As a newlywed couple, we used to travel in search of adventure opportunities. We'd travel to mountainous countries to conquer their peaks, seaside destinations to dive into the depths of the ocean or capital cities to discover their lesser-known stories. Two years into our marriage and for the first time, we decided to travel in search of wellness and romance. Travelling and spending 24/7 with one another can put a strain on any relationship. That's why we firmly believe it's a good idea to sometimes just take a break, switch off from the real world and indulge in the sweetest pampering trip. Our escapade was in northern Germany and our wellness hotel in Hamburg is called Grand Elysee.
Picture Credit: Grand Elysee
Wellness hotel in Hamburg
Hamburg is known to be besieged by stag parties so how come that we decided to visit it for a romantic and wellness getaway? Because we know Hamburg is one of the richest cities in Germany with an interesting maritime background which creates the city's own identity. Hamburg is home to grand architecture, cultural quarters, exquisite and diversified cuisine influenced by its abundant supply of seafood. Hamburg is also progressive, quickly adapting to new trends, which make it ideal for couples looking to experiment with art, shopping, fashion and food.
The Grand Elysee is perfectly located for anyone who wishes to visit Hamburg. The city of Hamburg, the Alster and the Moorweidenpark are within walking distance of the hotel. If you wish to explore different neighbourhoods, the train station is located just 3-minute walk away from the main entrance.
The Grand Elysee comes with underground parking which was one of our main requirements. As you know, we visited Hamburg during our road trip in Europe and we wanted a place to safely park our car for a couple of nights. Simply leave your car in a designated space and make sure to pay at the checkout. The parking is €18 per night.
Walking into the lobby we noticed a central boulevard within the hotel's main area which houses shops, four different restaurants, the Bourbon Street Bar and the Boulevard Café. The hotel offers exclusive meeting rooms, an art gallery and a separate area ideal for conferences. We were greeted by smiley and friendly staff who quickly and effectively organised for our seamless check-in. What we really loved is how the staff made sure to answer all our questions before we even had the chance to ask anything. The staff seemed clearly confident in their roles which led us to believe the overall management of the hotel was very good. This was the case for the front-desk staff, wellness, restaurant and bar staff as well.
The Grand Elysee Room
Whilst we were conversing with the front desk staff, our luggage has already made its way to our room. A fine touch which most certainly added to our 5-star experience. We had a garden courtyard view, a 32 m² bright and spacious room with wooden furnishing. We expected a very modern room with quirky furniture, but we were pleased to enter a cosy environment with a bit of an Alpine feel, perfect for our wellness visit. Our room featured a wooden desk and a comfortable armchair, together with a large double bed with a pocket spring mattress. In contrast to the room itself, was the bathroom: dressed in marble, with a luxury shower and Molton Brown products.
As with most luxury hotels, there is mineral water and fresh fruit available, as well as a fully stocked minibar. Fluffy towels, cushioned slippers and cosy bathrobes await for you in the wardrobe. What we thought was missing from the room was an espresso machine.
The Breakfast at The Grand Elysee
With guests from all corners of the world, it's a difficult task to be perfect for everyone. And usually, most luxury accommodation providers fail when it comes to food. Each guest has dietary requirements and it's close to impossible to cater for all. However, The Grand Elysee surprised us with its breakfast facilities and produce. To get to the breakfast area you have to wander through the hotel and there is no better time to admire its 1100 pieces of fine art collection. Upon arrival at the restaurant, there is table service so you will be escorted to your table, where you can order your hot beverage of choice. We ordered our morning lattes with soy milk, which, were made to perfection.
The breakfast itself is self-serve with fresh produce to cater for all requirements. From different loaves of bread, including wholegrain options, through a variety of cereals, to fresh and colourful fruit. There are jams, meats, cheese boards as well as a dedicated chef to cook your eggs to your liking. As we travel vegan, we were pleased to see the number of food options we could enjoy, a rare sight during our travels.
The Dinner at The Grand Elysee
We normally venture out of our hotel to enjoy dinner, but since The Grand Elysee is home to four different restaurants, we thought we should indulge in an Italian meal. We sat down at the bistro at around 8 PM which was after the usual dinner time. This translated to a quieter restaurant and attentive staff. The bistro had a buffet deal with fresh seafood, but, of course, we ordered our own tailored vegan dishes. The prices were not surprisingly high, although the portions were on the small side. The rice, vegetables and pasta were cooked to perfection and the tastes truly completed one another. However, after two courses we were still relatively hungry.
After dinner, we went to the Bourbon Street Bar to enjoy our favourite cocktails. There is a long list of potential cocktails you ought to try, but we are loyal to our gin and tonics. If you happen to be a whiskey fan, then this is definitely the place for you, as the menu has a large variety of single malt, Canadian, Bourbon, Tennessee and Irish whiskeys. Our Gin options were a little more limited, with only 5 type of gins available. However, they had Bombay Sapphire which is G's favourite and Hendrick's which is my gin of choice.
The Wellness at The Grand Elysee
We spent two nights at The Grand Elysee for its wellness centre and we were not disappointed. The Grand Elysee is very much an oasis of wellness and perhaps the best wellness hotel we've stayed at thus far. With 511 rooms, we expected the wellness centre to be quite busy, but we were surprised to enjoy most of its facilities for ourselves.
In all honesty, the wellness centre was the highlight of our stay. So if you wish to have a wellness weekend with your loved one, this is 100% the place for it. So what was so special about it?
The fitness area was relatively small but well equipped for our needs. Especially because we usually use the fitness centre for about 30 minutes when we travel. After the gym, we used the shower facilities provided in the wellness area. There were various luxury showers: refreshing cold fog or rainforest shower which mimicked tropical rainfall, a massage shower for muscle relaxation and waterfall showers with temperature control.
The Grand Elysee has a heated swimming pool with coloured panels all around it. The colours of the panels change every few seconds, ranging from energising reds, through relaxing greens to mysterious purples. The colours reflect in the pool, so you feel as if you swim in liquid colour rather than water. There are lounging chairs next to the swimming pool, as well as a pool bar ready to serve you refreshing drinks. For the ultimate wellness experience, you can order sparkling champagne and relax in the bubbling whirlpool or chill in one of the three beautifully landscaped outdoor terraces.
Our favourite part of any wellness centre is the sauna. Since our visit to Helsinki, we can't stop using sauna facilities pretty much everywhere we go. The Grand Elysee did not disappoint. With three different saunas and a Roman steam bath, we finally had plenty of choice and space to try different things. The Finish sauna delivers high temperatures of up to 90 °C. The smell in the Finish sauna was all too familiar: heated wood which reminded us of our trip to Helsinki.
We only ever used the Finish sauna before, so we were rather excited to try the soothing eucalyptus sauna with milder temperatures of up to 60 °C. After trying it once, we became addicted. Close your eyes and imagine you are in a eucalyptus forest with fresh and crisp smells, whilst comfortably warm and relaxed. This was the ultimate wellness experience. We spent more time in the eucalyptus sauna than anywhere else in the wellness area. We visited it several times during our stay.
Picture Credit: Grand Elysee
Of course, we couldn't miss the Roman steam bath. The Roman steam bath at The Grand Elysee is beautifully decorated with a starry sky.
Before our visit to The Grand Elysee, we never heard of an infrared sauna before. Infrared light is experienced as radiant heat which is absorbed by the surface of the skin. They are mainly used for those who suffer from aches and muscle pains. You can change the ambience colour of your room so you can get the colour therapy you need.
Here comes the part everyone wants during a wellness trip: massages and treatments. The Grand Elysee offers daily deals on massages and treatments so make sure to check with the wellness staff before you book your session. There is a large variety of massages offered, ranging from back and neck massages, through aromatic oil massages, to sports massages and sea salt aroma peelings. The body treatments focus on pampering packages for him and her, ideal for couples looking for a relaxing weekend.
Picture Credit: Grand Elysee
Overall, we feel we made the right choice to stay at The Grand Elysee as a choice of wellness hotel in Hamburg. Whilst the hotel itself exhibits some minuses, like the unnecessary bird cage in the lobby area, there was a definite emphasis on quality and service which allowed us to enjoy a luxurious wellness trip. The Grand Elysee truly deserves to be called an ‘oasis of wellness', with its tranquil and lavishing environment.
Want to enjoy the best wellness hotel in Hamburg? Click to book your own Grand Elysee stay.
Special thanks to Come to Hamburg for organising our wellness stay at The Grand Elysee. We had an amazing, romantic and relaxing time. We look forward to visiting it again, soon. As always, thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.