Serviced apartment provider Ascott has three brands: Ascott the Residence, Somerset Serviced Residence and Citadines Apart’hotel.
This last one combines some of the advantages of serviced apartments – more room for less money – along with some hotel benefits such as breakfast.
Suitable for stays of a few days up to a few months, the rates reduce for longer stays (typically 30 days or more). The property opened in October last year.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
From the outside, it could be mistaken for an office block and, inside, functionality takes precedent over frills, although there is a nod to boutique hotel style in the eclectic chairs clustered around coffee tables in reception.
The lobby area is comfortable and set out like an informal library, with books and black-and-white pictures of local sights.
Unlike in a hotel, staff are noticeable by their absence – on most days there was only a receptionist and a waiter restocking the buffet at breakfast, which adds to the feeling of being in an apartment rather than a hotel.
Help is available when needed, however – the maintenance man immediately checked out the air conditioning when I reported it as faulty at reception, and my apartment was serviced with clean linen and towels twice during my six-night stay.
Most of the guests seemed to be German, a 60-40 mix of business people and families.
WHERE IS IT?
On Ludwig-Erhard-Strasse, a busy road in central Hamburg. Taxis will stop, however, and it is only a few minutes’ walk from Stadthausbrucke station on the S1 line, which goes through the city centre via the Hauptbahnhof to Fuhlsbuttel airport, about a 30-minute total journey time.
It’s a short walk from Grossneumarkt, a square lined with restaurants.
The 127 rooms and apartments are on floors one to six and come in five main categories.
Entry-level Classic rooms are 17 sqm and have a double or two single beds, a living area with an armchair, a flatscreen TV with satellite channels (including UK ones), an iPod dock, a minibar, a tea and coffee station and a safe.
Next up are Studio rooms, much larger at 26 sqm and with a kitchen area with a cooker hob and hood, dishwasher, kettle, glassware, crockery, cutlery and utensils, microwave, fridge and toaster.
Studio Deluxe (35 sqm) offers the same amenities but more space, while the 44 sqm one-bedroom apartments also have sofa beds for families.
The 65 sqm Penthouse has patio doors and a small balcony with a table and two chairs.
The décor is modern and neutral, with light wooden floors and a grey-and-black colour scheme. All rooms are non-smoking, which means that, unfortunately, in the evening there’s a crowd of guests outside the front door puffing away.
The rooms are cleaned weekly, or more often for an extra charge. There are bins in the basement that can be accessed via a service elevator.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
A continental spread is served in the ground-floor breakfast area – it can get busy at peak times, but there is overflow seating in the lobby.
This area acts as a social space for the rest of the day. There is a 24-hour vending machine and a water and hot-drink dispenser available.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
A small meeting room on the ground floor seats 12.
There is a small gym on the ground level with running machines and free weights. Opportunities for jogging are good since you are only five minutes from the Elbe river.
This is a well located property, with enough facilities for those wanting the support of a hotel – including a good continental breakfast – but with the extra space of an apartment.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? 127 – five Classic, 74 Studio, 20 Studio Deluxe, 27 one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom.
- HIGHLIGHTS Complimentary wifi for up to four devices (more on request), English-speaking staff, a great location and well thought-out design.
- PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in November started from !135 for a Studio room.
- CONTACT Citadines Michel Hamburg, Ludwig-Erhard-Strasse 7; tel +49 403 006 180; citadines.com