When you visit Berlin will you stay in an artsy boutique hotel? In a low cost hostel? In a trailer park?
The wonderfully cool thing about The Hüttenpalast is that the accommodations are all three of those—at once!
At Spot Cool Stuff we’ve reviewed more than our share of unusual hotels. But rarely have we found one that offers such an unconventional experience with such a relatively high level of comfort at such a relatively low price†.
Der Hüttenpalast—literally “the hut palace”—occupies a portion of a building that was formerly a vacuum cleaner factory. Walking into the hotel one very much gets the feeling of, well, walking outside. The huge windows let in more sunlight than you’d get standing on the street outside the Hüttenpalast. The sunbeams illuminate an open area with trees and plants scattered throughout.
Adding to the illusion of being outdoors while inside the Hüttenpalast are the caravans—camping trailers where guests stay. There are three to choose from:
• Die kleine Schwester (“the little sister”) is our favorite of the three. That’s largely because it has a sunroof through which one can gaze out upon stars (aka tiny glow stickers on the ceiling) while laying in bed at night.
• Das Schwalbennest (“the swallow nest”) is a 1960s retro camper with cool little lamps hidden around the interior. It’s the largest of the Hüttenpalast’s three caravans.
• Der Herzensbrecher (“the heartthrob”) is the best choice for the clastrophobic; large windows around the side create a bright, open feel.
The nightly rate for a caravan camper is €45 for a single occupant and €65 for a couple. The rate includes a very basic breakfast (a croissant and coffee) and use of the wifi. Several Berlin hostels offer dorm beds and basic rooms for less than that, but good luck finding a better deal at even an average Berlin boutique hotel.
In addition to the caravan camper accommodations, the Hüttenpalast also has three indoor “cabins” (so called—they are more like huts); they are the same rate as the caravans and are a good substitute if the trailers are full. There are also regular rooms, though they are most expensive and least interesting of the choices.
In addition to running a hotel, the Hüttenpalast has a great little restaurant on its grounds. The restaurant is open to non-guests, so if you want to check out the caravans without spending the night in one, we strongly suggest stopping by for breakfast or lunch.
Most of your waking hours in the Hüttenpalast will be spent either in the restaurant or in the hotel’s lounging areas set up for guests. There are tables, couches and even hammocks for hanging out. It’s cool and comfortable, but not private. A highly social person would definitely enjoy the Hüttenpalast more than a recluse.
In addition, there are two downsides staying in a Hüttenpalast caravan: First, you’ll need to share a bathroom (gender separated) with your fellow “campers.” Second, the hotel’s location, in the Neukölln borough south of the city center, is considered suboptimal by some travelers. In Spot Cool Stuff’s opinion, we’re fond of the Hüttenpalast’s multicultural residential neighborhood of cobblestone streets, kid’s parks and Turkish cafes. But it’s not super-convenient for visiting Berlin’s major attractions, though there is a subway station a few blocks walk away.
If you are looking for an unusual place to stay but want a hotel that offers more privacy and with a more central location (albeit with higher nightly rates) check out our review of the luxuriously weird Propeller Island City Lodge.
For travelers with an adventurous spirit, the Hüttenpalast is an outstanding and economical choice. It’s all the fun of caravan camping outdoors, indoors.
† Regular readers might remember our review of the Kadir Treehouse in Turkey. That was a good value too, though not nearly as luxurious as Hüttenpalast. The Rooms Deluxe Hostel in Valencia, Spain and the Arkabarka Floating Hostel in Belgrade are two other superlative value unusual hotels that immediately come to mind.
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Photos of the Hüttenpalast Caravan Campers
Photos of the Hüttenpalast Indoor Cabins