Eilenau Hotel sits on Hamburg’s Eilbek River; two art nouveau townhouses built in 1890 and now painstakingly restored by the current owner. The emphasis here is on decadence and luxury: Oscar Wilde quotes are proudly displayed all over the hotel’s website, and it’s fair to say the man himself would have quite approved of the deep purple carpets, sweeping staircases, antique furniture and huge chandeliers.
The suites are the most spectacular rooms: softly lit and with large, squishy sofas. Rooms elsewhere vary wildly in size – a few are tiny – but all are equally well decorated. Number 34 has dramatic rococo furniture, whilst 33 is small but perfectly formed: silver and midnight-blue with a part-glass roof.
A hearty buffet is on offer in the honey-coloured breakfast room, decorated with a huge gilt urn and fresh roses. Guests can also take their breakfast outside on the terrace or in the perfectly symmetrical garden. The hotel is close to a number of cafes and restaurants: handy, as breakfast is a little steep at over 14 euros and no food is served in the afternoon or evening. Eilenau is also well placed for those wishing to explore Hamburg: it’s four minutes walk to the nearest station (Uhlandstrasse) and close to the old harbour and St. Pauli nightlife.