Grand Elysée

The five-star treatment
A grand, 511-room hotel opened in 1985 by German entrepreneur Eugen Block, 17 years after he launched his now-famous nationwide chain of Block House steak restaurants. Located in lush Rotherbaum, ever so close to gay-glorious St Georg and within easy reach of all that is Hamburg-central, the Grand Elysée caters to the corporate world (the biggest conference hotel in northern Germany) while providing a warm and personal service for the more casual traveller. There's an overall glossy-bossy feel here, contrasted by the cool elegance and design of the individual rooms. Other features include a ground-floor French-style boulevard of eateries and shops and, throughout the building, a collection of 900 art works chosen by Block's wife Christa, from the kitschy to the decorative. The hotel expanded in 2006. Free bicycles are a bonus, with Gänsemarkt-area shopping, the Alster lakes and St Georg all just minutes away. Supply is limited so best to see the concierge as early in the day as possible. Local train station is Dammtor (within view of the hotel), and the frequent S-Bahn trains reach the central station (Hauptbahnhof) in three minutes.