Cozy Henri Hotel Hamburg: best boutique hotel in Hamburg

by Apr 8, 2022Hamburg

Henri Hotel Hamburg Boutique

Nestling into the Henri Hotel in Hamburg, Germany, just feels warm and cozy. The Henri Hotel is truly one of the best boutique hotels in Hamburg – casual luxury with a touch of attitude and humor.

When traveling to Germany’s northern business city of Hamburg, being able to nestle into a cozy boutique hotel with a home-like feel such as the Henri Hotel just makes you smile, especially after a long day visiting city sights. Centrally located, yet on a quiet side street, the easygoing hotel also has a sense of humor and offers luxury amenities that just can’t be beat.

Certainly fantastic for couples, the Henri Hotel Hamburg is super ideal for singles – easy to get to, a safe location, close to restaurants and top Hamburg sights, and even offering a light evening supper on week nights for a very moderate fee.

That takes me to the “kitchen” and lounge downstairs – a real highlight of the Henri Hotel and one of the features that is so darn attractive and unique. You honestly feel as if you are in somebody’s home – or maybe your own home. The lounge has a cozy living room feel with an inexpensive honor-bar system for drinks and small snacks and, in the mornings, an extravagant buffet breakfast spread across the counters. Either as a tourist or business traveler, the Henri lounge offers a comfy place to settle in to work or read with a beverage of your choice that you can fetch yourself from the fridge in the “kitchen.”

“We trust our guests, and they should feel at home,” said hotel manager Jan Schwarzer, about the honor beverage and snack system.

Henri Hotel Sign Honor Bar Fridge

Henri Hotel’s honor bar is stacked full!

“Every day should be a Henri day”

That slogan offers just a hint of the attitude and sense of humor at the Henri Hotels – there were four “Henris”at the time of this writing, run by a group that also operates other hotels and restaurants from premium to casual, including an outstanding restaurant next to the must-see Elbe Philharmonic.

“We address the five-star guest who doesn’t want to be bothered by a waiter…but still wants their bed made in the morning,” said Schwarzer. Funny thing is, he used to manage a hotel in another city and would travel to Hamburg on business, always staying at the Henri. He loved it so much, he said, he just had to move to work here. He told me when we were there that the Henri Hotel is like “being home when you aren’t home.”


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All four Henri Hotels (Düsseldorf, Berlin, Vienna and of course Hamburg, which was the first, opening in 2013) strive to have that same cozy, casual luxury feel, but each addresses it with a different style from different decades. Henri Hotel in Hamburg offers more of a ‘50s-‘60s retro feel, while Berlin edges into the ‘90s tone, Düsseldorf takes on the funky ‘70s, and Vienna harks back to the ‘20s. Guess there are a few decades left for more Henri Hotels?

Henri Hotel Livingroom

Settle into Henri Hotel Hamburg’s living room.

Now, about that Henri sense of humor…

Looking to send a message to the hotel from the website? They are called “racing pigeons.” Pick up a stylish postcard at the hotel? You may find one with a cute drawing titled, “One Night Stand.” The hotel is 100% no smoking so you may find a little stand-up card in the room that says, “Only Helmut Schmidt was allowed to smoke in this room” (Former German Chancellor Schmidt, a native of Hamburg, passed away in 2015, and I happen to have one from prior that says, “Only Helmut Schmidt IS allowed to smoke in this room”).

There is a spa (they call it the “rooftop recreation lounge”) and a gym (“muscle factory”) with equipment for workouts. Every room has an elegant espresso machine with coffee that puts just about every other hotel room coffee to shame. A bottle of filtered water is in your room – although they note the tap water is just fine. And of course, per Henri talk, everything is just “Henrilicious.”

Room at the Henri Hotel Hamburg

Henri Boutique Hotel L Studio

The slightly roomier L Studio at Henri Hamburg.

At the boutique Hamburg Henri Hotel, there are three choices of rooms – the M Studio (20 square meters or an intimate but very functional 215 square feet), the L Studio (30 square meters or 323 square feet, for a little more room for two), and the Suite (40 square feet or a super spacious 435 square feet the Henri calls “even more than perfect”). We enjoyed the L Studio on this stay and found it ideal for two people who don’t want to bump into each other all the time. Years ago, we stayed in the smaller M Studio, which was indeed cozy and likely better for those traveling alone.

All rooms have a practical desk because, well, work happens, great Wi-Fi, a coffee machine and bar area for coffee and tea, a small fridge, and an in-room safe. We liked the extra table and seating area of the M Studio. On our tour, the Suite offers a splendid spacious setting, especially if you are there longer than a couple of days. These suite rooms are either a loft or two-room design.

Henri Hotel Suite

The sitting area of a Henri suite.

Our recommendation is to get a room on a floor higher than the second floor so you don’t hear (or smell) breakfast being prepared early in the morning. On our first stay years ago, the smell of coffee brewing would invariably wake me up earlier than my plan!

An insider tip to stay at this boutique hotel

Although the Henri uses a lot of English on its website, flyers, and in rooms or on postcards, nearly three of four guests still come from Germany. Seems the international visitors haven’t found this cozy boutique hotel on a little side street – oh, are they missing a beat!

Henri Hotel Hamburg Downtown Entrance

One of the best parts is Henri’s location, only a few blocks from the main train station so whether you arrive on the train from outside of Hamburg or from the Hamburg airport, you are easily right at Henri’s door. If after a long day at work or sight-seeing you just want to settle in, you are surrounded by stores, restaurants, and other services in Henri Hotel’s neighborhood. If you are sight-seeing in Hamburg, any number of key Hamburg sights, such as the historic Jungfernstieg and the Alster lakes, the expansive Miniatur Wunderland model railway attraction, the Elbe Tunnel, or churches like St Nikolai, are either a short walk away or an easy ride on an subway or bus.

Hamburg City Scene Rathaus

Hamburg’s city hall reflecting on one of many waterways in the city.

Keep in mind that there is not a flashy entrance with big neon signs – or much signage at all. Schwarzer said the intent is to make the Henri feel like a private members-only club. Which it really does. (The kitchen and lounge are only open to guests.) As a first timer, you may wonder if you are in the right place since you have to buzz in from the street, then you have to go up a few stairs through a plain foyer, and then hang a turn through a door to the lounge and reception area. Voila! From a plain street façade to a living room feel with shelves lined with books, chairs beckoning you to take a seat, and a kitchen ready to welcome you with a drink of your choice.

Then, before you leave, be sure to tap a few keystrokes on the antique typewriter in the lobby area, too. Over the years, guests have left all kinds of messages – and those too are gathered in a book you can thumb through. Makes for fun reading.

Henri Hotel Typewriter

Wonder what the next decade is that a new Henri Hotel will take on?

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Rating the Henri Hotel Downtown Hamburg


Our Rating Our hotel ratings will tell you what we think of an individual property and are not a comparison to other hotels in the area. They are valid at the time of our visit, which in this case was during the COVID-19 pandemic. That meant no daily housekeeping and some limitations on meal service. Things can – and will -- change, of course, but we hope only back to pre-pandemic operations and not overall with properties like this that we love! We frequently pay for our hotel stays and will disclose whenever we receive discounts or comped room nights as a part of a hotel stay. Our ratings are a percent, with 100% being perfect and 0% someplace not even a rat would stay. We rate cleanliness/upkeep (e.g. dust on the windows, dirt under the beds, unclean bathroom fixtures, need of repairs/maintenance, etc.), comfort (e.g. taking into account quiet, how comfy the bed is, if there is a nice robe, a comfy chair, etc.), amenities (e.g. free parking, breakfast included and its quality, free Wi-Fi, free bikes, fitness gear, workout room, pool, etc. -- and we are not fans of hotels that say they include things, but then charge a facilities fee!), location (e.g. how easy is it to get around by foot, bike, and car), and value (e.g. how much we feel we got in return for the amount charged).

Cleanliness / Upkeep