Berlin doesn’t immediately evoke thoughts of romance when considering its war-torn and tortured past. Yet it seems that such a troubled history has borne Berlin as a city whose inhabitants are keen to express their emotions vividly. It’s a city whose fragmented landscape is healed through artistry and whose scabbing wounds are soothed by its idiosyncratic style.
After visiting Berlin last year, with my girlfriends, I’ve wanted to take my boyfriend back ever since. There’s a certain romance about Berlin, the people live for the present and strive hard in pursuit of their passions, whether creative or personal. There’s something to see at every turn: graffiti with meaning (not the contentious eye-sore’s we’re used to in London), contemporary galleries, inspiring architecture, countless gigs and nightlife venues for all tastes as well as restaurants of all sorts. However, most importantly, there are various boutique hotels with more to offer than a bland duvet and lumpy pillowcase:
・ The Propeller Island City Lodge declares itself as a work of art which might sound pretentious but wait until you see the choice of rooms. They’ve got the ‘Padded Cell’ which needs no explanation, the ‘Gruft’, or ‘Crypt’ in English, which is a Gothic room equipped with a labyrinth and a pair of coffins if you feel brave enough to adventure from the regular beds. There’s also the ‘Mirror Room’, the cage room ‘Two Lions’ and for something a little more cosy there are the ‘Clouds’, ‘Temple’ or ‘Blue’ rooms. There’s even an ‘Upside Down’ room, the ultimate pranksters dream. This is the perfect place to realise that fetish that’s been niggling within you.
・ The Künstlerheim Luise is what you get when artists are allowed free reign in decorating and designing rooms. Not only are the walls, bedding and ceilings transformed into artworks themselves, but installations also take centre stage. There are the red hues of the ‘Cabaret’ room or the jaunty colours of the ‘Safari’ room. Other choices include the ‘Glamour’ room which resembles the style of a Hollywood actress; ‘The Poor Poet’ is the work of Carl Spitzweg brought to life as the inhabitants become the subject of his painting. This gallery-esque hotel is perfect for the artistically inclined that enjoy real, living, breathing and eating contact with artist’s works.
・ The Ostel Hotel offers a variety of rooms from singles and doubles to shared rooms or homely holiday apartments. Its style is reminiscent of the seventies and eighties past, bringing East Germany’s nostalgia into Berlin’s fresh amalgamation of modernity. Bright yellows, husky browns and authentic wallpaper make up this unique hotel. This is perfect for those who wish to relive the unique kitsch past of Germany.
・ The Michel Berger Hotel website dispels intonations of space invader but the rooms are far more intimate than the futuristic spaceship may suggest. The rooms are homely giving it a great advantage over the hyper-organisation and sterilised rooms of impersonal chain hotels. ‘The Chalet’ room boasts a bathtub by the window and a king-size bed along with a drool-inducing video projector. This sounds more than perfect for a snuggle and a movie in bed. ‘The Room with the View’ is one step up with an additional terrace, furnishing the room with a dramatic view of the city. This hotel also offers ‘The Golden Room’ made of everything luxurious, ‘The Clever One’, which may just be my favourite, whose walls are made of books. Not just snippets or clippings from books but whole cover-to-cover books protrude languidly from the walls.
Laura – Oct 24th 2010