Hotel Atlantic Hamburg James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies

Behind the Spectre

GERMANY – Hamburg, Hotel Atlantic // Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Lofty Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg offers all there is for Bond-lovers: classy martinis, international grandeur and a thrilling movie location on its rooftop. The entry to that spot is not for everybody – and comes along with a “spectre” story.

“Right this way”, says the bellhop boy, “just past our Spectre Chamber!” The young man with the logo of the Hotel Atlantic on his chest opened the elevator door and points into the darkness of the hotels attic. Wooden beams creak gently, the outside wind wails. There (beyond the mysterious “Spectre Chamber”) lies the door onto the roof of the Atlantic, a key Hamburg movie location of 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies.

Hotel Atlantic James Bond

The globe is not enough: Bond (Brosnan) escapes to the roof of the Atlantic

Why Bond was here
In the movie, 007 (Pierce Brosnan) visits the new newspaper headquarter of media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) in Hamburg, from where Carver wants to set up a war between China and the United Kingdom. To get close, Bond seduces Carver’s wife Paris (Teri Hatcher) – luckily she’s an ex-girlfriend of Bond.
Unluckily, that causes her death. Carvers torture expert Dr. Kaufmann killed her in Bonds suite at the Hotel Atlantic. Next days headline are already printed: She and Bond are to be found dead in the suite together. But 007 shoots Kaufmann and escapes via an emergency ladder onto the roof of the hotel – right next to the Atlantic’s iconic globe.

How you gonna get there
The famous Hotel Atlantic Kempinski is situated next to the Outer Alster Lake, a big artificial lake in the heart of Hamburg. It can be reached from either the urban promenade Jungfernstieg some walking minutes south or from the eastward central train station. Both “Jungfernstieg” and the “Hauptbahnhof” station are connected to the local metro lines.

Hotel Atlantic James Bond

The Atlantic has a “Spectre Chamber” at its attic that holds…

Movie scenes have been filmed at the hotels main entry in Holzdamm street and on the roofs of both the Atlantic and one neighboring building. For Bonds escape, a ladder had been fixed on the front between the suites balcony and the globe above it. The ensuing car chase in the “nearby” parking garage was actually filmed in London. It’s finale with the crash of Bond’s BMW into the storefront of a car rental shop – return succeeded – then had been staged 600 meters away of the Hotel Atlantic on Hamburgs shopping boulevard Mönckebergstraße.

Good to know
While most visitors just glance at the Atlantic’s façade, only few know, that the hotel management from time to time allows access to its roof. Guided tours go behind the scenes of the hotels business and also feature the “Spectre Chamber” and the entry to the roof right behind the globe, where Pierce Brosnan climbed the hotel front.

Hotel Atlantic James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies

…the entry to the rooftop location of “Tomorrow Never Dies”

Though the name connotes, the “Spectre Chamber” has nothing in common with 007’s nemesis organization. “In the past, the children of the hotel staff liked to play at the attic”, knows the bellhop, as he walks towards it. They were some “small troublemakers”, so the staff started rumors about “a terrible spectre, that is haunting the attic”. The kids stayed away and the hotel started to fill the “Spectre Chamber” with tools and memorabilia – also a Pierce Brosnan standee can be found there.
Besides its highest attraction the Atlantic has to offer more below. The Atlantic restaurant on the ground floor invites guests to a high-end German cuisine next to some European classics like foie gras or the signature Lobster bisque. Most dainty are probably the vegetarian dishes with black quinoa or artichoke variations. The vodka martini is served with both an olive or a lemon strip on an extra plate à vous de choisir.
Close to the hotel are some of Hamburgs best museums, like the Kunsthalle, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (MK&G) or the Deichtorhallen. The Kunsthalle has a wide range of German artists like Caspar David Friedrich or Cranach and French impressionists like Renoir or Gauguin. The MK&G displays manufactured and modeled art from ancient times to the modern ages, including Japanese swords, Venetian musical instruments or Islamic carpets. Lovers of contemporary art and photography should go to the Deichtorhallen with their ever-changing exhibition on both well-known and fresh artists.

We came to the roof at sunset, hoping for a golden light behind the iconic globe. But, as quite common in Hamburg, we had rain instead. The Hanseatic are used to their “schietwetter” – local slang for shitty weather. That we could see, as we were sipping our martinis at the restaurant overlooking the Alster lake: Though heavy rain was pouring down, the Alster was cramped with sailing boats.

© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3,4,5), © 1997 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (2)