· Awesome lobby with shop and shipping container meeting space. It's not a member of Design Hotels for no good reason; the 25Hours HafenCity is impeccably furnished, kitted out with a mix of designer pieces and quirky additions (pile of Persian rugs as a couch, for example), referencing Hamburg's history as a maritime port of the world.
Shipbuilding and dockworking is the particular focus, so the lobby's Mare Kiosk shop not only stocks the latest in hip bike accessories, but also the newest issues of international shipping magazines.
· Tea lounge with outdoor patio. Walking around the 25Hours' HafenCity neighborhood, you'll pass streets named for each other major world port with a particular focus on those in the east. The 25Hours' Tea Lounge is a nod to the Eastern influence and, even better than the low-slung leather loungers is the fact that the tea is all complimentary.
· iMac & Atari "Business Center". Yes, there is a printer and a fax and all that typical worky work jazz, but there's also a Skype booth and the aforementioned Atari cubicle. Or just plop at the lengthy wood table to log into an iMac or open an art monograph.
· Heimat Küche + Bar. Beyond their seriously killer 16 Euro breakfast buffet (including all-you-can-drink Kombucha, the good kind!) and continuation of the funky loading dock theme, we fell for Heimat's late-night hours. Dinner and Sunday brunch were crazy as expected, but when the locals have gone to bed and it's just the guests...the atmosphere is sweet. Order an Alstra Alsterwasser and the meat and cheese plate and have a chat. Even our Swiss server was so super cool that we could've easily struck up a real friendship.
· Rooftop Sauna. Since we were here at the start of summer, we didn't exactly need to hit the sauna to relax after a brisk day. There were no brisk days. Still, the concept is neat (though it costs extra per person).
· Vinyl Lounge. The surprise winner. We wandered in on the first day. By our third day, we were addicted, never before knowing this hidden love of ours for records. The staff was even so kind as to turn the audio power back on for us after hours, when we wanted to chill past midnight in the comfortable space. The only downside? It's also the smoking lounge owing to the closing glass doors.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/HotelChatter]