Thursday, June 18, 2009


Hamburg’s largest Counting House (”Kontorhaus”) situated outside the Counting House District (“Kontorhausviertel”) is Levantehaus.

More than two blocks long, the magnificent Levantehaus fronts Hamburg’s primary shopping street, Monckebergstrasse, the long promenade that connects Hamburg’s Rathaus with the city’s Central Train Station.

Built in 1912 and 1913, Levantehaus in its original form was a very ornate building, intended to evoke the aura of the city’s ancient Hanseatic tradition.

Levantehaus was seriously damaged during World War II. Its post-war reconstruction was in a substantially modified—and greatly simplified—form.

Yet another round of major modifications occurred in the late 1990’s, when Levanthaus was gutted and completely rehabbed. It is in its late-1990’s reincarnation that Levantehaus may be seen today.

The interior of Levantehaus now serves as both a luxury shopping mall and a luxury hotel.

The main entrance is marked by blazing flames erupting from brass bowls, highlighting a giant bronze centaur over the entrance doors.

Inside, the first two floors are occupied by luxury shops in an elegant shopping arcade, complete with grand stairwells, skylights and a cupola. Life-size sculptures are everywhere.

The upper floors house a 5-star hotel, one of the finest in the city.

We stayed at Levantehaus while we were in Hamburg. It was the finest hotel I have ever visited.

The level of comfort and service was extraordinary. The rooms were spacious, beautifully-designed and richly-appointed. Each floor had its own concierge. The main hotel restaurant, serving particularly fine continental and American cuisine, was exceptional. The hotel had a large swimming pool under a beautiful Romanesque roof, and we used the pool daily. Everything about the hotel was absolutely first-class in every possible way.

I would like to stay there again.

No comments:

Post a Comment