While choosing popular cities to travel, the obvious choices are always Rome, Paris, Barcelona and London, but how about those ‘alternative’ cities you may have never thought of or come across?
That is where Munich and Berlin come in.
Nestled in the heart of Munich, Hotel Bayerischer Hof is one of Germany’s most historically important hotels, renowned for its timeless elegance and world-renowned design partnerships. The aura of royalty is imminent as soon as one steps foot into the hotel.
The property’s renowned collaboration with Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt, a global tastemaker, is designed with full picturesque and captivating minimalist interiors.
The unveiling of the art dealer, curator, designer, and antiquary Vervoordt’s latest revamp has transformed a section of the hotel into an artistic wonder– harmoniously mixing old and new, creating a design aesthetic that is hugely influential in Germany. He counts royalty within his clientele, with a nod to celebrities like Kanye West, Robert De Niro, and Calvin Klein.
Vervoordt’s collaboration with Hotel Bayerischer Hof is nothing short of incredible. The Penthouse Garden Suite, Atelier, Garden restaurant, Cinema Lounge, and Palaishalle all bear the designer’s characteristic artistic touch.
The new wing embodies a captivating minimalist design that is both modern and timeless in the same beat. Vervoordt’s talent helps the property keep in step with the ever-changing expectations of the hotel industry and attracts discerning guests who appreciate design that cleverly combines the present and the past.
Founded by female entrepreneur and owner Innegrit Volkhardt, who is dubbed “one of the most renowned hoteliers in the world,” her family has owned the Hotel Bayerischer Hof for over four generations, so the blood runs deep. The hotel recently celebrated 125 years of ownership. Volkhardt, a true Bavarian local, has immaculately maintained the hotel’s legacy while successfully integrating new design collaborations like that of Vervoordt.
Tucked away within the elegant shopping district, the hotel is near the city’s must-see attractions, including the Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt, and the Hofbrauhaus, a fun and traditional beer house with live music.
One can even say that you don’t need to leave the hotel, with a full service spa, a tiki bar underground, a glorious dome-shaped bar and networking area, a ballroom, and best of all, dinner at The Garden. The restaurant offers fan favorites like a goat cheese, fig and cottage cheese salad, as well as filet mignon with a side of spinach and potatoes. A sweet finish with a trio of sorbets to cleanse the palate and keep it light.
Hotel Bayerischer Hof boasts over 300 luxurious rooms and suites that capture its deep history, blending luxury with design. The collaborative designs of Axel Vervoordt have played an immensely significant role in helping the hotel innovate and evolve without losing the essence that has made it a Bavarian favorite for 125 years.
Munich photography | Benjamin Monn
Berlin’s vibrant art scene just got a little more exciting with the opening of Selina Berlin Mitte. Dubbed an ‘art-forward’ hotel, Selina Berlin Mitte’s guest concept revolves around art and music, while maintaining its mission to keep digital nomads connected, enabling them to better travel and work without borders.
As a traveler, with a passion for art and culture, I was excited to experience Selina Berlin Mitte. As soon as I arrived at the hotel, I could tell this was not going to be a typical stay. Located in the heart of Berlin’s Mitte district, guests receive an eclectic mix of accommodations including standard, suite, shared, and hybrid options.
I stayed in a suite and literally felt like I had relocated to my very own apartment in Berlin; with a kitchen, fridge, modern shower and bathroom, couch, vintage record player and expansive views of the city. The unique layout and design elements created an inspiring and comfortable ambiance, which was a welcomed change from some of the generic and impersonal hotel accommodations I have experienced in the past.
Sprawled along the hotel walls are carefully curated artworks by Berliners and international artists, with installations highlighting mixed media – reclaimed wood, mirrors, and vintage art objects. Using earthy and hip furniture, Selina has an industrial feel that emphasizes innovation and connection.
Common areas are filled with murals, while in-room art combines classical Berlin prints and artworks. And, large-scale artistic works are woven throughout the reception area, rooftop, corridors, and suites.
From the immersive artwork throughout the hotel to the live music events and DJ sets, Selina Berlin Mitte was a celebration of the arts. But, I really enjoyed spending time on the rooftop bar, where I took photos of the city, listened to live music, and sipped on drinks with good company.
The rooftop bar includes a co-working area – for those digital nomads tending to their work – plus a restaurant, featuring contemporary Israeli and Mediterranean cuisine, called HOWM. During my stay, I tried out two dishes that were absolutely incredible – the Turkish eggs and the Avocado Toast with poached egg – both exploding with fresh ingredients and flavor.
There is also a grab-and-go dining option available 24 hours and a communal kitchen, which provided an excellent opportunity for me to connect with fellow travelers while we cooked a meal or had a cup of coffee.
For drinks on the hotel rooftop, there was lounge seating, fun board games, and a 360-view of the city, including Berlin’s iconic TV Tower. Selina go-ers can meet up for a “welcome drink,” rooftop yoga classes and meditation sessions. I also discovered that a host of activities take place on premise, ranging from workshops, to live music, DJ sets, art exhibits, and lectures.
Perfectly situated for exploring the city, the hotel is steps away from some of Berlin’s best design stores and boutiques, galleries, restaurants and bars. This made exploring the city a breeze, and I felt like I had a true taste of the local culture.
Selina Berlin Mitte certainly seemed like the “IT” hotel in a city where art and music lovers unite into a cultural melting pot. And, Berlin – the avant-garde, art-centric German capital – is a great example of how travel can be a transformative experience that inspires creativity and connection.
Berlin photography | Photography @magdalenabodzioch
Katherine Fleischman is a traveler, publicist and journalist. Of Peruvian descent, Kat Lives between Miami and Italy aiming to empower people to travel, as she believes it is through exploring the world that we will bridge cultural gaps.
Ellie Ross is a travel writer and photographer on assignment with Kat!