Want to stay in an art gallery – try the art’otel Cologne

Staying at an art’otel is a unique way of spending a night away from home – each hotel is designed with the input of one artist and displays his/her work throughout the hotel, making it in a way a modern museum with comfortable beds. The art’otel Cologne was designed with the artist Seo (Sook Kyong, Korea) and is a very modern, colorful example of the group of hotels. art’otels are part of Park Plaza (read more here) and are some of my favorite hotels. The art’otel Cologne adds to that love affair.

Location: The art’otel is located in the old town, right on the river Rhine, in walking distance (15min) of the cathedral and shopping area. The main train station is a short taxi ride (EUR8) away and by car it’s a few minutes of the freeway. It’s on the edge of what I would call “conveniently located” – I enjoy walking in general and the stroll along the river and through the old town are fun. There are other hotels closer to the cathedral, if the thought of a 15min walks makes you sweat…

artotel Cologne bathRoom: The hallways and rooms are decorated in a light grey and white colors as a backdrop to the very colorful art of Seo. The divider between the bedroom and bathroom is made of glass with a painting of Seo, allowing natural  light into the bathroom, while preserving privacy. There is colored (orange in our case) mood-lighting behind the bed that goes well with the artwork. We had a “queen XL” room which was of pretty generous size, with a work desk, two chairs and lots of space all around. The bathroom had a full-size, deep soaking tub with shower and a partial glass partition. The white sink was the show piece of the bathroom – beautiful to look at and reasonably functional to use. A flat TV and large safe (laptop fits) are available. My favorite was the Senseo pod coffee maker, delivering much better coffee than you can usually expect at a hotel in this category! Our room overlooked the River Rhine, and was very quiet (as all rooms with odd numbers should be).

artotel Cologne floorplanAmenities: The hotel has a restaurant (also overlooking the river) and a stylish bar on ground level. There is a parking garage below (EUR20 per night). The art’otel does not have a gym or pool, so your exercise alternative is a run along the river promenade. There is a wellness area with a (very hot) dry sauna and some loungers to relax from that run (or shopping and sight seeing) on the top floor. There is free internet throughout and it was very reliable and quick, just the way I like it! There are paintings from Seo throughout the hotel, giving it a lot of character. Check out her work online – if you don’t like it, the art’otel Cologne might not be for you.

Service: The service was a very pleasant surprise: It was not only professional and responsive, it was very friendly, which is pretty rare in Germany. The young team seemed to enjoy their jobs and did a great job in making our stay lots of fun! Check-in and check-out were quick and a few special requests were accommodated quickly. Housekeeping did their job early, quietly and thoroughly.

A few niggles that didn’t have an impact on our enjoyment, but might distract some: The rainy weather was not a friend of the very light grey carpets – it showed some stains and might need a thorough cleaning after the winter is over. I spotted a room service tray on the hallway floor that took a while to get picked up.

Overall, we loved the hotel and would stay there again in a heartbeat. We utilized the 2-for-1 weekend rate for Club Carlson gold members (rate code RSGP1P1), which made our stay a bargain! If you like Seo’s art, you should make it part of your trip as well, you won’t find a more unique hotel in Cologne – and most likely you won’t find friendlier service either.


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