A prime position on edgy Langstrasse and a few lost years as a brothel makes Hotel Rothaus (Red House) aptly-named, but as manager Katharine Sommerauer is quick to correct, it’s been so-called since 1893 in honour of its red bricks – so no sniggering in the cheap seats there.
An elegant building, it’s seen 100 years of ebb and flow in the area, from artistic hotspot to hooker-ville and now nascent smartness. Transforming the Rothaus into a stripped-back design hotel in 2006 was a labour of love for Katharina, who quit her job as a therapist to become an hotelier. With a mission to create stylish, reasonably priced accommodation for creative types, she stripped out the 70s décor in favour of sleek modernism.
The rooms are simple, clean and stylish, pared back to the minimum with pale walls, low beds and just a modicum of furniture. Wifi is available throughout, paid for in the rooms and free in the stylish bar downstairs, which encourages guests to use it as a living room.
A loyal clientele drawn mostly from the creative world – musicians, artists, gallerists, architects – come week after week, attracted by the friendly atmosphere, late breakfasts (served ‘til 12pm weekdays and 2pm at weekends) and proximity to Kreis 4 and 5’s vibrant bar, club and restaurant scene.