Doubles from: $75
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
We can’t decide which catchy phrase best captures Hotel Michelberger’s edgy and original vibe. "Kitschy-cool," "flea market-chic" and "gritty-glam" are the top contenders for describing this three-star design hotel.
Pros: Fun and funky. Great common spaces. Unique experience.
Cons: No A/C (not uncommon in Berlin). Can be noisy. Neighborhood can feel gritty.
Located in a towering, white brick building off hectic Warschauerstrasse in Friedrichshain, the Michelberger Hotel offers an eclectic collection of lounges, cafés and concert venues. Owner Tom Michelberger and his artist, designer and builder friends designed the place from top to bottom. Instead of organizing themselves around a specific theme, they simply made things up as they went along. As a result, the Michelberger’s theme is… no theme. As a tribute to Berlin, a city constantly in flux, it has a raw, unfinished look because of (and not despite) its high-concept, high-design pedigree.
The Michelberger Hotel’s 119 guest rooms think outside of the box—big time. Their spare furniture is fashioned from unfinished wood, ropes and net. Wall-mounted flat-screen televisions are framed with raw wooden slats, and closets are comprised of “net” shelves. Beds in the loft-style triples are reached via a ladder.
These inventive spaces struck us as fun and unusual, if a little awkward. (We’re not sure how we’d feel about sleeping in the loft bed, especially after one too many drinks.) Still, we loved the clean, unique décor, from cool light fixtures to the print wallpaper in some rooms.
Room options range from the “cozy” single or double to “The Big One,” which sleeps up to eight people. (The hotel describes it as good for “Italian extended families, basketball teams, catwalk supermodels.”) The “Luxury” rooms have themes like “The Clever One” and “the Golden One.” They offer extra space, king-size beds and a big flat-screen TV with DVD player.
All rooms are outfitted with a fan (no air conditioning, which is a common omission in Berlin hotels), flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi.
The private bathrooms are clean and modern. Some double rooms feature a shower with a big glass window overlooking the entire room (steam provides a bit of privacy, we hope), while some luxury rooms have sumptuous sunken tubs.
The Michelberger’s check-in area is a hoot. A round retro desk, overseen by a friendly, young staff, floats in the middle of an open space shared with a self-service café and a whimsical lounge decorated with hundreds of used books. (Even the lampshades are made of books.) Like the rest of the hotel, including the hallways and stairwells, the lobby is only half-restored, with rough concrete walls. Our favorite detail here, however, is the row of cuckoo clocks set to different time zones.
Intent on making the hotel an important part of Berlin's party scene, Michelberger uses the space as a venue for local events. In summer, the courtyard fills with live music, and come winter club sounds emerge from rooms buried within the massive building. Attempting to offer both hotel rooms, designed for sleep, and loud, up-all-night affairs under one roof sounds to us like quite a balancing act. But the owners are so enthusiastic about their against-the-rules hotel that we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
The third-floor “spa” offers affordable massages (€20 for 20 minutes, €30 for 30 minutes and so on). Wi-Fi is free throughout. The breakfast buffet is impressive, if rather pricey.
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor and is recommended based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Reception: 24-Hour
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Bathroom: Private
- Bathtubs Available
- Cable TV
- Handicap accessible rooms
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About the Michelberger Hotel neighborhood
South of Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain is young and edgy, with a good art scene. While Friedrichshain is not as densely hipstery as Prenzlauer Berg, it has a distinctly bohemian vibe. The neighborhood's culture is thrown into relief by the neighborhood's stark Soviet-reminiscent architecture. A Sunday flea market at Boxhagener Platz only reinforces the hood's hipster credentials. Friedrichshain is bisected by the mammoth Karl-Marx-Allee.