Iconic water tower hotel Cologne revamped

Once the tallest water tower in Europe, it opened as a hotel in 1990 and recently reopened under the Curio Collection by Hilton brand.

The tower opened in 1872, and was not only Europe’s tallest with 35 metres but also Europe’s biggest water supplier for 170,000 people. It functioned until 1930. Plans for an automatic parking garage were introduced, but it took until 1985 until investors bought the building with plans turning it into a luxury hotel. Since 1983 the then derelict building is listed.

The interiors of the brick building were originally by French star designer Andrée Putman, who died in 2013. With new design by internationally awarded design studio Goddard Littlefair London, the 88 guest rooms and suites, a spa, gym, and three bars and restaurants shine again. In the characterful 11-metre-high lobby, guests are greeted warmly and casually in true Cologne style. The hotel’s design contrasts formidable brickwork, lofty ceilings, and geometric patterns with contemporary elegance and touches of down-to-earth charm throughout.

At the heart of the water tower is a round hub, leading guests to the lounge and adjacent winter garden. Here, hotel guests can start the day with a breakfast of regional delicacies, freshly baked bread, and homemade jams. It leads onto a private garden, which wraps around the entire hotel like a green ring and helps to create a calm oasis in the city.

The 11th-floor, which once housed a two Michelin star restaurant, is now the Bar Botanik, where botany, plants, herbal and floral aromas meet industrial chic and panoramic views over the Cologne sky line.

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