Thursday Salute to Originals: Camping in the Great Indoors
There is nothing quite like camping. That rustic, outdoorsy feeling; the closeness to nature; the crackling of a warm fire – it really conjures up your feral and organic side. But a new hotel is trying to replicate at least a portion of the camping experience by mixing the great outdoors with the comforts of a hotel. So if you like the idea of camping, but aren’t so keen on the bugs, inclement weather, or the concept of being submersed in wilderness with nothing but a nylon sheath to keep you safe, there may be some hope. This new hotel in Berlin may be just what you’re looking for.
Situated in an abandoned vacuum factory warehouse in the middle of the bustling city, the Huetten Palast Hotel in Berlin, combines the uninhibited feeling of camping with the comfort and convenience of the indoors. Developed by Silke Lorenzen and Sarah Vollmer, the hotel is part campsite, part hotel, part childhood fort. Instead of floors upon floors of identical and separate hotel rooms, the Heutten Palast Hotel offers accommodations fit for a campsite. With vintage campers refurbished into cozy sleeping pods and eclectic wooden huts reminiscent of miniature log cabins, there is a funky and nostalgic aesthetic to the hotel that calls upon the fundamental concept of camping. The aluminum campers, wood flooring, and Astroturf seem almost natural here. And the warehouse (aka the campground), complete with faux trees, abundant natural light, and pseudo-campsites, makes the entire environment feel more like a childhood playground than a hotel.
But aside from the whimsical quirkiness of campers and the campground area, the hotel’s overall tone further sets it apart from the norm. Tactfully departing from blocks of hotel rooms where guests are completely detached from one another, the Huetten Palast, instead, highlights and facilitates the fun, social atmosphere of an actual campground. Clusters of campers and huts nestled on their individual campsites create unique neighborhoods throughout the hotel. There is almost an inherent community -like feel throughout, neutralizing the often anti-social mindset of visitors. Guests can also sit “outside” on the furniture to relax, or even take a stroll around the campground where they can meet and interact with other campers (aka hotel guests), just as if you were on a hiking trail. At the Heutten Palast, the stuffy attitude of pretentious hotels is non-existent. You feel more like you are camping with your close buddies than staying in a location with strangers. But still, if you desire more privacy, you can always retreat into your own camper for some peace and quiet, just like you would to your tent in the middle of the woods.
While this urban indoor campground is obviously not an exact substitute for authentic camping (starting actual campfires during your stay is frowned upon there), it certainly does call upon those feelings that make camping so enjoyable. Huetten Palast’s fresh take on the typical hotel experience, truly makes for a unique and interesting stay, that fuses both indoors and out. Hopefully, this will inspire more whimsical designs that not only give you the best of both worlds, but truly allow you to experience and appreciate each with a new twist (sans the mosquito bites).
Image credits: Anthology Mag