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MICHELIN Guide hotel selection

The Qvest

  • Gereonskloster 12, Cologne, Germany
  • Innenstadt
  • 34 Rooms

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MICHELIN Guide hotel selection

The Qvest

  • Gereonskloster 12, Cologne, Germany
  • Innenstadt
  • 34 Rooms
Tablet’s Review

The hotels experts at the MICHELIN Guide

18.3
Verified guests have rated this hotel out of a possible score of 20

As an entrepreneurial venture, the Qvest certainly brings a new and welcome take on contemporary design to Cologne’s relatively straightforward hospitality scene. But it’s the preserved history — in this city, no less — that makes it unique. One of the only extant pre-WWII buildings spared by RAF bombers, Qvest is something of a design museum, intricately interweaving a variety of periods and practitioners. Michael Kaune, a local art collector, teamed up with Rolf Kursawe’s architects to pull off this singular feat in just two years of renovation; together, they’ve achieved what can only be called a Gereonsviertel landmark. (Don’t worry, we’ll wait here while you look it up.)

Finished in 1897 by Friedrich Carl Heimann in collaboration with Mohr and Brugger, the building initially housed the city’s archives and a public library. In keeping with the reigning aesthetic in those days, a neo-Gothic influence touched just about every element in the construction: ribbed vaults, lancet windows, hood moulding, tracery, and an overarching verticality all remain visible today. And the revitalization effort added mid-century furniture and fixtures by undisputed titans of the profession: Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, astoundingly, but also Eameses, Jacobsen, and Gray to round out the dramatis personae. The two camps mingle beautifully. Some modernist simplicity warms what otherwise might be a decidedly chill atmosphere, yet without distracting from the security, sobriety, and sheer majesty of the Gothic setting.

The 34 rooms and suites benefit tremendously from the organic layout, each featuring an exhibit’s worth of individually curated artwork. Black tiles in the bathroom purposefully recall the Paris Metro, mirrored delightfully by the black marble Belgian windowsills and, you guessed it, the mirrors themselves (‘30s Hermès originals). Works by Fuchs, Holz, Kern, and many others grace the walls, not to mention a fascinating variety of design and illustration tomes scattered everywhere like art-school easter eggs. More black awaits in the hand-carved oaken flooring, a fitting foil for the exquisite 14th-century ceiling murals. And if that isn’t enough, try the attached chapel-turned-photo-gallery off the lobby; it’s the ideal venue for digesting the vegan-friendly breakfast spread, or to tide you over before a classy bender at Bauhaus bar TECTA, upstairs.

Long story short, we have a must-stay on our hands here. Even better, its location perfectly balances centralized accessibility with a contemplative, reserved neighborhood ambience. Get thee to the original vaulted lobby, six dizzying meters high — and if your head can’t quite handle the onslaught, a quick prayer to the area’s patron might be in order: St. Gereon is, after all, traditionally invoked by those who suffer migraines.

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Facilities & services
  • Free wi-fi
  • Wi-fi (charges apply)
  • Self service parking (charges apply)
  • Off street parking
  • Bar
  • 100% non-smoking hotel
  • 24 hour front desk
  • Multi-lingual staff
  • Wake-up service
  • Library
  • Lounge
  • Luggage storage
  • Pet Friendly
  • Pets allowed (charges apply)
  • Shopping area nearby
  • Parking
Location

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