Nhow Berlin : The Music & Lifestyle Hotel

nhow Hotel Berlin Main Entrance

I first discovered this insane hotel last summer on a trip to Berlin with my husband. We were on a boat trip down the Spree on a beautiful sunny day when I spotted this gravity defying building on the water’s edge. I quickly grabbed a snap of it so that I could research it when I got home to find out what this crazy place was. I came home to an email from Axor inviting me back to Berlin for the launch of Axor Starck Organic and in the email were details of the hotel I would be booked into. I clicked on the link and lo and behold it was that very same building, which I then learnt was the nhow Hotel.

Designed by world-renowned architect Sergei Tchoban, the nhow hotel is Europe’s very first music and lifestyle hotel and is situated in the Osthafen area between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg – two of the most creative and lively districts in Berlin and where the fashion and music industries have set up camp. The building is one of the most recognisable in the whole city thanks to the brick and glass façade that forms two towers and supports that incredulous cantilevered mirrored box that protrudes 21 metres out from the building, floating at a height of 36 metres above the river.

nHow Lifestyle & Music Hotel Berlin

The inside of the hotel is no less surprising, but what would we expect from international superstar designer Karim Rashid? Bright, bold, daring and playful are words that I would use to describe the interior design scheme. If you know who Karim Rashid is and you know his work you would probably recognize his involvement the moment you walk through the main entrance and are greeted by that enormous undulating hot pink reception desk. Walking on through to the lobby area would dispel any doubt that you had as to whether Rashid was the mastermind behind this awe-inspiring, and if I am honest, slightly overwhelming (in a good way), design. Rashid himself describes the hotel as: “A technorganic land of data-driven art and spaces.”

Karim Rashid designer of the nHow Hotel Berlin

His digital and energetic designs continue throughout the entire building and are slightly unexpected yet not entirely unpredictable.The lounge and bar areas are perhaps where his influence is most pronounced and his digipop designs are most prevalent. The animorphous ceiling and the organic looking furniture can only be described using Rashid’s own invented words such as ‘blobject’ or ‘technorganic’.

nhow hotel Berlin lobby & lounge

With every step further into the hotel you are transported into the poetic, colourful, almost surreal world of Karim Rashid. Where an artist would sign their painting on completion, Rashid chose to leave his hallmark in the elevators, each of which was decorated in a different neon colour and the ceiling was adorned either by a digital illustration by Rashid or a photograph of himself or his wife, or them together. He even left his signature so that we know this is all his handiwork.

Elevator ceiling in the nHow hotel Berlin

Image by Stacey Sheppard

One of my favourite moments of my stay here was just before I left when I met a very serious looking chap in the elevator who was very smartly dressed and looked more than surprised when the doors opened and he found himself stepping into an illuminous pink box. He clearly had no idea who Karim Rashid was despite his face grinning down at us from the ceiling and was about as prepared for the impending acid trip as Alice was when she fell down the rabbit hole. God knows what he thought when stepped out of the elevator into the corridor!

nhow hotel Berlin corridor

Image by Stacey Sheppard

In a way though I am sure this would have helped to mentally prepare him for what awaited in his bedroom where the pink digipop theme continued. After that trippy corridor the room wasn’t half as pink in comparison. I adored exploring the room though and all the unusual little touches that were incorporated.The hot pink phone was in a small recess beside the bed and the TV in my room was embedded in a giant wall-mounted curve that morphed into my desk. But the best thing was when I found the room service menu and discovered that it wasn’t just food and drink that you could have brought up but you could also order a free Gibson guitar or Casio keyboard to be delivered to your room. Now I don’t play any musical instruments but this was a novelty I was not about to pass up. Sadly though they must have been in demand as each time I called down to order one (and I tried on a number of occasions) they were all out.

nhow hotel Berlin juniorsuite

I did take the time though to ask for a tour of the hotel, which is definitely worth doing if you stay here, and one of the extremely helpful doormen showed me around. He took me up to the suite which was no less pink than the regular rooms but was far more spacious and had a fantastic view of the river. We also had a sneak peek around the fitness suite and the conference centre before heading downstairs to the art gallery. Oh did I not mention that the hotel has its own art gallery. Well it does and this dynamic space plays host to numerous installations of photography, painting, sculpture, design objects or multimedia.The programme changes three times a year and a special party is always held in celebration. Strangely, this is the only part of the hotel that has managed to avoid Rashid’s pretty pink approach.

nhow hotel Berlin seven star gallery

Next we ventured back up to the music studios. Yes you heard me right, the hotel has two of its own music studios, a recording booth and a large lounge that overlooks the Spree. And all of this can be found in that cantilevered mirrored box perched high above the hotel. Apparently, many top acts have already used the nhow Studios including N.E.R.D., Erykah Badu, Kool Savas, Jennifer Rostock, Jessie J, Skylar Grey, Culcha Candela, Rea Garvey.

nhow hotel Berlin music studio

Luckily when I stayed we had some beautiful weather, which made dining in the restaurant for breakfast a real pleasure and there is plenty of seating outside the hotel so you can sit back, relax, have a drink and watch the boats pass by down the river whilst taking in the view. You can also take in some history as there are large sections of the Berlin Wall lining the waterside.

nhow hotel Berlin restaurant

Image by Stacey Sheppard

nHow Hotel Berlin outside seating

Image by Stacey Sheppard

nhow hotel Berlin exterior view of molecule man

If you’re looking for a slightly crazy, completely colourful place to stay in Berlin and want to be situated in the heart of the creative district, then I totally recommend the nhow hotel in Berlin. However, it’s not for the faint hearted, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!!  I would love to hear from any of you who have also stayed here so please let me know what you thought in the comments. And if you haven’t stayed here already do you think you would consider it?

All photography courtesy of nhow Hotel Berlin unless otherwise stated.

5 Responses to Nhow Berlin : The Music & Lifestyle Hotel
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  2. Belen Aula Reply

    Awesome design! I like the life places, is as you are living in a piece of art.

    • StaceySheppard Reply

      I totally agree! There are so many sculptural details in this hotel that you do feel like you are staying in a gallery!

  3. tina @colourliving Reply

    Wow! Where do I start?

    I have a love/hate relationship with Karim’s work. Although I love his ethos on colour, I’m not always in agreement that you can’t have straight lines and everything must becurved. I also find him a little too self-obsessed.

    Don’t start me on the lift:-)

    I think staying in a hotel full of KR would do my head in but I would gladly visit and take a look.

    Your review is great and I very much like the photos taken by you!

    Thanks for sharing! Great to see you last weekend x

    • StaceySheppard Reply

      Hi Tina, I agree with many of your comments. I love Karim’s work myself and I would gladly have many of his designs in my own home, in moderation. Seeing an entire Karim designed hotel was a truly amazing experience and like one of the other comments says it is kind of like walking into an art gallery. It was the most amazing place to stay for a few days but there is no way I could live in such a place full time as it is rather overwhelming and a real assault on the senses. Thanks also for your lovely comments about my photos. I have no confidence when it comes to photography but I really should try to use more of my own photos as I guess they are not that bad after all. ;-) x

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