A Hotel in Berlin Shares the Joy of Schrebergartenglück

Kelly Chan Kelly Chan

The authentic experience of place is knowingly difficult to achieve, especially when one is resigned to stay in a hotel. To begin to unravel something so complex as a city, outsiders must abandon the refuge of the anticipated, turn down the turnover service, and open oneself to the layers of culture that exist beneath the façade of the tourist map. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but a hotel in Berlin is attempting to share a more authentic experience of its city to willing tourists.

In a 200-square-meter vacuum-cleaner factory in Berlin’s Neukölln district, the creators of Hütten Palast have created a ‘playground’ of caravans and wooden huts, arranged haphazardly indoors to reconstruct what Germans call Schrebergartenglück, a term that can only be wordily translated as “the joy of spending some time in a small garden plot in the middle of many other small garden plots.” For a small fee, visitors can navigate a colorful campground and sample Berlin’s spirited countercultures, manifested in ad-hoc architectures and a community of cafes serving local fare. In essence, take the charm of an illegal Bushwick loft, eliminate glaring concerns about hygiene, and add an international community yearning for genuine encounters.

[Images via Hütten Palast]