Reverb by Hard Rock flak tower hotel gearing up for opening

5 March 2024
Mix of hospitality, music, history and sustainability behind hotel's concept

The Reverb by Hard Rock hotel in Hamburg's flak tower is gearing up for the soft opening on April 7, 2024. No less than 134 rooms, restaurants, a concert and multifunctional hall and a garden are available for hotel guests. And reservations are already being accepted albeit the hotel is fully booked for the first few days. Yet, there is no shortage for  enquiries for the multifaceted events there, said Constanze Döbber, Marketing Manager Hamburg Bunker.

Demands on building caused two-year delay

Till Westheuser, General Manager, who has held positions at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Kempinski Hotels, stressed: "I am looking forward to an exciting final spurt. The Reverb by Hard Rock is a very special hotel and catering project. We are combining hospitality with music, history and sustainability." This special mix is attracting new recruits and the response to various vacancies in the hotel and F&B area has been good, said Westheuser, who came on board in mid-January 2023. "The team is set to grow from 80 to 140 employees." However, the hotel is opening after a delay of two years. "The hotel is being built on a listed air raid shelter from 1942, which has been extended by five floors and greened. Around 30 tradespeople are working on the building and every single screw has to be brought to the top," he noted. That was one of many challenges.

Spiral staircase

Hotel catering to music lovers

But the effort is proving worthwhile, said Westheuser, and noted: "Hamburg is a thriving hotel centre. We are proud of having secured the tender in 2021 to operate the hotel and catering space." The Reverb Hotel by RIMC Hotels & Resorts Group is launching a concept centered on music which is already proving a hit in Atlanta/USA. Traditionally, exhibits by famous artists are presented in the Hard Rock Hotels. In 2019, the world's first hotel in the shape of a guitar was opened in Florida. The Reverb Hotel is now shifting the focus to the fans. "The idea is for the hotel to become a place where fans can meet and experience a melting pot of music culture," said Westheuser. The hotel's concert and multifunctional hall will offer space for up to 2,200 people. It can be divided into thirds to create the right atmosphere for smaller concerts or readings. "During the day, we will open the hall for school sports," he added. LED lights will transform the high-tech floor from a football pitch to a basketball court.

Till Westheuser, General Manager, in one of the rooms

Getting history and sustainability issues across

The hall is named after the resistance fighter and Hitler assassin Georg Elser. "We want to bring history to life for younger generations here through e.g., projections in one of the older flak towers," said Westheuser. To this end, the hotel is working closely with the Hilldegarden Association. And there will also be events on sustainability. Around 4,700 plants and trees on the rooftop garden will transform the bunker into a green landmark and improve the urban climate there. The green splendour is still manageable, but that is natural, explains Westheuser. "It takes around four years for the plants to fully develop, but our green highlight is becoming more luxuriant from year to year." The Klaus Hildebrandt gardening and landscaping company is responsible for greening the bunker.

Reception desk and check-in terminal

Multicultural team of over 30 chefs

The many catering concepts range from changing pop-up restaurants at a height of 60 metres to the "Constant Grind", a mixture of bakery and café; the main restaurant La Sala with over 170 seats, an adjoining terrace and two private dining areas in the "Karo & Paul" bar, which extends over three floors. Patrick Weber, Head Chef, is in charge of catering. "We are a multicultural team of around 30 chefs. We will use this diversity and serve 'bunker bites' from all over the world." The Pincho Bar,  one of the latest newcomers to Hamburg, will serve small portions of various dishes.

Bold catering concept

"This kind of bar does not exist in Hamburg, but it's very common in Spain," said Weber. The only difference is that the delicacies in Hamburg are served as a kind of flying buffet. "We do away with menus and instead serve the dishes straight from the tray. That's far more communicative," Westheuser pointed out. The hotel is also collaborating with the TV chef, Frank Rosin, who will offer his advice and help shape the catering concept.

Panoramic views of Hamburg

The vista of Hamburg will definitely give guests something to talk about, Westheuser believes. Regardless of whether from the bar, the restaurant or the floor-to-ceiling windows, the view extends from the TV tower to the Michel and Elbphilharmonie concert hall to the Dancing Towers. One of the suites has views of the south curve of the Millerntor stadium. The rooms have been designed with local graffiti artists, who came up with all kinds of music-inspired themes.Three furnished flats in the hotel can be rented by scholarship holders and artists at favourable conditions. The Reverb by Hard Rock is also relying on intelligent hotel technology. The lighting in the rooms as well as playlists and entertainment can be controlled with intelligent voice assistants. And smart technology can also be found in the lobby, Westheuser stressed, adding: "There will be three, AI-based check-in desks. But our reception will be staffed by people 24/7."



Room in Reverb by Hard Rock

Sources and further information

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