Hutten Palast, New Trailer Park Hotel, Hits Berlin Loft
A newly opened German hotel is banking its future on tourists' willingness to say no to conventional rooms and yes to sleeping in huts.
Berlin's Hutten Palast (from $60 a night) is essentially a caravan neighborhood erected in a 2,0000 square foot loft in a former vacuum cleaner factory, now spotted with small but sturdy shacks and refurbished campers.
The idea is a playful take on the airstream hotel trend that took of a few years ago, when American trailers became the hip hotel accessory amid a resurgence of interest in mid-century modern design. The apotheosis of this shiny trend was the installation of several deluxe trailers on the rooftop of Cape Town's painfully hip Big Daddy Hotel. Other trailer park cum hotels were towed into Newport Beach, California and the Pyrenees mountains of France.
Over the past decade, Berlin has become a mecca for European creatives so the unusual Hutten Palast could go over quite well. The city is already home to one of the strangest hotels in the world, the Propeller Island City Lodge, which offers visitors choices including a padded cell, a fallout shelter and a basement that recalls the delicate aesthetic of the Saw movies.
Another inspired entry into Berlin's bizarre hotel competition is the Arte Luise Kunsthotel, which (rather conservatively) does offer actual rooms, but is decorated with flying horses, bananas and piece after piece of in-your-face modern art.
Berlin is likely to continue to be a laboratory for mad hoteliers, but most of the city's strangest offerings won't have the obvious charm of the Hutten Palast, which is more playful than aggressive, more putt-putt than put on.
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