The Spanish Camper brand is known for their funky yet functional Euro-style shoes. What is not as well-known is that the company also operates two hotels in Europe—one in Berlin and one in Barcelona. The accommodations don’t stray from Camper’s identity—like the shoes, they are both funky and functional. Here’s our take on Casa Camper’s Berlin branch.
Photo by Matteo Penzo, CC-BY-NC-ND
As you walk up to Casa Camper Berlin Mitte, you’ll wonder if you’ve lost your way and ended up at a bike shop instead, thanks to the bike-centric window displays on both sides of the front door. Congratulations. You’ve arrived at the super hipster Casa Camper Berlin Mitte, where bikes are so much a part of life, they are used as décor. Mind you, the window displays change, but what always remains is the use of bikes in some way or another.
If you arrive at night, you’ll notice some windows lit up with large numbers. I never quite figured out if those were room numbers … let’s hope not.
Walk through the door under the word “HOTEL” in lit-up Scrabble-like pieces and you’ll find bikes hanging from the ceiling and/or flooding the floor. See, we told you.
On your left is a backlit wall through which you can see the silhouettes of suitcases, and right in front of you is a display case of brightly painted sneakers—Camper’s, of course. The case wraps around and also acts as the reception desk.
To get to your room, take the elevator—or stairs because, as you’ll see written on the wall, it’s healthier.
Photo by James Joel, CC-BY-ND
The basic rooms are refreshingly bare, with hardwood floors and walls so white it will take your eyes a minute to adjust after walking down the bright red hallways.
The lack of art might surprise you since the lobby has so much personality, but then you’ll find the snarky notes—all of which are painted in a comic sans-esque script—hidden around the room and chuckle to yourself at Casa Camper’s campiness. On the back of the door you’ll find the usual emergency map and info, but underneath is a little note that says, “ugly, but important.” And you nod to yourself in agreement.
Past the bed is a curtain that separates the room from the bathroom area. Behind the curtain is a sink in front of a floor to ceiling window with a stool for people watching. Don’t worry, the toilet is privately placed is behind door No. 1.
Oh, and you’ll find the numbers you saw outside on the window curtain.
As you move up room classes, you get more décor. The Camper King Room and the Camper Suite glow with red walls, while the suite also comes with a couch and some books scattered around.
You’ll sleep well in your minimalist bed with no fancy controls or excess pillows, knowing that you won’t walk into any weird sculpture if you have to pee in the middle of the night. That is, unless, you’re up freaking out about the number on the curtain, like I was.
Photo by Flavio Ensiki, CC-BY
What I loved most about this hotel was the rooftop restaurant, Tentempié. I know what you’re thinking, that doesn’t sound cheap. Well, believe you me, it is. In fact, it’s free. And I’m not talking cookies, crackers and coffee. I mean a full-blown unsupervised buffet of sandwiches, salads, fruit, pastries, and drinks, all for the taking. I stocked up, snuck off to my room, and prayed I wouldn’t see a charge on my bill for the 10 sandwiches they somehow saw me take. But, nope. Nothing. It really is free. And the food is edible!
Now that I’ve tested the system, you don’t have to sneak off to your room to enjoy the free goodies. Take a seat in the comfy suede chairs behind a curtain of white branches and enjoy your egg salad sammy over a game of chess while taking in the sprawling views of the city. The best part is that it’s open 24/7.
The hotel is located in Berlin Mitte, the historical—and hipster—part of the city. There’s a metro stop close by, but the lively bars and restaurants of Hackescher Markt are within walking distance. The hotel is also minutes away from Berlin’s best museums, while avant-garde galleries sit right outside the front doors.
Photo at top by Tim Gage, CC-BY-SA
Maggie Parker is Paste’s assistant travel editor.