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My review of the new(ish) INNSIDE Hamburg Hafen

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INNSIDE is the four-star chain of business focused hotels run by Melia.  Long-term Head for Points readers might remember my review of the new INNSIDE New York NoMad and Rob also reviewed the INNSIDE Manchester when it opened.

We do quite a bit with Melia Hotels International as you may know.  They have hosted our Christmas Party for the last two years and provided generous raffle prizes each time.  Their hotels have also become a lot more relevant to readers since they began to offer Avios on every stay and American Express Platinum began to offer Gold status in Melia Rewards.

I enjoyed my three day stay in New York.  The INNSIDE Hamburg Hafen has now been open for almost a year but even though I spend quite a lot of time in Hamburg with my family, I never had a chance to take a look before.  This Easter I was at home and for the last night of my stay I checked in at the INNSIDE before heading out to the airport.

Melia provided me with a free room and breakfast.  Click on any of the pictures (except the first one, which is a stock photo) to enlarge.

INNSIDE Hamburg review


I got the train to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (central station) and decided to take a taxi as my suitcase was a bit heavy. With only hand luggage it would have been a 15 minute walk, with suitcase it was a €7.70 taxi ride. Note that on the way back the taxi ride is a bit more than €10 as the road outside the hotel is a one way road and the car needs to go the opposite direction for a while before turning around.

The INNSIDE Hamburg Hafen is near Deichtorhallen, where you find contemporary art and photography collections. It’s also close to the Hafencity and a 15 minutes walk to the two main shopping streets. It’s worth mentioning that Hamburg has fantastic public transport and a bus-stop is right outside the hotel.


The reception desk is right in front of the entrance doors. There was one receptionist and two check-in laptops. I was later told that the project ‘tablet check in’ had failed and the tablets were to be removed in the near future.

I checked in and took one of the elevators which are located to the left of reception.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

My room

I stayed in an INNSIDE Premium Room which is the second category up.

There are only a few differences between an INNSIDE Guestroom and a Premium Room.  INNSIDE Guestrooms, which cost around €20 less than Premium Rooms, don’t have coffee machines, have no alcohol in the minibar and have fewer amenities.

As you can see in the picture below the design of the room is very much open plan. There is no wall between the sleeping and the bathroom area which looks pretty cool but might be an issue for some.  The toilet is separate and has a proper door.

The area around the sink was big enough for all my toiletries and make-up. Inside the drawer was the hair dryer which was already plugged in.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

This is the room looking from the window. I was told that some rooms have a different layout and therefore a separate bathroom.  If the open plan design isn’t for you, you could ask for one of the other rooms when booking.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

This was the view from my window. As the windows were triple glazed, I couldn’t hear the cars outside and the train tracks don’t seem to be in use at the moment.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

The bed was a king size bed with one mattress – they are often made of two in quite a few hotels in Germany. The duvets on the other hand were two single duvets.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

The open wardrobe was a similar design to the one in INNSIDE New York but a little bit bigger.

The complimentary mini bar which is refilled daily had a regular coke, a coke light, two different juices, sparking and still water as well as a bag of popcorn and one of my favourite beers, Astra.  There was also a large bottle of sparkling water.

If I remember correctly there were about 10 Nespresso capsules as well as tea capsules which you can use in the Nespresso machine.

Innside Hamburg Melia Rewards

The desk was a little bit bigger than at the INNSIDE New York, but if you have an 15′ laptop you might still have to use the ground floor area to work.

As it was Easter Monday there was an Easter Bunny and some chocolates and cookies waiting for me on the table!

Wifi was free and available throughout the hotel.  The majority of TV channels were in German but there were also a few English news channels.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

I’ve started to have a thing for walk in showers. I would even choose them over a bathtub. There was a rainfall shower as well as a handheld shower head.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel were the same I had in New York, which I really liked, with the only difference that they were not attached to the wall – so I could take the bottles home.

I was shown a couple of other rooms. The room below is one of the Lifestyle Suites which have a separate living room with a sleeper sofa which means it can accommodate a family with two kids.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

The hotel also has a presidential suite with a fun circular layout. You can walk from the living room into the bedroom, continue to the bathroom and will eventually get back to the front door.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards


The breakfast buffet is served on the ground floor. I had breakfast included, whilst a friend joined me in the morning and paid €16.  It was a bit difficult to take pictures as the breakfast room was very busy.  As you can see on the picture below there was a bit of a market flair.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

There was a large selection of breads, pastries, cheeses, cold cuts and my favourite: fleischsalat (bologna with pickles and mayonaise).

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

The coffee machine had two different beans for espresso or coffee and made a great macchiato as my friend told me. I had filter coffee which was already on our table when we arrived. There were also hot breakfast options which I didn’t try.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

One thing I loved about the INNSIDE Hamburg, and it’s possible that this was due to the fact that I was born and raised in Hamburg, is that the hotel made sure you knew where you were. The complimentary minibar had an Astra (Hamburg’s best beer!) waiting for me, there were anchors everywhere, the dishes on the room service menu had names typical for Hamburg and so on.

Outside the bathrooms on the lower ground was this painting which pretty much sums up the city:

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

The gym

The gym was very spacious and bright with a good amount of machines. There was also a separate smaller room with treadmills and a TV which had a selection of exersise videos.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

One thing I wish I had known about in advance was the sauna and relaxation area next to the gym as I would’ve brought my swimsuit ….

Meeting rooms

Typical for INNSIDE hotels are the colourful and fun meeting rooms. Think about it as WeWork with an even more colourful interior:

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards


The groundfloor is the heart of the hotel where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served and where you can enjoy a cocktail in the evening.  As you can see below the walls are covered in graffiti which all feature bits of Hamburg.

INNSIDE Hamburg Melia Rewards

The hotel also has an outdoor terrace right next to the canal where you can enjoy drinks in the summer. (The picture is from the website as rain and storm had destroyed some of the outdoor furniture and the hotel was waiting to have the new furniture delivered which means the terrace was empty when I stayed at the hotel.)

Innside Hamburg terrace

I had some drinks with two friends in the evening and was a little bit disappointed to not find Astra on the menu.  One of my friends was charged €4 for hot water with a piece of ginger, which I find a little bit overpriced.

Innside Hamburg Melia Rewards

On the upside my other friend who was served a cocktail she didn’t enjoy got a new one and a shot as compensation …..

As always I took some video and edited it into a short clip that hopefully gives a good impression of the INNSIDE Hamburg. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel via this page – this is the same link to visit if the video does not automatically appear below.



The INNSIDE Hamburg Hafen is a fresh new hotel with good sized rooms in decent location to reach Hamburg’s sights. There is a bus stop right outside the hotel with buses to the central station running every 10 minutes and the U1 is about a 10 minute walk away.

Hotel guests can also hire bikes for €14 per day or €2 per hour which I highly recommend if the weather is great as Hamburg is a great city to explore by bike due to the cycle lanes.

Rooms start at €80 per night.  You can book your stay here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: Good Etihad fare to Oz for Christmas, 100% bonus buying Hilton points, F1 and tennis with SPG/Marriott
Bits: Heathrow exhibition opens, new Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City opens (20k points), 35% off SPG points
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  1. Bagoly says:

    I’m confused: for a German in Germany: Why does one need a swimsuit for a sauna?
    Have you picked up some “British” habits, or does the hotel apply “International”, i.e. USA approach?

    • I like Innside hotels – stay at one in Munich on a regular basis. The only negative is that I can’t book twin rooms for staff because of the ‘exhibitionist’ bathrooms – IMO a deliberate move to sell more rooms…

      • Roger I* says:

        I can’t remember sharing a twin room on business …

        • Indeed! Why on Earth would anyone agree to share a room with a colleague when on work duties?

        • Apparently it happens …. any company who would force you to get up 3 hours too early because it saves £5 on the flight price is unlikey to countenance paying for 2 hotel rooms if they can get away with it.

          It is a long way from the ‘do what you want up to £300 per night’ policy from my City days!

        • You probably work in a more profitable industry than I do ????

      • RussellH says:

        I recall being shown a hotel with in-room showers in a small town in Austria. Those colleagues who worked in the coach tour market were having all sorts of problems trying to explain to the hotel staff why they could never sell the place to their customers.

    • Twice in my life I have been using a hotel jacuzzi, in trunks, when a group of naked men suddenly appeared and jumped in with me. It does feel a bit odd, if you’re straight.

      (It may feel a bit odd if you’re not straight, but I have no personal experience there. Not sure I’d be very comfortable if 3-4 naked women appeared out of nowhere and joined me in a hotel jacuzzi ….)

      • Andrew says:

        The gym that I use here in the UK as a “friends & family” member is based on the premises of a major employer that has a fairly high number of German employees.

        There is the occasional bit of “Britishness” about the German employees more relaxed approach to “bathing costumes must be worn” in the sauna rules, but after the first couple of times you tend not to notice. Besides, I’ll be showering naked next to the blokes afterwards anyway.

      • “Not sure I’d be very comfortable if 3-4 naked women appeared out of nowhere and joined me in a hotel jacuzzi ….”

        I suspect many men would have a different view 😀 😀

    • RussellH says:

      I was going to ask the same thing about the sauna!

      After a couple of my customers wrote some very ‘British’ feedback about naked (witten in large block capitals) people in hotel saunas I resorted to writing a piece about sauna ettiquette and included it with all customers info packs.
      As I understod it at the time I wrote it, swimsuits were not just ‘unnecessary’, they were actively disapproved of – ‘just not done!’

      • Roger I* says:

        ‘I was going to ask the same thing about the sauna!’ Me, too. I decided against commenting at the time because I thought any comment about a particular person’s comfort situation would be inappropriate.

        Anyway, I lived long enough in Germany and Switzerland (with many visits to Austria) to respect their bathing norms and attitude to nudity. Apparently, it’s healthier to swim/sauna without clothing – and doncha just hate wet trunks on the beach? Somewhere in SW Germany (Heilbronn?), 2 women were commanded to remove their cozzies in the mixed sauna by the female attendant – a step too far IMO – but a pointer to the norm.

  2. Alistair says:

    My problem with melia gold is that the benefits like the 20% discount voucher and birthday upgrade voucher don’t show in the membership website, the membership website is a mess (seems to be 2 different versions with different layout and content), and any requests for assistance from them seem to disappear into a black hole.

  3. Roger I* says:

    Excellent review. Thank you, Anika. I can see the INNSIDE coming up on a future trip now that the former I-C is no longer available as my sentimental ‘go to’ hotel in HH.

    Hamburg was the first major German city I got to know in my youth and still love to visit now. I was using the Simon Calder-recommended form of personal transport – hitchhiking – and won’t tell you of the 3 days stuck in Soltau on the way, later finding the station there still displaying Deutsche Reichsbahn notices. (I later saw them all over the DDR.)

    The Miniatur Wunderland model railway wasn’t there then, and has been considerably expanded since my visit. Even for non-model train fans it’s worth a visit and is not far from the INNSIDE (8 mins drive, 30 mins walk or 20 mins by public transport). Oh, and the Chocoversum Chocolate Museum seems to be on the way.

  4. If you have a 15’ laptop, you’re going to take up a lot of the ground floor. No wonder you had to get a taxi!

  5. “Their hotels have also become a lot more relevant to readers since they began to offer Avios on every stay.”

    Are others having issues with this? I have 2,800 Avios in limbo between Melia and Iberia from a stay in early March.

    My Melia account shows them as “sent” and has done for over a month; Iberia shows nothing as yet. Account details are correct and it’s worked in the past to convert Melia points to Avios – is this unusual timeframe and if so, which end should I chase?

    • Spanish efficiency ????

    • Doodles says:

      I have the same issue. Stay was early Feb, Melia account shows the points as transferred. I think I will just send the same email to Iberia and Melia and see who is going to sort it out. I have transferred points from Melia in the past but this was the first time I had selected points to go to Iberia automatically.

  6. I’m off to Hamburg for a meeting on Wednesday, and cash prices are very high for some reason. I’m in the significantly less flashy Hampton by Hilton. But for one night, it’ll do! Shame I didn’t see this yesterday, though. I might have been tempted, despite it being £100 more expensive.

  7. Julian says:

    I tried out Melia in Paris when the 9 Avios per € promo ran. Nothing wrong with the property but the points show in my Melia account as having been converted to Iberia Plus, with my Iberia Plus number showing correctly. But nothing has arrived in my Iberia account. Melia customer services is an absolute nightmare to deal with. Contacted via Twitter in March, been promised a reply since that’s never materialised despite frequent requests for an update…

  8. O/T – hotel related – I need to book 5 or 6 rooms for Sep/Oct of this year and I will be paying for all the rooms, am a member of IHG/Hilton/SPG

    Can anyone advise what would be the best course of action to ensure I get points for all rooms

    Thanks in Advance


    • IHG – one room only
      Hilton – two rooms only and you MUST merge them onto one bill at check-out
      Starwood – three rooms

      So … book 3 rooms via one account and – via your partner – book two via their account. You will the points for all 5 rooms between you and your partner can transfer their points to you.

      You will need to book before 1 August though as the Marriott rules apply to bookings post that date.

    • Genghis says:

      Or and Radisson Rewards (de facto) unlimited

  9. If you go through Melia Hotels International pack where they go through all their brands, the window showers (or whatever you want to call them) is part of their brand. To all INNSIDE I´ve been, always a window shower.

  10. the_real_a says:

    As much as millennial styling usually appeals to me, that wall “art” looks like that aftermath of a squatters party…

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