We know from 12th century histories of Hamburg’s Groß-Borstel district that there was a hostelry here at the ford over the loop in the Alster river, catering to the ships and waggoners heading north on the Heerstraße and providing a place to feed horses. This evolved into a mill and an inn 1258, the ancestor of today’s ALSTERKRUG. It is thought to be the earliest evidence of a guest house in Hamburg. It was not until the early 20th century that the course of the river Alster was straightened out. Unusually though, the guest house was not named after the street, but the other way around, resulting in today’s Alsterkrugchaussee.
The property was passed down through generations of the family until 1980 when it was purchased by builder and graduate engineer Ernstotto Pentzin, who grew up in the immediate neighbourhood. In 1983 he had the old building pulled down and constructed a modern, new hotel on the site, with a restaurant, Bierstube (ale house), bar and function rooms. As a reminder of its history, the building features a distinctive tower and three two-lane bowling alleys. The tower room is particularly well-suited to confidential meetings. Former US Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker, former German President Roman Herzog and Rita Süßmuth (former president of the Bundestag) have all attended meetings here. TV personality Rudi Carell, James Last and the famous boxers, the Klitschko brothers, have also felt at ease and at home here.
The hotel was extended and modernised in 1997, bringing the total number of rooms to 105. It has achieved the highest standard possible for a “Premier Hotel” within the Best Western chain – receiving a four-star rating and the SUPERIOR ranking. The operating company’s sole shareholder is the owner’s son, Jost Pentzin, also an engineering graduate, so the company is once again a family business. The hotel has been lucky enough to have high levels of occupancy since it was rebuilt in 1985 and has been very popular. The conviction of the current owner and management that there would still be demand for a hotel on this site after 900 years has proven to be a winning formula.