Dear ones, I am currently traveling – a little bit for work and a little bit for leisure. When I happen to be in so many places in such a short time, it makes me inevitable think how much politics and internet has changed our life in the last few years, to the better… for the time being. Politics for one, because we’re allowed to travel, to cross borders (sometimes only noticing that we stepped into a different country just by getting a roaming notification SMS from the mobile provider) encountering no custom control, no uniforms, no checks, no scrutiny. The internet for the other, as the permanent connection to our virtual community somehow makes the distance vanish. I have no longer the feeling, when abroad – even to very remote countries – that I am alone and estranged and far from my comfortable milieu. Interacting virtually on a daily basis with my friends and acquaintances, being up to date with what happens at home in such a visual manner, makes the world feel small, safe and beautiful. One might argue, that the same makes the travel experiences fade and less intense. Well, I don’t know. I’ll let some sociologist or anthropologist think about that.
My first stop in a row, was Berlin. I visited Berlin before, after having seen a lot of the other cities in Germany, Munich, Frankfurt, Koln, and I was stunned to discover a whole different German city, less disciplined, less organized, less clean, less rigid but way more dynamic, creative, non-conformist and colorful.
Gorki Aparthotel is all this and more.
Designed by Sandra Pauquet in collaboration with architect Kim Wang, it is a beautiful mix of contemporary design, flee market finds and marketing sweet tricks which all blend into a luxurious but cozy spaces. The room numbers have been replaced with name plates, each room has a doorbell and mailbox, guests can check in under pseudonyms. As quirky as it might sound, I believe, these are details that remind and preserve a certain atmosphere of the times when the building was built, at the 19th and 20th century turn. For a “Gruenderzeit” ambiance was cared by integrating all the Altbau details of the building and its history, discrete industrial features into the contemporary European concept of the hotel.
Starting with the architectural features, the contemporary design by Knoll, Dixon, Eiermann, to the carefully selected suppliers of the personnel uniforms, courtesy cosmetics, cushions and the luxury bicycles that can be rented by the hotel residents, all make the hotel a must see and live spot in Berlin. One of my my favorite feature is the in-room bathtub (in some of the rooms) a set-up I would never choose for my home but I absolutely welcome it in a hotel room. 🙂