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Germany holidays: Review of the ‘fantastically flamboyant’ five-star The Fontenay in Hamburg

Ever arrived at a five-star resort, lights flashing, on the again of a tow truck?

A highway journey to Germany with a household of 5 was at all times going to have its challenges.

But a automobile about to crack as we reached our holy grail of Hamburg? My conniptions went into overdrive.

Fiona Hardcastle describes The Fontenay (pictured) as a ‘curved structure of three overlapping circles so lovely it’s extra like a sculpture’

The Fontenay’s rooftop infinity pool, pictured above, presents beautiful views of the Hamburg skyline

As if mirroring mutter’s mini-meltdown at the pace vater was doing on the autobahn, a again tyre of the Volvo XC90 had begun to point out indicators of misery. Closer inspection confirmed it was about to blow up. Which made two of us.

And so it was that when, shortly earlier than 10pm that evening, we have been lastly deposited at the dazzling entrance of the Fontenay by Germany’s answer to the AA, I felt greater than a pang of remorse that our arrival had not been extra distinguished.

‘I shan’t ask about your journey,’ demurred the man on reception, swiftly dispatching us to the rooftop bar, the place with every tug of the crimson crescent moon our woes started to soften away.

One Fischbrotchen (‘fish sandwich’ won’t ever do that delicacy justice) and a restorative glass of Eva Fricke Riesling and all was proper in die welt.

As you’d anticipate at the flawless Fontenay the place failure to ship a first-class expertise is just not an possibility.

Fiona notes that the constructing is ‘fantastically flamboyant’ and ‘flooded with mild’ in the mornings 

The reception space at The Fontenay, ‘the place failure to ship a first-class expertise is just not an possibility’, in response to Fiona 

The constructing itself – a curved structure of three overlapping circles so lovely it’s extra like a sculpture – takes its inspiration from the surrounding treetops. Fantastically flamboyant, as the new day dawned, it was additionally flooded with mild.

As was our beautiful suite, its curved partitions in soothing taupe and cream the excellent backdrop for the elegant furnishings and considerate ending touches that make this resort so particular.

My architect husband was immediately in its thrall. ‘Every detail is unique,’ he marvelled. ‘They must have done enough drawings to wallpaper the entire building inside and out!’

The youngsters have been equally impressed – though for various causes.

One of the guestrooms at The Fontenay. Describing her personal suite, Fiona says: ‘Its curved partitions in soothing taupe and cream are the excellent backdrop for the elegant furnishings and considerate ending touches that make this resort so particular’

Fiona’s architect husband was ‘immediately’ in thrall over the design of The Fontenay. Pictured on the left is the resort’s spectacular Atrium Lounge. On the proper is the library at The Fontenay. Fiona says her ‘woes started to soften away’ as soon as she settled in to the resort

‘There’s a disco in the rest room!’ cried Rose, declaring the flashing lights and music choices inside the monumental walk-in bathe.

‘The hairdryers are GHD!’ trilled Evie, already trying ahead to the pre-dinner primping.

‘The Wi-Fi is great,’ authorized Felix, naively beneath the impression he’d be spending any time on his Switch.

Hamburg was calling and the resort bicycles have been ready for us.

Jan, the concierge, had mapped out the excellent day. Now all we needed to do was pull it off.

Fiona enjoys a ‘Fischbrotchen’ and a restorative glass of Eva Fricke Riesling at the Fontenay Bar (pictured) 

First, a household cycle round the pretty Lake Alster, a preferred five-mile route for runners and rubberneckers, equivalent to ourselves, eyeing up the picturesque homes that line the lake.

‘Which one do you want, Evie?’ requested Rose, saying what we have been all pondering.

Our first morning in Hamburg and already we wished to reside right here.

Yet for a metropolis that boasts extra millionaires per capita than another in Germany, Hamburg is decidedly hip, as outlined by its lakeside luxurious actual property as its vibrant neighbourhoods and edgy city structure.

The view of Hamburg from an outside terrace at The Fontenay. Fiona describes the German metropolis as ‘decidedly hip’

‘That building looks like a ship,’ cried Felix as we continued our cycle downtown, pointing at what resembled a large glass ocean liner, its bow arching up into the sky.

But then Hamburg’s maritime spirit is in every single place. And embrace it, you should, my husband insisted, from the waters that made it ‘the gateway of the world.’

Parking our bikes at Landungsbrucken, the touchdown pier, he introduced we’d not be taking a vacationer boat however would hop on public Ferry 62. The youngsters weren’t satisfied.

‘Do we HAVE to get on a boat?’ they complained, fearing yet one more odyssey up their father’s sleeve. Shamefully, I shared their issues. Visions of us being freighted out into the North Sea whereas he held forth with a potted historical past of The Hanseatic League was not what I’d hoped for the day.

The Fontenay Spa. During their keep at the resort, Jan, the concierge, maps out the ‘excellent day’ for Fiona and her household 

Happily, having sailed previous the fish market and container terminal, we have been on dry land once more, leaping off at the historic fishing village at Ovelgonne, the place we stopped for lunch at the buzzing Strandperle seashore bar and felt the easy pleasures of sand between our toes and ice-cold beer in the parental throats.

Back to port and a mind-blowing view of the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s newly-minted live performance corridor, a unprecedented feat of glass and brick that juts out into the harbour like a post-modernist Blue Peter ship and easily screams for consideration.

Where I used to be standing, it was changing into more and more troublesome to drown out the youngsters’s screams for some pool time.

Bikes have been pedalled with a brand new momentum as we headed again to the resort for an early night dip at the Fontenay’s rooftop infinity pool, its beautiful views of the Hamburg skyline – appreciated by swimmers and solar loungers alike – guaranteeing household concord was lastly restored.

Fiona and her household get pleasure from a ‘fillet of sea bass, saddle of lamb and a trio of distinctive puddings’ at the resort’s Parkview Restaurant, pictured 

The Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s newly-minted live performance corridor, ‘a unprecedented feat of glass and brick that juts out into the harbour like a post-modernist Blue Peter ship’

Just in supper time, at the Parkview restaurant, the place the out of doors area blended seamlessly into the environment, simply as we sank fortunately into our seats.

Fillet of sea bass, saddle of lamb and a trio of distinctive puddings later, and our starvation was sated and hearts have been full.

Hamburg, who knew? Well, we do now and we’ll be again.

Even if it takes one other set of wheels.

TRAVEL FACTS 

Deluxe rooms at The Fontenay are priced from €425 (from £362) per room per evening on a mattress and breakfast foundation, primarily based on double occupancy. To guide, go to www.thefontenay.com. For extra data on Hamburg, go to www.hamburg-travel.com. 

Fiona and her household used PCR exams from Boots. MyHealthChecked At-Home COVID-19 PCR Swab Test Kit (for General Use and Fit To Fly). A household bundle of 4 prices £234. Boots Advantage Points will be collected with the buy.

Activate your package on-line at www.myhealthchecked.com/activate-kit. Send your pattern again the identical day, guaranteeing you submit it in a Royal Mail Priority Postbox. Within 24-48 hours from lab receipt, you’ll obtain an electronic mail with a hyperlink to view your outcomes on-line at www.myhealthchecked.com and obtain a Fit to Fly certificates.