Last weekend I was super excited at the prospect of staying in art’otel, Lietzenburger Strasse with one of my friends who was coming from London. The joys of catching up with my friend aside, I was looking forward to having my every whim and desire taken care of by the ‘4* hotel’. Furthermore, I was to enjoy this luxury for free as my friend had got a weekend Groupon deal, which meant I could be her free-loading groupie.
Before I skipped out of my house to go to the hotel my flatmate, X, mentioned how silly the name of the hotel was but I ignored the derogatory comment- no one was going to rain on my parade, I was spending the weekend in a luxurious 4* hotel.
Now ladies and gentlemen of the jury I want you to keep this rating in mind, as I proceed to tell you the rest of the story.
As I rounded the corner, I was greeted by this silly and decidedly ugly ‘piece of art’-
At this point, I was still naively hopeful that my 4* experience was yet to come, so I was rather surprised when the receptionist gave me the directions to my room and did not offer to call a concierge to take care of my luggage. Now don’t get me wrong, under normal circumstances I am perfectly able to carry my luggage, as a stylist that is part and parcel of the job. But I wasn’t on a shoot, I was in a 4* hotel.
After a ride up the dingiest, smallest lift ever I made my way to my friend’s room. Upon seeing my friend, I could see that she was not a happy bunny. And how could she be? With the Groupon deal, we were entitled to a free packed lunch, here is what this 4* hotel gave us-
And yes, you really did see that miserable looking sandwich-
I wanted to marvel at the various illustrations on the bedroom walls, like this Marilyn Monroe picture-
But not even the beautiful sight of Marilyn could detract my attention from the shrunken, sad-looking TV in this supposedly 4* room. It was most decidedly not the ‘modern offerings‘ the hotel promises.
Upon entering the bathroom I saw the TV was not the only minature-sized object in the room, the towels could just about wrap a new-born baby and there was no bath. Now in the days leading up to this visit, that was what I had dreamed about- singing ‘Kiss’, Julia Roberts/Pretty Woman style in my jacuzzi, instead I was greeted by this narrow sight-
And since when did 4* hotel beds get made like this? Hello, did I unwittingly enter a time tunnel and travel back to my uni dorm, or am I am in a ‘4* hotel’?
I pity the couple that book their honeymoon in this room.
Art’otel’s strapline is, ‘original art, unique hotels’, and to illustrate their devotion to all that is ‘art’, almost every inch of the hotel is splattered with Andy Warhol images, which as the quote goes- was an attempt of the hotel ‘to adorn itself with borrowed plumes’.
The thing is the hotel should be more concerned with its basic presentation, if it had been, less time would have been spent hanging up the ‘oh so cool’ image of Warhol photographing Debbie Harry, and more time finishing the paint job on the walls. It is supposed to be a 4* hotel after all.
I really wish I had been in the meeting room when the interior designer was getting briefed on how to decorate the dining area. I have a feeling ‘pop art’ was written in bold, repeatedly in his/her brief. But even though I have no interior design training, I have a feeling that splashing bold ‘pop’ colours on the ugliest shaped chairs e-v-e-r does not equate to pop art.
And I really must commend the staff on their 4* way of setting and presenting a breakfast table. At this point, I guess I should be grateful that the cutlery wasn’t plastic.
By the end of the weekend, after having our senses assaulted my girlfriend and I lay in a daze on our ‘hard as nails’ hotel bed, when suddenly all the lights went out and wouldn’t come back on again. On reflex, I almost felt like reaching out for a torchlight and alerting my home security guards to put on the generator. But wait a minute, I was not in Lagos, Nigeria. I was in Berlin, and in a 4* hotel no less. After much fraffing about by the staff, my friend and I were ushered into another room and our ugly journey began all over again.
If I could speak to art’otel, I would tell them that their service and accommodation are perfectly satisfactory…for a 2* hotel. I really can’t believe that this hotel sells itself as a 4* hotel and hasn’t being reprimanded yet because I feel it is false advertising at its worst.
Andy Warhol would be turning cartwheels in his grave if he knew his name and images were being used to entice innocent guests into the ugliest and most pretentious hotel in the world.