Q: What is it? A: A hotel that prides itself on not feeling like a regular hotel.
It probably has no problem finding its fans, but I’m not one of them.
A hotel that doesn’t feel like a hotel.
In my case, I needed to tell the driver to stop twice, as there were no hotels in sight. True. It’s barely visible. Then you enter the residential building on Liebnitzstrasse, make a left towards the iron-gated elevator, get into it and go upstairs to the fourth floor. The door isn’t very revealing but at least it says ‘Hotel’ with large, friendly letters. You ring the bell and you feel like you’ve arrived in someone’s apartment, (which you actually have). Front desk is just a small table. Hint: It’s the one with the credit card reader. It’s time to check in.
It it even a hotel?
This place has been called a well-kept secret. Some hotels double as a social scene. The Hotel Art Nouveau isn’t anywhere close to that. It feels more like a B&B that has been squeezed into two of the floors in a residential building in the Charlottenburg area. Squeezed is the word. The 22 rooms are quite generous in size, but spaces like the reception and the breakfast room feel like a shirt that have shrunk from being washed. It may sound like a detail, but I promise you, it will affect your first meal of the day.
It has received a number of good reviews…
I guess that the more enthusiastic reviewers were able to get to know the owners, Christine and Gerd, a little better. I wasn’t able to do so. In fact, I had very brief contact with the staff and was instructed, in quite a military manner, to not approach the breakfast buffet table from the wrong side. Also, checking out was a rather time-consuming process for reasons that I don’t know. When hotels forget who’s the guest, and you feel like causing them trouble, I am rather quick to start ripping out stars. Apparently, Christine and Gerd have tons of knowledge about what Berlin has to offer a visitor, and they are known to be very helpful, but I have yet to experience that.
I’d recommend this place if…
…you want to stay in a place that’s low-key and different. Don’t have expectations of a 24-hour operation where room service works with clockwork precision. This place works on different terms. I also recommend the Art Nouveau Hotel if you’re able to get a decent room rate. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an expensive hotel, but I’ve found that rates are fluctuating heavily. Keep these things in mind, and you may very well enjoy it!
Hotel Art Nouveau