Hotel im Wasserturm

© Text & Photo by Amazing Magazines

(Arkivmaterial - Del av reportage publicerat i magasinet Amazing Editions)


If you want to break away from your traditional confines in search of new impressions, then you really should pay a visit to Cologne, a wonderful city with a rich history that includes the famous cathedral. And in one of the most attractive districts of the city is one of the most spectacular luxury hotels in northern Europe - an old water tower dating from the end of the 1800's.

Once again, Amazing Editions presents a spectacular hotel project which in our view offers hospitality that is a cut above the rest.  It is our ambition that you, as a discerning traveler, will be able to form an opinion about the interesting assortment of fascinating luxury hotels that are spread across the world. In this issue, we have chosen to highlight another five-star hotel, located in central Germany. This is a hotel that attracts the publicity it richly deserves after a costly renovation transformed the architecture of a 19th-century water tower into a modern and highly successful design hotel.

Turning in to the courtyard and drawing up in front of this majestic building is definitely a different kind of experience.  Unlike most of its competitors, this interesting building rises 35 meters straight up into a clear blue sky;  a design which in itself may not be among the most sophisticated of building projects.  Instead, its fascination lies in the unusual combination of its dimensions.  The brochure tells us that the diameter of this water tower is a full 34 meters, a figure that reveals that the height of the building is almost the same as its width.  This is almost impossible to see with the naked eye.  Personally, I would like to say that the entire building gives the impression of being one big illusion.  From my perspective behind the wheel, this water tower looks more like an enormous cylinder with high windows.

Crossing the threshold takes you into a modern world of exciting and innovative architecture.  The luxury and glamor of the interior decoration and furnishings allows guests to appreciate this unique 19th century building from a completely new perspective.  From the time the famous Paris designer Andrée Putman was commissioned to transform this listed building into a modern hotel, it took about two years before the first guests checked in.  Except for being compelled to work within the limits set by the City’s Cultural Committee, Andrée Putman was given more or less a free hand to create 90 hotel rooms in a personal style.  He created 42 suites and 38 double rooms, in different categories.


The most extravagant accommodation is, of course, the 170 square meter Presidential Suite at the top of the building, with the entrance on the 10th floor.  This two-floor suite boasts two spacious living rooms of 35 square meters each, with opulent furniture and rich decorations and fittings by well-known designers from all over the world.  These fittings include the best of modern technology, stereo systems, wall-mounted TVs and air-conditioning. The entrance floor to the suite has a beautiful dining room, a small library, two guest rest rooms and a sophisticated security system with video surveillance of the outer door.  The upper floor has two glamorous 25 square meter bedrooms, each with its en-suite marble bathroom with Jacuzzi, telephone and spectacular big-screen television.

Fascinated by the attractive architecture, we take a tour with the hotel’s marketing director, Mrs. Ruth Maria van den Elzen.  She is well-versed in the building’s history and its traditions. As you probably know, the Englishman John Moore had the water tower built as long ago as 1872. We nod convincingly in agreement and attempt to give the impression that we have some knowledge of the subject.  By the beginning of the 20th century, Cologne had grown into such a sprawling city that a system of underground water mains was the only solution, and that made the water tower obsolete.  At the beginning of the Second World War, the water tower suffered extensive damage, and by the time hostilities had ceased only 27 meters of the original building was left.  After that, no one paid very much attention to the ruin.  Not until 18 years ago, when a private investor came up with the brilliant idea of transforming a pile of stones into a five-star luxury hotel.

Today, it is difficult to imagine that this was anything other than a modern meeting place for us tourists and business travelers, particularly as every little feature gives the impression of being planned down to the last detail. It is enough to see the heart of the hotel, the exquisite restaurant, “La Vision”, situated high up on the 11th floor.  A brilliant example of the heights to which the famous French gourmet cuisine can rise. The Hotel im Wasserturm was an outstanding experience with excellent service and a fantastic view, to quote the world famous musician Madonna after her stay at the hotel, says Ruth as we move on to “d^blju,W”, the Hotel’s other restaurant. The decor in here reflects the seasons of the year, she explains, and shows us a couple of pictures in a brochure.  Given its appearance at the moment, I am not sure that I can agree with her, with all the large dark flower pots that evoke a chilly climate.  Slightly confused, I suggest that I must have misunderstood the intended impression, but before I get an answer, Ruth has already changed the subject, and moved us on to Harry´s Lounge, the Hotel’s famous piano bar.

Before we conclude our tour and return to the room, we are also told that the hotel is very popular with global celebrities.  In addition to Madonna, the list of celebrities who have stayed at the hotel includes Brad Pitt, Viktor Laszlo, Wolfgang Jobb, Armin Müller-Stahl and Catherine Deneuve. Ruth adds that the hotel sometimes hosts large banquets and lectures, with up to 200 people in the hotel’s 48 square meter conference facility.

As I mentioned, if you want to get away and experience something very different, I can strongly recommend a visit to Cologne. Hotel im Wasserturm is certainly an experience that is quite out of the ordinary. - © Text & Photo by Amazing Magazines