The small city of Bremerhaven (with just 113,000 inhabitants) has become a popular tourist destination in the past decade, and the harbour is the perfect place to stay due to its proximity to most of the best museums and activities. One of the harbour’s largest hotels is Atlantic Hotel Sail City, which first opened in 2008.
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Initially met with suspicion by the locals due to its modern aesthetic and towering height, the hotel has now been accepted as a source for good, not only because it has helped boost tourism, but also due to its impressive green credentials.
Since launching its green transformation in 2013, the hotel has reduced its CO2 emissions by almost 38 per cent and introduced some clever ways of helping the environment without negatively impacting the guest experience.
For instance, Atlantic Hotel Sail City works with United Against Waste to drastically reduce food waste at breakfast and dinner, and a “no disposable plastic” pledge has also been adopted for breakfast. Aircon in the rooms is only turned on once guest check-in (sadly not the typical practice).
Their sustainable ethos also extends to improving the working conditions for hotel employees. They offer annual “smile training” to ensure welfare standards are high, along with long-term working opportunities for young people who require additional training.
The 4* hotel is ideally suited to couples, families and groups of friends wanting to enjoy a few days in Bremerhaven. Most of the main activities on offer are in walking distance of the hotel, and you’ll get the added buzz of knowing you are travelling sustainably.
For corporate guests, the hotel has an impressive 10 conference/function rooms, with the conference centre linked directly to the hotel and the captain’s lounge on the 19th floor. WiFi is free and fast, so worker bees can go about their business stress-free.
The first thing I noticed as I walked through the door to my bright, airy room at Atlantic Hotel Sail City was the incredible view of Bremerhaven’s harbour. The windows spanned the whole length of the back wall, and I enjoyed watching the old-fashioned sailboats cruise along the water. To my left, a pretty lighthouse overlooked the wide expanse of The Weser.
There are 120 rooms including three studios and one suite. I stayed in one of the hotel’s Comfort Plus rooms, which had a comfortable King-sized bed and all the usual mod-cons one would expect.
The bathroom has a bath and excellent shower, and in keeping with the sustainable theme shower gel and shampoo were attached to the walls rather than offered in tiny (and in my view totally pointless) plastic bottles.
Guest staying more than two nights can take advantage of the hotel’s Green Service, a cleaning service utilising probiotic cleaning agents with a focus on saving water and electricity.
My only gripe was the tiny size of the towels (I am almost six feet tall) – but this seems to be a bit of a trend for hotels in Germany based on my experiences.
Food & Drink
Breakfast and dinner are served in the STROM Panorama Restaurant, which offers lovely views of the Weser.
Chefs prepare seasonal dishes wherever possible – for our meal I sampled the catch of the day prepared with a butter sauce that was flaky, rich and delicious.
The breakfast buffet is equally delicious and varied, with hot options, cured meats and cheeses, cereal and a generous selection of freshly baked breakfast. I was both impressed and suitably well fed!
Furthering the hotel’s commitment to sustainability, all food leftovers get weighed (in containers indicating each meal) to see what gets thrown away.
Actions are then taken to reduce this waste, for instance providing a self-service butter machine, thus removing the need to use the mini foil-packaged versions.
The hotel also acts as a temporary home to 240,000 bees each year, who produce the delicious Seaside City Honey served at breakfast.
As well as the 10 conference rooms (the largest can fit up to 450 people), the hotel is also equipped with a gym and panorama sauna.
There is a fabulous sky lounge called the Captain’s Lounge on the 19th floor with panoramic views of the city and harbour. This can be booked for both business events and parties.
If you fancy a memento, the Regio-Shop in the lobby offers a selection of regional delicacies along with products made by the hotel’s partner businesses.
Rooms here are very reasonably priced, starting at just €99 per night. Comfort Plus rooms start at €110 per night.
The main attraction everyone should visit in Bremerhaven is the Klimahaus, a wonderful interactive museum located right next to the hotel. It takes you on a journey around the world, visiting different countries and learning about the environment and the global impact of climate change. Not only is it educational it is also great fun and will easily take half a day (if not longer) to complete.
Along the harbour, there is also a small zoo mostly containing Nordic animals including polar bears, one of whom recently had twins named Anna and Elsa.
For more information on what to do in Bremerhaven visit www.germany.travel