Affluent, clean, with a network of charming canals and an abundance of green spaces, Hamburg is a city that has aged well, with modernity and gemütlichkeit striking a happy marriage. Surrounded by parkland on the banks of the Alster is The Fontenay (thefontenay.de; from €335), whose 131 rooms and suites are enclosed in a sinuous, visionary building designed by local architect Jan Störmer.
On the roof is the attraction that gives the hotel real cachet: a full-service spa complete with 20m infinity pool. There is also, if your tastes run to more hedonistic pursuits, a slick bar up here, with exceptional city views. Downstairs, a Fat Duck alumnus oversees the gourmet restaurant.