When the "Café Oranienpalast" opened in 1913 in a now listed building with a sandstone facade, Art Nouveau arches and high windows in the middle of Berlin-Kreuzberg, the offer to entertain guests with music concerts was extremely innovative. The bar didn't last, and after a nightclub, offices, C
Until it was revived as a hotel in 2017 - with a concept that at least partially picks up on the original idea of the house. After the opening there were repeated protests by left-wing extremists in Kreuzberg, stones and paint bags were thrown. In the meantime, however, the situation has calmed down.
For guests of the "Orania.Berlin" there are 41 rooms with wooden floors, beautiful fabrics and a west-east design. The beds are large and comfortable, and the bathrooms feature organic local products. Berliners also like to come into the house. Your territory is the so-called living room, which combines the restaurant with an open kitchen, lounge and bar area. People meet here during the day to work and in the evening at the bar.
This is also where the Steinway grand piano is, which selected musicians use almost every day. For example, while you are enjoying the Peking duck menu (“Xberg-Duck”), the US jazz musician and Berliner-by-choice Larry Porter will be performing. A curated concert program is offered with soul, jazz, pop; almost like before, but better (orania.berlin, double rooms from 180 euros).
Anyone who is old enough and knows the French capital remembers: "Les Bains Douches" was the most glamorous and at the same time weirdest nightclub in Paris in the 80s and 90s. Located in a 19th-century bathhouse, it was frequented by guests such as David Bowie, Karl Lagerfeld, Roman Polanski and all the top models of the time. The designer Philippe Starck, who was still unknown at the time, set up the club, and David Guetta acted as the house DJ – both later became stars.
The "Boîte de nuit" was closed in 2010 and reopened five years later as a hotel with 39 rooms designed by designer Tristan Auer in the most beautiful retro look. Fortunately, a lot has remained as it was: of course the fantastic facade with the head of Bacchus above the entrance, but also the frescoes by David Rocheline in the foyer and the graffito on the terrace, which was painted in 1983 during a tour of the early punk rock band The Clash originated.
In the "Roxo" restaurant, the restored, black and white checkered dance floor by Philippe Starck shines, walls and columns are painted burgundy red. Thanks to Dior, Givenchy and Tommy Hilfiger parties, the house immediately became a "place to be" in Parisian nightlife immediately after its reopening - especially thanks to the club in the basement, where international DJs play (lesbains-paris.com, Double room from 335 euros).
The smallest of the 249 guest rooms measures just ten square meters and has no windows. It's easy to explain why people are still willing to pay for it: The rooms, even the larger ones, aren't the hotel's main attraction, although their cool industrial aesthetic has its charm - a mix of steel and concrete complemented by velvet, wool, leather and wood.
More important are the location in Stockholm's hip gallery district Vasastaden and the great architecture: The "Blique by Nobis" is based in a former warehouse from the 1930s, which is now considered a modernist landmark of the Swedish capital and scores with the most beautiful Scandinavian design.
The hotel sees itself as a contact point for local and traveling creative people in Stockholm, as a springboard for the art scene and as a location for changing exhibitions, live music, readings and cultural happenings of all kinds. House guests and Stockholmers chill out in the courtyard with fountain, in the chic "Origo Bar". (where DJs play on Fridays and Saturdays) or on the two-level roof terrace.
If you want, you can of course also work in the airy lobby, which is furnished with Nordic design classics, lots of contemporary art and spacious workspaces. The functionally furnished rooms are seen as a practical addition for visitors from outside and are used accordingly – even for weeks at a time (bliquebynobis.se, double rooms from 97 euros).
The people of Zurich have been waiting for a place like this: a cozy courtyard garden in the old town with a wisteria pergola, hydrangea hedge and bright lounge furniture, plus coffee specialties, lots of cocktails, French fries or sea bream from the grill. The "Widder Garden", opened in May 2022, is the youngest hotspot in Switzerland's largest city - as soon as it's warm enough, even standing room is in demand. The lush green city oasis opens again in spring after the winter break.
If you don't want to wait that long, go to the "Widder Garage". The “Widder Hotel” opened the in-meeting place in 2017 as a pop-up bar in an empty multi-storey car park just around the corner. The temporary solution was actually only intended to bridge the time when the legendary "Widder Bar" was being renovated, but then one extension followed the next.
The guests liked the mixture of shabby chic, good cocktails and cool music. Although the classic hotel bar has long since reopened, the "garage" has been preserved and has become even more attractive thanks to the jazz concerts that were revived after Corona.
Of course you can first dine in the "Widder Restaurant" (two Michelin stars) and then go for a nightcap in the "Garage" or the new garden. From there it's not far to the 49 rooms and suites in nine medieval old town houses, which are furnished with modern design classics (widderhotel.com, double rooms from 540 francs/547 euros).
Two young women sit with white wine spritzers in front of the “Burger de Ville” food truck in Vienna's Weghuberpark. Your children will be within sight of you on the swings in the park's playground, and judging by their dialect and the greeting of the staff, they are locals and not their first time here. The playground was set up by Vienna's city administration, the food truck belongs to the "25hours Hotel Wien bei MuseumsQuartier" and is frequented by both hotel guests and the Viennese.
The latter also applies to the adjoining terrace of the hotel restaurant "Ribelli" and even more so to the "Attic" - the roof terrace bar on the eighth floor is one of the hippest party locations in the Austrian capital. In the meantime, the popular attic events can also take place there again: currently with "Friday's DJ-Line", but also with "Thirsty Thursdays", on which changing beverage brands present special cocktails.
Between the roof and garden terrace, there are 217 guest rooms for all those who are not lucky enough to live in Vienna. Like everything else in the hotel, they are dedicated to the world of the circus and impress with cheerful wallpaper, colorful textiles and vintage objects (25hours-hotels.com/hotels/wien/museumsquartier, double rooms from 114 euros).