Staying in Cologne: A Modern Transformation through Design Hotels

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fokus keyword Cologne's design hotels

This feature was crafted by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

In Cologne, a fresh wave of design-oriented hotels combines historical and futuristic designs, often found within renovated or repurposed structures. These unique accommodations mirror the character of the city that dates back to the first century BCE, providing convenient, cost-effective access to the city’s main attractions and lively areas.

  1. Legend Hotel

At Legend Hotel, you’ll immediately be drawn to the neighboring late-medieval tower. After painstaking post-WWII restoration, the City Hall’s Ratsturm (council tower) is adorned with vivid and sometimes jarring carvings. These images, including some of prominent figures in compromising positions, reflect the irreverent nature of Cologne.

Opened just a year ago, Legend Hotel’s sharp design honors its historical neighbor. The tower’s colors find their way into the rooms, with slate grey walls and sandy brown headboards. The 23-square-meter classic double rooms maximize space with smart features like specific lighting and bed-end desks. For the best views, the rooftop terrace provides a panoramic look at Cologne Cathedral’s towering spires.

The hotel’s Puls restaurant pays homage to the city’s Roman roots, named after an ancient Roman stew. The menu, curated by two-star chef Daniel Gottschlich, offers a blend of casual and gourmet dishes, such as mini-Rossini burgers or pink veal fillet with exquisite accompaniments.

The hotel’s excellent location in the old town allows for easy exploration, filled with Kölsch-filled beer halls and historical sights like the street-art tribute to the Edelweiss Pirates, young anti-Nazi rebels. Room rates start at €100 (£86).

  1. Ruby Ella

Embracing the concept of ‘lean luxury,’ Ruby Ella, a branch of the Munich-based Ruby chain, demonstrates style and comfort amid raw concrete walls. Reflecting the site’s past as a TV studio, rooms feature light-studded mirrors and extra-long beds for indulgent relaxation. The prime location, near the Belgian Quarter’s eateries and bars, offers stays from €139 (£119).

  1. The Circle

Part of the 25 Hours German hotel group, The Circle, situated in a futuristic 1950s building, celebrates a playful, retro theme. The circular lobby is decorated with eccentric space-age furnishings, while rooms take inspiration from late-1960s styles. The rooftop bar and restaurant, however, maintain a more refined air, overlooking the city’s skyline. Rooms are priced from €130 (£112).

  1. The Qvest

At The Qvest, a 34-room hotel, the interior is characterized by restrained, monochrome minimalism, designed to highlight the 19th-century structure that was once the city’s archives. Lofty ceilings and grand gothic windows pair with modern artwork and furniture, reflecting the aesthetic of Qvest, the trendy German travel magazine behind the hotel. Situated near the 12th-century St Gereon church, stays start at €150 (£129).

This piece was produced in collaboration with Cologne Tourism and the German National Tourist Board and was featured in the September 2023 edition of National Geographic Traveller (UK).

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Cologne’s design hotels

What are the design hotels in Cologne featured in the article?

The article features four design hotels in Cologne, Germany: Legend Hotel, reflecting the late-medieval history of the city; Ruby Ella, exemplifying the ‘lean luxury’ concept; The Circle, located in a futuristic 1950s building and embracing a space-age theme; and The Qvest, marked by its pared-back, monochromatic minimalism in a 19th-century building.

How do the design hotels in Cologne connect with the city’s history?

These design hotels are a mix of historic, modern, and retro-futuristic elements, often set in historic or repurposed buildings. They pay homage to Cologne’s history, reflecting elements of the city’s Roman roots and architectural heritage, and offering connections to key attractions and neighborhoods.

Where can one find information about staying in design hotels in Cologne?

The article, published in the September 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK), provides detailed information on staying in design hotels in Cologne, including descriptions, features, and prices. It is also supported by Cologne Tourism and the German National Tourist Board.

What are some unique features of Legend Hotel in Cologne?

Legend Hotel offers design elements that pay tribute to its neighboring late-medieval tower, the City Hall’s Ratsturm, with colors and themes reflecting the local history. The hotel features slate grey walls, sandstone brown headboards, a rooftop terrace with views of Cologne Cathedral, and a restaurant that nods to the city’s Roman past. Prices start at €100 (£86).

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