Oh yes, my pretties, I found me another retro home-from-home to stay at during our trip to Berlin.
Let me introduce you to Ostel, Berlin's DDR themed Hostel.
If you follow the brightly coloured building directly opposite Ostbahnhoff, you'll reach the front door to a place where you will be transported back to 1970's East Berlin, complete with an old Trabbie out the front. No Idea if they hire this out, but I would love to have gone for a ride! I did see another company hire them out for a few hours, bit out of my price range but perhaps one day!
The reception area was brilliant! As soon as you stepped in you heard music being played through the old stereo at the side, and vintage videos being played through the old DDR TV.
I do love hunting out alternative places to stay, and have actually found that the hostels wherever I have travelled in europe have always had the edge. Local businesses, with amazing ideas, make staying somewhere abroad a much more exciting place to rest your head than the run of the mill Hotels all over the place. The extra bonus is that 9/10 they will be cheaper than any budget hotel, and this one really was worth every single penny! I loved going from room to room exploring, and noticing all the little details they had put in to really make this a time warp back to communist Germany.
Whether you have studied the DDR period of German history or not, you will enjoy this thoroughly. Makes me want to pop to the library and brush up again now! Seeing how it actually would have been like, instead of just reading books and seeing pictures really brings it to life.
The hallways were decked out too. I love all the attention to detail. This really has re-awakened my love of German design and form.
The Sitting Room next to the reception:
Stairway up to our room. Luckily we were only one flight up, I wouldn't have wanted to have walked all the way to the top!
Finally up into our room! I'd splashed out a little in terms of staying at a Hostel and booked us a private bathroom. I don't do sharing bathrooms any more I'm afraid! It was just outside our room, so not so bad!
They'd placed DDR approved books around the room too, so I spent a little time reading next to the heater before heading back out into the snow later on!
I couldn't fault the room. I wanted to steal everything in it and take it home with me. I want that wallpaper!!
And the bedside tables too. Actually, I just want to swap my bedroom for this one, and slap in my own twist please. Up for a swap??
The radio, all still working! Although it's been a while since I last listened to German radio, so hadn't a clue what channels we were listening too! It was actually really nice not having a TV or the laptop with us. It was the same at Vintage Vacations, and it was really good to just disconnect for a little bit and have no distractions.
Also wanted to steal the light shade....I trawled through so many flea markets to try and find one, to no avail! I will keep trying though back in Blighty.
The next morning, after a well deserved 10am lie in, we wondered around the corner to the front of the apartment block for Breakfast, at Das Deutsche Restaurant (DDR....Get it?! ha)
During the day and evening it is a regualr restaurant, but serving DDR themed food with a twist. We only had a chance to have breakfast there, but would definitely try it next time.
Decked out all festive, it really put me in the spirit! I miss German style Christmas, especially all the food...droool....lebkuchen.........
Again, notice all the attention to detail, even the flags and pictures on the walls! Where did they get all this stuff from? Imagine walking into a warehouse with a ready to kit out retro restaurant? Dream come true!
Another piece of stunning German Art, showing the TV Tower and view across Berlin. I'd love to have a print of this at home.
A yummy continental style breakfast was on the menu. The Mister grumbled a little as he does like a cooked breakfast, but he soon livened up when I told him there would be Nutella and Salami on the menu. In separate dishes of course.
I want these eggcup holders. I actually managed to find one of these while Christmas shopping in Brighton today. May have to go back to the shop and get some more.
Time to tuck in!
I would recommend this place to anyone contemplating a trip to Berlin. Not only is it a brilliant experience in itself, you're located right at the heart of the 'alternative' corner of the city, which we sadly only realised on the last day there, after spending most our time either in the museums or in the touristy bits and Christmas markets, d'oh!
You're only one train hop away from some of the best market squares, miles of street art, a lot of second hand and vintage stores, as well as a humongous charity shop/second hand store called Humana. It has 4 floors!! 4!!! In a huge warehouse....insane! More on that some other time.
The staff were all lovely, and really helpful in pointing us in the right directions and provide us tips on which areas to go to. Although the walls were super thin (I'm guessing this was due to the fact you would have been able to listen in on your neighbours conversations and making sure they weren't saying anything they shouldn't have!), we didn't hear too many people, and had a really good nights sleep there. The only thing I would say is bring your own towel, the one they give you is tiny, unless you want to do a mad dash between your room and the bathroom and risk showing your fellow travellers more than they were expecting.
The room was great, the location super easy being only two train stops from the airport, and the breakfast certainly filled you up! A fabulous experience and I would definitely stay again, although next time I think I will save up and go for one of their full apartments instead. My word....you should take a look on their website and see for yourselves!
Much Love from Berlin,