Napoleon’s occupation of Germany may have been a short one, but the Gallic influence still lingers; and nowhere more so than the freshly minted Tortue Hamburg hotel.

Built in 1888 for the city’s civil service and state ministry, the handsome six-storey pile has been transformed by a star-studded team of designers and architects into a soigné boutique hotel. 

Like the titular turtle after which it is named, the 126-room Tortue reveals itself in stages. The façade and structure, ably restored by David Chipperfield and Stephen Williams, opens up into five food and beverage outlets, whilst the bedrooms by interior designer Kate Hume are warm cocoons of brass details and plush fabrics. 

The sixth-floor rooftop looks over St. Michael’s church and the harbour, but, for our money, it’s a toss-up between the beef tartar spiced with chilli and candied lime zest at the Joyce Wang-designed Jin Gui, or the fork tender boeuf bourguinon at Brasserie, which Hume has dressed with black metro tiles and marble.§