In order to start the day with a burst of creative energy, we meet at the in July 2017 newly opened INNSIDE by Meliã Hamburg Hafen. The four-star hotel is ideally located in the up-and-coming district of Hammerbrook, between the Hamburg city centre and HafenCity, Europe’s largest inner-city urban development project. Directly adjacent to it is district Oberhafen, a neighbourhood known for its young creative scene.
Here, organisers of classic conferences and hosts of creative workshops alike will find offerings that excite them.
The stylish hotel welcomes us with true Hamburg flair. Graffiti and images from Hamburg artists enliven the atmosphere. Before we examine the event rooms, we fortify ourselves with a breakfast for which the buffet offers us a selection of warm and cold dishes.
We’re particularly curious about the BIG IDEA SPACE. This creative concept room allows for relaxed work in 40 square metres of living room atmosphere. We can’t resist the magnetic walls that can be written on, offering plenty of space for ideas, sketches and concepts. The furnishings can be adjusted flexibly, which makes the room ideal for both team meetings and brainstorming sessions as well as for presentations or interviews. It can also be used in combination with two neutrally designed conference rooms equipped with state-of-the-art media technology over a total of 190 square metres.
Between meetings or after a long conference day, an open lobby/bar/restaurant area as well as a sun deck with a view onto the water invite you to work, network or simply power down. Hotel guests can find rest and relaxation in the wellness area as well as in the 207 rooms in an elegantly minimalist design, of which 50 are premium rooms and five are lifestyle suites.
For our lunch break, we move on in the direction of St. Pauli. We are drawn here by a charming new spot in a historic building at the port of Hamburg. The Riverkasematten or “river casemates”, like the entire district, look back on hundreds of years of turbulent history. Today, these halls form a brewery that is very popular in the colourful neighbourhood around Hamburg Fish Market.
ÜberQuell is a mix of brewery, restaurant and brewpub. It’s a marvellous place for a party, or for a sophisticated conference.
With its interior design maintaining a street-art style and refined with works of art from the Millerntor Gallery, ÜberQuell reflects the spirit of the neighbourhood. This inspires a desire for exceptional events.
The brewpub can accommodate 90 people, while a meeting room can hold an additional 30 participants. Another 120 seats are offered by the terrace, in which a converted shipping container serves as bar counter, and urban gardening provides green accents.
Here, you can breathe in air from the Elbe, listen to the sound of the harbour with all the shrieking of the seagulls and the ships’ horns, and get comfortable among herbs and vegetables.
We have lunch during our visit, and are offered a selection of salads and various pizzas, which are baked in specially built ovens like in Naples and prepared with products from the Hamburg region. Alongside the soul food dishes, there is beer of every strength and flavour.
Anyone who would like to learn about the source of the house-made creations can do so directly in the open brewery in the exclusive brewpub.
Amazing activities in nature and on the water
Now we need some movement and fresh air. This attracts us to Hamburg’s “green lung” in the middle of the city. Along the banks of the Alster River stretches a park landscape in which pedestrians, flâneurs, joggers and bikers are always bustling. In this desirable location, there are also numerous hotels, restaurants and appealing meeting locations.
We refuel on fresh energy with Stand Up Paddling, glide through blissful river landscapes with AlsterRadler, relax on a tour of the city by water with Hamburg City Sailing and jet through the city on two wheels with Hamburg City Cycles.
Stand Up Paddling
We’ve often watched them from the shore – the stand-up paddlers on the Alster. Today, we want to try out this trendy sport ourselves. After a comprehensive introduction on the pier, we enthusiastically steer our boards over the water under the direction of SUP instructor Frank Heinemann . Of course, this kind of sporty adventure is more fun together. SUP tours are ideal for up to ten people. There are several coaches available for larger groups. Very nice is also a combination with a barbecue on the jetty.
Hamburg City Sailing
We have earned ourselves a break, which we would also like to take on the Alster Lake, since we’d like to see Hamburg from the water. So we climb aboard a sail boat from Hamburg City Sailing. Our skipper and Hamburg guide takes us on a one-of-a-kind tour under sail, showing us our city from an exciting new perspective.
While friendly people wave at us from the shore, historic Alster steamers glide past us. Our gaze wanders to the city centre with its church towers and Rathaus parapets. The Elbphilharmonie rises up in the background with its extraordinary architecture.
There is room for up to six people on the boats, which are secure against capsizing. Anyone who would like to sail themselves can also take over the rudder for a while. For longer tours with culinary accompaniment, there are enough sailboats for larger groups.
Hamburg is traversed by a network of waterways and canals. The city has more bridges than do London, Amsterdam and Venice combined. From the water, beautiful areas with idyllic villas, gardens and parks can be explored. For this, we sought out a quite special vehicle, renting wheels on pontoons from AlsterRadler/), with which we whoosh through the waters of the Alster. Here, too, there are various offerings to put together an amazing team-building programme.
Hamburg City Cycles
Back on land, we want to enjoy the shore panorama again, and bike on spacious bicycle paths through the Alsterpark. We are furnished with bikes by Hamburg City Cycles, where you can also book guided tours for groups of up to 200 people including catering and a bicycle transfer. In this way, you can have insiders show you Hamburg, get to know hip neighbourhoods, or get a workout on the way to the airport while your baggage is delivered there separately.
After this action-packed day, we reward ourselves with an evening at the Wasserschloss, or “water castle”. This extraordinary restaurant is located near the city centre at the historic defensive walls, surrounded by water ways and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The warehouse complex, which can be reached by land as well as by water, was until just a few years ago still a part of the free port of Hamburg. Today, the neo-Gothic brick buildings constructed on a foundation of oak pilings is home to various museums and artists’ studios in addition to several old warehouses. Many creative agencies, too, have put down roots in this quarter that is protected as a historic site. Beyond that, there is a hotel as well as flamboyant event locations for groups large and small.
On the terrace of the Wasserschloss, we listen to the murmur of the waves over dishes refined with tea flavour. Barges with tourists from all over the world glide past us.
From the nearby warehouses, a scent of coffee and spices wafts over. In the adjacent ateliers, the lights are on, and we can observe as some artwork or other is created.
With room for up to 200 guests, the restaurant is perfect for an elegant evening event. Anyone who would like to buy or taste tea in addition to the gastronomic offerings can do so at the in-house tea shop.
Hamburg is one of the world’s ten most liveable cities. The metropolis on the Elbe River is the only German city that, again in 2017, can be found among the top 10 in the „Global Liveability Ranking“ published by the leading British business magazine „The Economist“.
Hamburg’s visitors of course also benefit from this outstanding quality of life. Take advantage of excellent leisure opportunities to create a special incentive program! We can support you with ideas and help you make the right contacts. Also, we are happy to provide you with advice on planning and implementation of your event.
Saskia, Florian und Karin