24-Hour Room Service

Don't get this place wrong: it is not a design hotel but an "art" hotel. It has been designed to display the private art collection of a wealthy German investor and collector, Mr Dirk Gädeke.

Don't get this place wrong: it is not a design hotel but an "art" hotel. It has been designed to display the private art collection of a wealthy German investor and collector, Mr Dirk Gädeke.

Mr Gädeke told me how owning hotels was a simple way to satisfy himself, the artist and the public. Put the works of name artists in every room and you have a hotel that is a gallery.

His theory is that this will encourage a certain kind of international clientele: sophisticated, arty and hip. To this end he has opened similar hotels, each dedicated to different artists, in Potsdam and Dresden. He plans to open more in Paris and London.

The artist for whom this central Berlin hotel has been designed is none other than Georg Baselitz, a German painter and one of the world's leading contemporary artists. Every one of the 109 bedrooms houses one or two of his works and the breakfast room contains several large Andy Warhols.

The "Ermelerhaus" building at the back of the hotel, incidentally, is a rococo palace dating back to the 18th century (which was moved to its current location from a nearby street in the 1960s). The Ermelerhaus contains a restaurant which was the most famous in the former GDR; Erich Honecker himself often dined there.

Location, location, location

Art'Otel Ermelerhaus Berlin, Wallstraße 70-73, d-10179 Berlin-Mitte. Tel: 00 49 30 240 620. Fax: 00 49 30 240 62 222.

On paper you are close to the centre of the city, but this is the old East Berlin. You have a 10-minute walk through bleak, dark and empty streets to the commercial centre, Alexanderplatz, and the view south from the upstairs windows approximates to Stalin's dream of the industrial future. Not that you won't like it. You're facing a quiet street on one side and a leg of the Spree on the other. And the underground train station is right outside.

Transport

One advantage of living in a city which was surrounded by a wall until just 10 years ago is that the main airport (Tegel) is relatively central - reckon on about £15 for the 12km ride in a taxi to the hotel. Otherwise, using Berlin's ultra-efficient public transport system, you can approach the hotel on subway line number 2. The stop outside the hotel is Märkisches Museum.

Are you lying comfortably?

The rooms are sleek and chic and minimalist - designed not to distract attention from the art. Decadent extras such as room-service are not available.

Freebies

The television carries a Pay-TV option but if it's pornography you are after, you won't have to pay a thing. One of the channels on the normal cable network, Sat-TV, shows soft porn round the clock.

Keeping in touch

Telephone and modem link.

The bottom line

Double rooms range from about £100 to £120; singles start from about £80; both including breakfast. Considering what you get, this is cheap.

If you love art but detest famous names, try the Propellor Island Lodge (00 49 30 891 8720) far away in the old West Berlin. Comforts have been pared away to almost nothing but the visual experience of waking up in an entirely bare room where every millimetre of wall, ceiling and floor space is painted in black and white symbols is novel to say the least.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower