In deciding to split our trip by stopping in Hamburg, it gave me the chance to find out what the hotel scene was like in this part of Germany and discovering that the top-tier hotels aren’t all that different, save for one just outside Hamburg’s urban area.
Waldhaus, literally ‘forest house’, is akin to a lodge in the U.S. and this particular one with its five-star status looked promising. The pictures online showed traditional themes all throughout, with the surrounding Sachsenwald forest area an extra attraction for those who wanted more peace and quiet than a city center hotel could offer. Added come-ons were the on-site gourmet restaurant which, thanks to great reviews I looked forward to, as well as a castle less than a kilometer away, though with our tight schedule – and age-reduced enthusiasm – we’ll likely miss on this trip.
Opting to stay in our room for the rest of the afternoon and a rejuvenating nap later, we were ready to feast in the lodge’s restaurant for a ‘gastronomic experience’ and to some extent it didn’t disappoint.
In a nearly-empty, light-deficient dining room, our assigned table was right next to some others, putting a slight crimp to our conversations and placing unwitting witnesses to my documentation of the proceedings. The classic goulash I ordered came out rather colorless, considerable but not uplifting, I ended up wishing I’d instead also taken the hamburger Teko ordered – his accompanying sweet potato fries were quite good. The service was detached friendliness personified and the relative calm of dining in such a location as the Waldhaus’ was very relaxing. We had a clear view of the surrounding forest area from our table so after quickly finishing our meal and dispensing with dessert, we took the chance to walk around the estate and into the woods to help with digesting not only our meal but what has so far transpired in this first day of our trip.
As for the hotel itself, its five-star status is a little suspect – I think it’s more a four-star to be honest – but the room is clean, the bathroom spacious, and checking in earlier than normal is much appreciated. The sound of chirping birds outside our window I may add is also quite welcome.