#TravelTuesday: How to turn your hotel into a hipster trap
Where all the wild things are
Beginning with esoteric vinyl lounges, bird's-eye views of the zoo, and complimentary MINI Cooper rides
It's 8am in the morning and there's a ruckus outside my window. My neighbours are up, they're feeling frisky, and there's apparently no better time than now for a a pre-breakfast romp. You can't blame them for being animals. That's exactly what they are: Orang utans, gorillas, pelicans — all of Noah's Ark gathered in one spot that is the Berlin Zoo. Up from my room on the ninth floor of 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, I enjoy unobstructed views of the attraction and its winged occupants. Thankfully, unlike our furry friends, I have all the creature comforts I need — and more.
When it comes to crafting hipster-friendly environs, no one seems to do it better than Bikini Berlin. You've installed an infinity pool? Sure, allow them to raise you rooms with bird's-eye views of the zoo. In this day and age where hotels the world over compete to keep occupancy rates high, Bikini Berlin seems to have uncovered the formula for keeping the jet-setting hipster happy. Below, a look at how they've nailed it.
Make the in-room directory sexy again
When was the last time you flipped through the hotel's in-room directory? Probably never. But at the Bikini Berlin, you'll be missing out if you didn't. Their colourful tome compiles insider tips to Berlin from the city's trendsetters. Think architects, hospitality mavens, and even a self-proclaimed hummus and burger specialist. Here, cosy family-run restaurants take pride of place alongside historic spaces such as the Kino International, a 50-year-old cinema that used to screen premieres in the GDR until the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Provide complimentary bicycles and MINI Coopers
Two wheels are a natural extension of the hipster's anatomy. And when in Berlin, do like the locals and cycle everywhere. Besides the ride itself, the hotel provides maps of cycling routes and complimentary Freitag bags to complete the experience. No detail is overlooked. For those game on venturing further, four-hour MINI Cooper rentals make it easy to hit the city fringe. I took a MINI out to the Corbusierhaus (a post-war gem from French architect Le Corbusier) and Teufelsberg, an abandoned NSA spy station turned artist commune and graffiti park.
Run the city's coolest rooftop bar
...and make everyone wait in line for it. Unless you're a hotel guest, of course, and your keycard takes you straight up to the booze and debauchery. Dubbed The Monkey Bar, the 10th-floor vantage point serves up views of the zoo, spectacular sunsets, and an international lineup of DJs that keeps both Berliners and tourists alike returning for more.
Drop the Eggs Benedict for breakfast
Go with a rich, bracing shakshouka instead. Sausages are de rigueur for a hearty start to the day, but give them a local twist by serving it with a housemade ketchup spiked with curry powder. Currywurst, anyone? Finally, serve honey straight out of a slab of honeycomb. Let it drip in all its glory.
Keep a well-stocked vinyl lounge
Hipsters love a good throwback to the past and vinyl is the perfect way to reach their soft spot for anything analog. Stock it with a mix of classical greats, Liza Minnelli, and the odd punk rock band. Keep it as esoteric as possible.
Pick a cause and stick with it
Another thing hipsters love? Rooting for a cause. Altruism is a key rung in the hipster's ladder of self-actualisation. For Bikini Berlin, they collaborated with German actor Ralf Bauer to launch Anchors for Nepal (we love Nepal, too. Take a look at our very own #BuroGivesBack project), an initiative that aims to raise funds for the reconstruction of schools in Nepal while providing assistance to earthquake-hit areas. A slew of handsome anchor chain bracelets serve as a momento for anyone who donates 10 Euros and above.