Part 1: Michelberger Hotel & Honolulu Bar

Thursday, 20 June 2013

I love traveling. My wanderlust soul yearns to linger on unfamiliar streets and alleyways filled with hidden gems. I am one of those people that likes to get lost in a city and walk for hours with a map, or no map. A few weeks ago, I found myself in the situation of not having a map, in an unfamiliar city.

You see, dear reader, after spending the day covering over 25km's of East Berlin from the very top to the very bottom entirely by foot, my map, the humble piece of paper, god bless its papery soul, fell to pieces. I was, to my luck, very close to some friends of mine and what has to be the most wonderful bar slash hotel on earth in the most awesome slash greatest city in the world. Let me say, before I begin. I am well travelled. You know this. I have seen the big cities: New York, London, Tokyo, Vegas, Rome, Paris, Buenas Aires, Rio Janeiro, Delhi, the list continues. But, let me say, with full heart and sound mind. I have fallen head-over-heels in love, with the city of BERLIN. It is my new crush. Wow, oh, wow. If you live in Berlin, I am eternally jealous of you. I now fight with every cell in my body and wish to pack my bags and move there right now. If you ever go to Berlin, and I think everyone should. It is possibly the one city I think everyone will need to visit in the future. Just do it. Trust me. It's all that. If there is any city I would love to live in at least once in my life, or at least, I hope to, it is Berlin. So, let's hope, that the Seed moves there next. Yes? 

Well, back to my story of the map falling apart…

I go to all these amazing cities, but as I said before, I am more of a wanderer. So I don't tend to compile lists of "must sees", or "top ten things to do". Each city is unique and is also a unique experience for the person visiting it. You change and the city and place changes you. But, I am going to try highlight some of the places I find especially different and amazing for me from now on. Berlin really inspired me, so to start of with, the amazing bar slash hotel I want to share with you has many design facets, but also is a helluva interesting story that goes along with it too. So in order to ensure your reading pleasure, I've decided to split it up over the next two days, this being part one. 

The Michelberger Hotel and adjoining Honolulu Bar have grown to become two of the coolest places in Berlin and it is not hard to see why. The hotel is a block away from the start of the East Side Gallery, the longest (1.3km) remaining standing section of the Berlin Wall and open air gallery. It is also centrally located to the best clubs, nightlife and bars in Berlin.  I will focus more on the design aspects in tomorrows post. 

What I found the most incredible part of the Michelberger was the story. The owner of the Michelberger, Tom Michelberger is a former rafter and video game producer. He had no previous experience in hotels. He got a group of his friends together, artists, designers, architects, his dad and his uncle and for good measure the furniture designer Werner Aisslinger. In a few months the group converted a factory building into a large scale boutique hotel catering to everyone from single travelers to large groups and bands to even families. They raised all the money for the project entirely on their own. Doing whatever means necessary. Even selling 30 000 hotdogs. That's a lot of hotdogs, to build a dream. The hotel is built on the pretext of being affordable with price categories suitable for every pocket. The eclectic interior decor is sourced from flea markets and personalize the rooms, while the entire team contributed to the overall theme and ambience of the hotel. The group wanted the hotel to feel like Berlin, a magnet for people because it allows people freedom and the ability to explore without commercial concerns and confinement.

It all sounds a bit hippy, but trust me, this hotel is worth staying in if you can land a room! The pictures I have included in this post come from Honolulu, the bar in the lobby of the Michelberger Hotel.

Michelberger Hotel: Warschauer Stra├če 39/40, 10243 Berlin, Germany.

More tomorrow. Over and out.


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