by James Glazebrook
We have a habit of missing our anniversary (last year, we were in German class when we realised what day it was), so this year we decided to make up for it with a stay in nhow Berlin. Nhow’s PR team kindly invited us to mark four years of marriage – and a decade together – with a complimentary stay in The Music and Lifestyle Hotel, and, as we took the express elevator to our room on the top floor, we knew we were in for a night even we wouldn’t forget!
Our room, in the aluminum-skinned tower that extends out over the River Spree, boasted “scenic” views of Oberbaumbrücke and a distant TV Tower, and was just as impressive inside. Nhow’s interiors feature a pop art update in hues of teal and bubblegum pink, set off by glossy plastic surfaces and future-retro vector graphics. A mirror that doubles as a TV screen is rightly the focal point of each room. We didn’t manage to break into the recording studios, two floors below us, but I imagine they’re just as plush!
Settled in, we rocked up to the nhow’s riverside restaurant, Fabrics, for a special anniversary supper. We polished off two bottles of a delicious Sliding Hill Sauvignon Blanc and kept our bouches amused with the first Spargel of the season, pigeon, the best coleslaw ever, and “avant garde” bread – made from ingredients like olive oil and curry powder… and a lot better than it sounds! Then we shared an “old school special” of veal cutlet, to a soundtrack that seemed handpicked to celebrate our time together: Annie Lennox, The Fountain soundtrack, “Wicked Game” and “Finally”, which could well have been playing in the club we first “necked on” in.
Then it was back to our room WHERE THE MAGIC REALLY HAPPENED. That is, I ordered free guitar room service of a Les Paul copy and a Marshall amp, which we proceeded to play very badly indeed:
Then Zoë did THAT THING I LIKE – let me watch heavy metal satellite channel Scuzz (Enter Shikari live, :D). And THEN… don’t worry, I won’t tease you with any more threats of overshared intimate details, and leave our review there.
The verdict? Nhow is a beautifully-designed, fun place to stay. It doesn’t exactly capture the spirit of rock n’ roll, but instead celebrates the lifestyle enjoyed by successful music stars – and so attracts dull, rich people as guests. But if you can afford it, there aren’t many lavish design hotels in Berlin that can compete with nhow. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to €300 a night, we recommend you check out Fabrics, a restaurant that is way more reasonable and (we feel) better than, say, Pret A Diner. Practical considerations aside, a stay at nhow tops any anniversary we’ve ever spent together, and maybe ever will!