Counting screws instead of sheep
The V8 Hotel in Cologne
Sending petrol heads spinning: the newly opened V8 Hotel in the Ossendorf district of Cologne is centred around mobility. From the car suites to the sound of the lift, the theme has been incorporated into every corner of this hotel. And yet, the target market extends far beyond fans of sports cars.
The hotel's fundamental design subtly combines elegant furnishings and decor with an automotive theme, without appearing overly eccentric. Even so, there are still a number of unique highlights for car fans – such as the five car suites at the V8. In these suites, the hotel rooms have been combined with glasswalled garages. If you book one of these rooms, you can park your sports car right on the other side of the glass and can spend the entire night looking at your treasured vehicle from bed. The car suites each have their own special theme – for example, the Lamborghini or Bentley suite – and needless to say they come with matching accessories.
The hotel's specialisation in sports cars, road cruisers and the like is firmly underpinned by its close connection to Motorworld, which is located right next door. But despite this proximity, the hotel is casting its net much wider when it comes to its target market. Hotel Director Sascha Brezovac explains: “You don't have to be a car fanatic to stay here. We are also in an excellent location for exploring Cologne or for hosting special celebrations or conferences.”
Sascha Brezovac, Hotel Director
“Cars connect the hotel business and the automotive industry, old and new Cologne, excitement and memory – and of course, Motorworld and V8.”
The conference facilities and the 96 designer rooms at the hotel feature lots of classic and subtle black decor and furnishings. It's only when you look up in the designer rooms that the car theme becomes apparent: an exploded drawing of a V8 engine covers the entire ceiling. “If you are struggling to sleep, you should try counting screws instead of sheep,' jokes Sascha Brezovac.
Childhood memories or does petrol run through your veins?
The ten themed rooms at the V8 are covered from head to toe in car upholstery. The beds are created from converted classic cars, for example a Fiat 1300 from 1961. Their headlights provide soft lighting. Removed car seats are used as armchairs and are positioned around tables made from stacked wheel rims. Exploded drawings also decorate the ceilings in these rooms, but these are detailed illustrations of the car model featured in the room. The director of the hotel Brezovac explains how the themed rooms work on very different levels. “I see many parallels with football here. Men and women, old and young – everyone can get excited about it and everyone has their own special connection to the sport. It's just the same here. Everyone who books a V8 themed room has a different story to tell – and they aren't just about car bodies and retro design. Some may have a grandfather who used to work at Ford; some remember holidays to the Adriatic on the backseat of a Volkswagen Beetle; some even drove off on their honeymoon in a Fiat. Happy moments and memories play a big role.”
Due to the location of the hotel on the site of the historic Cologne Butzweilerhof Airport, one of the themed rooms is dedicated to aviation instead of cars. A close connection to the airport's history can be felt throughout the hotel. Lots of the old structures, walls and ceilings are still in place from 1936. The car park hasn't changed since it was the former airport apron. Since the main building of the airport was not large enough for a hotel of this size, a number of modern storeys have been added. The mounted perforated panels on the facade were added over the course of the building works due to a preservation order requesting that the hangar appearance of the building be retained.
The interior, the style and the furnishings were all inspired by the V8 Hotel that was already in operation in Stuttgart. CIP Architekten GmbH and furniture designer Martin Schlund, who had both already worked their magic at the site of the hotel in Böblingen, reunited in Cologne for a new collaboration. And yet, the V8 in the Rhineland still has its own personal style and defining features, particularly with regard to operational activities. The hotel's special theme was meticulously planned out. The complementary water bottle in the rooms? Rosbacher – because Michael Schumacher was an advertising partner of the water brand for many years. The label on the packets of gummy bears left on guests' pillows? “Fuel for thought.” The lift music? Top-class engine
sounds. Not everything is set in stone yet, reports Sascha Brezovac, who previously worked for hotel corporations such as Hyatt and Intercontinental. “We are in the fine-tuning phase when it comes to the details. We are looking closely at how guests react to the atmosphere and at the feedback we get about our services.”
Off to the laundry
The Miele Little Giants impressed right from the outset and were purchasedby the V8 Hotel to wash service items quickly and hygienically without any need for a test phase. The two Little Giants, consisting of a washing machine and tumble dryer, are in constant use – for example, washing the cleaning accessories used by housekeeping. “During the procurement stage, there was no question when it came to choosing a brand. Miele was the obvious choice due to the quality of its appliances,” explains Sascha Brezovac. But flexibility was also important. “We are currently considering whether or not to provide bathrobes in our suites. Of course, these will need to be spotlessly clean, but more importantly, they will have to be available to use again quickly. With our Miele appliances, providing this service is no problem at all. We are already perfectly set up for our future needs.”
At a specialised hotel such as V8, adaptability is an important factor because ultimately guests still need to be impressed even once the novelty factor has worn off. But V8 isn't worried about this: “Mobility creates further-reaching links than you might think. Cars connect the hotel business and the automotive industry, old and new Cologne, excitement and memory – and of course, Motorworld and V8. There is always a new source of inspiration within this range of topics.”
For more information: www.v8hotel.koeln
GO, BABY, GO
Guests can open their personal garage door in the car suites using the legendary start button from “Eleanor”, the Shelby Mustang GT500 from the classic film “Gone in 60 Seconds”.
Welcome & Stay
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