First impressions count. This certainly applies to nhow hotel Berlin, as slightly apprehensive guests approach the almost threateningly pink reception, unsure if this space-age, spaced-out hotel is on the correct planet. To go with a classic coping method, don’t panic. The greeting by staff members is verging on too friendly, but no complaints are heard as the psychedelic wallpaper stops spinning and we are warmly welcomed into luxury. Looking alarmingly out of place amongst suited businessmen in offensively dirty, worn-out shoes and second-hand attire, I am given a thorough tour of the pink palace. “Here are the guitars. And the drum kits. And the keyboards. Take your pick.” Not quite what was expected alongside the futuristic decor and the restaurant’s worrying display of test-tubes and potion vials of pills to pop (unfortunately just sweets, but enjoyable nonetheless).
Jimi by Candlelight
With room service involving amplifiers and the breakfast buffet seemingly lethal (but low-fat, I am assured), expectations are high and disappointment is nowhere to be seen. Escaping the disturbing lobby, the universe just gets more bizarre. Floating past a stunningly tempting grand piano and the well-stocked bar (I’m sure we’ll get there later), it’s time to visit the man of the hour, Jimi Hendrix himself. In photographs, at least. Any self-respecting arty-type hotel should have a decent exhibition on offer, but if it’s open 24 hours and free to the public, as this beautifully displayed collection is, we’ve just gone way beyond the usual and entered the realm of damn good deals for art and music lovers. There are even a few candles to spice up the ambience, in case any readers are looking for a brilliant idea for a cheap date. It comes with my personal recommendation, despite being notoriously hard to impress, so at least give it a try. Worst case scenario: you’ll see a few snaps of a music legend and leave with a rosy glow burning your retinas. It feels more pleasant that it sounds. Trust me. I’m an expert.
Staff member Adil Taouil explains nhow’s Jimi Hendrix photo exhibition. Photo: Chris Phillips.
Dazed and Confused
The relentless pinkness follows us to the ninth floor to catch a quick glimpse of the geometric-patterned room set aside for the special guest. Coat, bag and a weighty Tolstoy thrown on the floor, the mission may continue. Trusty photographer and curious flatmate in tow, the next victim of our excitement is the horrifically orange “speed lift”. Already dazed and confused, this is just one drug reference too many, as we stumble along an electrifying fuchsia walkway to a Junior Suite – clearly where such vagabonds as us belong. Immediately jumping head-first onto the sofa and cranking up the stereo, I notice our attentive, patient guide make a convincing attempt to act like this is a standard reaction. Highly unlikely. The clientele consists almost exclusively of conference-going, tie-wearing types, for whom this hotel – with its Sound Floor and Guitar Room Service – is overly cool and the closest they’re ever going to get to a recording studio. No disrespect intended. The hotel really is in a dreamlike dimension for those slightly more conservative – alright, boring – people who want to feel like they’re interesting for a few nights of novelty.
|continued on Page 2 |