199 entry-level medium rooms range in size from 14 to 20 sqm, then move up through Large, Extra Large, Junior Suites and one bedroom suites.
Rooms are over six floors – the sixth floor has yet to open, but will do so within seven days. All rooms have good-sized beds, power showers and rain showers, free wifi and flat screen HDTVs ranging from 40 to 70 inches in size, as well as Bosch coffee makers. High ceilings seemed common.
The sound proofing throughout the hotel is good, important since the location is close to the main railway station and on a busy junction. As there are seven courtyards, many rooms have no view, but are very quiet.
The first floor is where the conference facilities, including 11 meeting rooms, are located. The largest room can cater for 90 for a banquet.
The spa is scheduled to open at the end of August and will offer beauty treatments, massages, a sauna and steam bath, as well as a fitness area.