25hours Hotel The Circle — Cologne, Germany
The 25hours hotel group is on a roll. Since June, it has opened almost one property per month in Germany, all the while plotting properties farther afield – Florence and Dubai are in the works for spring 2020. In August alone, three have come on-line, though the most visually striking, to our mind, is The Circle in Cologne.
The former HQ of the Gerling Insurance Group – a striking postmodernist curve of grey concrete and stone – has been repurposed by local architects O&O Baukunst and Berlin-based Studio Aisslinger into a lively stage-set straight out of the Jetsons’ playbook.
The 207 sun-lit rooms along with the large public spaces are a riot of colours and modular furniture – where armchairs resemble a space jockey’s cockpit and yellow globe lamps double as bug-eyed aliens. The bathrooms – the showers in particular – offer charming views of the Friesenviertel quarter and Cologne’s medieval skyline, though it’s the looming cathedral that dominates the horizon from the 8th-floor Neni restaurant. Here, the accompanying menu features Oriental-lite in the form of sabich with baked aubergines, and a luridly red ragu of tomatoes and chilli ragout crowned with a poached egg. Come sunset, retreat to the Monkey Bar for a highball. §