In a Galaxy far, far away… well, maybe more like 916km away, is Cologne or like us, Germans would say, Köln.
On our first excursion to the motherland since COVID, we were over the moon to be heading back to Germany for a long-overdue visit and catch-up with family and friends.
This journey was our turbo trip, as we hopped cities from Friday to Tuesday, making our rounds to the all-important places we needed to go to. From our arrival in Köln to my best friends surprise 30th in Herford, to my family in Hameln and back to Köln for the last leg of the journey into Manchester.
It was our first time in Köln, and boy, where we excited to explore the city in just under 24 hours. We landed ourselves a fantastic stay in what I’d say is the coolest and quirkiest hotel I’ve ever had the pleasure to stay in.
The 25hours Hotel The Circle has space dreamy futuristic themed rooms, characterised by the spirit of the ‘60s and future utopias, with panoramic views of Köln. It all starts with a magnificently tall building, skylights around it lighting up the epic shape, and Daleks guarding the sacred entrance into the mothership.
Mesmerised by the lobby, the attention to detail is second to none, and the wow factor continues. With so many cool features and sections to explore, eyes dart around the room, unsure of what to look at first.
From its very own record store with functioning turntables, to rent-a-bikes, to a luxury adult soft play lounge, to oversized modern armchairs where you can take a moment and sink into the world of design, architecture, cities and space in literature format.
Glowing in the far back is the walkthrough to the lights, and before you enter the mirrored lifts (the perfect optical illusion and selfie opportunity) you’re greeted by the resident astronaut.
The hotel hallway is dark with an intergalactic light display that sways and changes. You truly feel outer earth and the experience is rather brilliant.
Our room also did not disappoint, with a retro yet modern and futuristic feel to it. It was minimalist but still somehow perfectly decorated, felt homely with an extremely efficiently planned out room that was cosy and spacious.
Think galaxy carpet, modern coat and flower rack, yellow hangers, retro telephone, tiny 60’s style tiles in the bathroom and the cutest sleep-bot teddy on the bed. The free minibar was a very nice touch which consisted of local beer, Fritz Cola, water, crisps and of course a Kinder Riegel (German classic!).
And let me tell you, that night’s sleep was pretty epic. It was exactly what we needed after a day of travelling and a cold and windy night, especially after out venture out to see Köln’s very impressive cathedral, eating our way through my favourite German food, a döner kebab. And there’s nothing quite like snuggling into your bed, watching TV (because you just have to when staying in a hotel), having a little drink, before slumbering away, knowing there’ll be breakfast in the morning, and you won’t need to clean the dishes or make the bed.
Location wise, the hotel is fantastic. It’s situated just a few minutes walk from the city, and around just 20 minutes from the Kölner Dom, and along the way, plenty of shops, bars, restaurants and kebab shops to keep you entertained. For any first time visitors in Germany, be sure to get on the tram, because again, it’s just part of the day-to-day German life. Although we didn’t have much time in Köln, if you do, be sure to enjoy its museums and historical treasures and buildings.
With an earlyish alarm set, plus enough time to press snooze just a few times, we made our way to where breakfast was served. A large open room with greenery hanging from the ceilings and walls and natural dividers, and a wonderful view out across the city of Köln. Even with the rain set in that morning, it was a spectacular sight, followed by the tantalising smells of warm bread, pastries, and coffee.
One thing is for sure, The Circle know how to put on a spread too, from hot and cold, to sweet and savoury, you could feast upon the most spectacular continental breakfast. Think cheese, ham, salami, salmon, bacon, seeded bread rolls, croissants, muesli, fruits… you get the gist. I think it’s safe to say, one of almost everything was tried and definitely enjoyed.
Without wanting to leave, it was time to pack up and complete the rest of our exciting journey. We checked out, said goodbye, left with a big smile on our face, a full belly and spent the next half an hour pondering what the rest of 25hours Hotels must be like.
So if Köln is on your to-visit list, take my word for it, you do not want to miss out on this futuristic fun. I promise you this, you will love your stay to the moon and back.
Lots of love,