Is Meat a Side Dish?

Hotel Side*****  Hamburg, Germany

Location & Check-In

Opened in 2001 and designed by Matteo Thun the Side Hotel is a perfect example of the puristic extremism of the early days of this century. The matter is – they are cool and fashionable when they are opened … but they simply do not age well.  Location, facilities and comfort level are definitely positive, but the place lacks the bit of warmth that truly makes you want to come back …


The standard rooms are of average size, the bathrooms actually quite small. The sanitary equipment still modern although the shower head was dripping when only the faucet was supposed to work. The view towards the backyard from the lower floors is absolutely “industrial”, ie office blocks and ugly flat roofs. Ask for a room towards the street, that should be less sobering.


The roomservice breakfast is creative and goes beyond your standard fare. Eggs Benedict, one of GIs all-time preferred options, were innovatively prepared, the fresh fruit delicious and cut individually, not your typical “machiney” variant. Bread and Danish equally good. The buffet breakfast equally appetizing. No reasons to complain on those ones.


The hotel is well maintained, the new steak house restaurant brightly designed with flash green furniture – which is in stark contrast to the prominently displayed meat racks between the lobby and restaurant area. The spa area is medium-sized and strangely *not* staffed, but well equiped and modern. The gym even has two PowerPlate devices. Unfortunately no access to any outdoor areas though, which is a great plus after sauna. On the eighth floor there is a beautiful lounge and executive meeting room opening to a large terrace which seems to be underutilized given the furniture installed. Overall a clear seven.

Overall Value & Rating

The central location and the facilities make the place attractive, but are also its downside. A decent view is only available from the upper suite level floors, below that it can be rather depressing. In Hamburg you will find many other properties in the five star category which offer you a fantastic view over water, one of the elements that make the city great. In a nutshell, Side is great for a brief stay when on business – notably if you can get the rooms at around EUR 170 or below. For a more “airy” experience GI recommends the five stars adorning the Alster bassins.




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