From Turin to Tokyo, this month’s hottest hotels
FAIRMONT HOTEL VIER JAHRESZEITEN
BACKSTORY: When Friedrich Haerlin bought the original hotel here in 1897, there were 11 rooms and no restaurant. The neighborhood was a little shady, but Haerlin was a savvy hotelier, attracting the cream of German society, along with the businesses to cater to them. Over the years, Haerlin and his son, Fritz, acquired 14 neighboring buildings, joining them up into the intimately proportioned, elegant hotel that now stands on one of the best streets in town.
HOT DISH: Dining and drinking here require a decision-making matrix of boggling complexity. There are nine bars and restaurants at the hotel, including Haerlin, which boasts two Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau points, and Doc Cheng’s Asian fusion restaurant, which has 14 Gault Millau points. But Jahreszeiten Grill, with its more traditional German fare, has potatoes fried in bacon fat—which, of course, require no official endorsement.
LOBBY HIGHLIGHTS: The moment you step inside the Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten it’s as if you’ve entered the sanctum of a prohibitively exclusive club: handsome wood paneling, ornate detailing, rich carpeting and sofas so plush they seem designed to suck you in and keep you there.
UNEXPECTED TREAT: A selection of truffles made in-house and a half-bottle of the hotel red are waiting in your room when you arrive. The only reasonable place to consume these is on your private balcony, gazing through the mist of the Alster Lake fountain at the imposingly grand facade of Hapag-Lloyd’s neo-Renaissance headquarters. Apples are provided too, but…