The Best Boutique Hotels in Cologne

Enjoy a drink at sunset on the rooftop terrace at the Savoy
Enjoy a drink at sunset on the rooftop terrace at the Savoy | Courtesy of Savoy Cologne / Expedia
Photo of Mandi Keighran
4 May 2021

The best boutique hotels present an opportunity to really get to know a city, thanks to local design and artwork, fewer guests and more personal service. And in cultural Cologne, Germany, the choices span a historic water tower and a converted monastery to a trendy, Sixties-inspired creative hub, all bookable with Culture Trip.

Qvest Hideaway

Independent Hotel, Hotel
The Qvest Hotel
© Design Hotels AG/ Courtesy of Design Hotels AG
Unavailable for the next 3 months
You’ll feel like you’re staying in one of Cologne’s renowned galleries at this luxurious design hotel. Qvest Hideaway, a 19th-century neogothic building in midtown, is filled with a museum-quality collection of designer furniture alongside artwork and photography by acclaimed local artists. There are 34 rooms and suites, each with a strikingly individual design. Highlights include an organically shaped Living Tower furniture sculpture by Verner Panton, the 6m-high (20ft) cross-vaulted ceiling, and a hand-painted medieval wooden ceiling dating from 1390.
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Humboldt1 Palais

Hotel
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Courtesy of Humboldt1 Palais / Expedia
Unavailable for the next 3 months
Discover Cologne’s attractions from this centrally located hotel: Humboldt1 Palais is just 500m (1,640ft) from the cathedral and 450m (1,476ft) from the pedestrianised shopping district. The individually decorated rooms feature designer details, such as crystal chandeliers, quilted leather bedheads, and sumptuous black marble bathrooms. Enjoy a filling homemade breakfast buffet in the morning and drinks at the Humboldt1 bar in the evening, before unwinding in the sauna.
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Hotel im Wasserturm

Hotel
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Courtesy of Hotel im Wasserturm / Expedia
Unavailable for the next 3 months
Holiday stays don’t get much more unique than this 12-storey hotel, in a historic brick water tower (built between 1868 to 1872). The lobby sets the scene with high ceilings, original brick walls and a cast-iron spiral staircase. There are 88 pet-friendly hotel rooms, each decorated in an elegant Scandi-chic style – think timber joinery and crisp white linens – and the 11th floor is home to an acclaimed restaurant, with a panoramic view over the city.
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BURNS Art Hotel

Hotel
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Courtesy of BURNS Art Hotel / Expedia
Unavailable for the next 3 months
This four-star design hotel is the vision of artist and designer Heiko Nemitz, who created exclusive artworks for each room, the foyer and the stairways. There are 25 rooms in the new building, alongside 75 rooms in the old building, each featuring exposed concrete walls that lend the interior a gallery-like aesthetic befitting the steel sculptures and timber installations. In town for business? BURNS Art Hotel is ideally located opposite Cologne’s international trade fair centre, the Koelnmesse.
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Savoy Cologne

Hotel
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Courtesy of Savoy Cologne / Expedia
Unavailable for the next 3 months
A stay at the luxurious Savoy Cologne is like stepping into a richly furnished cabinet of curiosities. There are 100 rooms, and each of the suites takes inspiration from a different part of the world – Venice, New York, Paris, the Côte d’Azur and Asia – with boldly coloured murals and artworks adorning the walls. The hotel also has a focus on wellness and many of the suites feature private whirlpools. Or head to the impressive spa for treatments like the Lomi-Lomi, a Hawaiian-inspired massage. The Mythos restaurant is as magical as the rooms, with floor-to-ceiling panorama windows that look into the garden patio alongside murals and artworks.
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Hopper Hotel St Josef

Hotel
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Courtesy of Hopper Hotel St Josef / Expedia
Unavailable for the next 3 months
This stylish hotel, in a former monastic building in the heart of the Südstadt, features rooms decorated with original sculptures by young artists from the Münster Art Academy. Get up early for a breakfast buffet of cheese, cold cuts and pastries, served in the hotel’s former chapel – an imposing room with a neogothic vaulted ceiling. There’s also a small wellness area with a Finnish hemlock sauna and fitness equipment, a library and an in-house bar.
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25hours Hotel The Circle

Hotel
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Courtesy of 25hours Hotel The Circle / Expedia
Unavailable for the next 3 months

Infuse your stay in Cologne with a splash of colour at this hip creative hub, located in a 1950s rotunda. Designed by renowned design firm Studio Aisslinger, the interior was inspired by the retro-future aesthetic of the 1960s. But this is more than a place to stay: alongside the 207 rooms, there’s a buzzing cafe and co-working space, Restaurant NENI, and the Monkey Bar. The lobby is also home to the 25hours things shop, which sells a carefully curated selection of objects, from illustrated books and magazines to natural cosmetics by cult brands.

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  • Marsil Bar & Hotel

    Boutique Hotel
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    Courtesy of Marsil Bar & Hotel / Expedia | Courtesy of Marsil Bar & Hotel / Expedia
    Unavailable for the next 3 months

    This boutique hotel is ideally situated near the Rhine in the old town, near the Belgian quarter and the most popular attractions. The contemporary rooms, including several family rooms with fold-out beds and kitchenettes, are decorated with bright or pastel artwork and furnished with queen-size box-spring beds. Get your day off to a good start with its filling vegetarian breakfast buffet, which offers a wide choice.

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    Stern am Rathaus

    Hotel
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    Courtesy of Stern am Rathaus / Expedia
    Unavailable for the next 3 months

    With just nine rooms spread over three floors, this highly rated boutique hotel offers guests unparalleled personal service. There’s a single room for solo travellers, double rooms, junior suites and a large family apartment, plus a substantial breakfast buffet featuring local produce. The hotel is conveniently located on a quiet street in the old town (Altstadt), near the city hall, just moments from the city’s impressive Romanesque churches and many of its most popular museums, including Museum Ludwig, which houses an impressive collection of works by Picasso.

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    Hotel im LESKANPark

    Boutique Hotel
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    Courtesy of Hotel im LESKANPark / Expedia
    Unavailable for the next 3 months

    This boutique hotel, in the middle of the LESKANPark commercial district, is ideal for business travellers. Each of the 85 simple rooms is inspired by one of the 86 districts of Cologne, and features a fun illustration on the wall. Seminar rooms in the neighbouring ultra-modern Deutsche Bahn training centre can be booked through the hotel, and there’s an affordable on-site bistro with a lunch menu of homemade classics, such as meatloaf with dark-beer sauce, peas, carrots, and mashed potatoes, or fillet of hake with Dijon mustard sauce, and potato vegetable gratin.

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    Black Hotel Cologne

    Boutique Hotel
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    Courtesy of Black Hotel Cologne / Expedia
    Unavailable for the next 3 months

    The interior of this design hotel, in an old paper mill in the vibrant Ehrenfeld district, is all slick black marble, exposed brickwork and edgy industrial lighting. Choose from either a Black Loft or Black Superior Loft studio, each of which features a dramatic black marble bathroom, soaring ceilings, minimalist artwork and monochromatic designer furnishings. The hotel is close to many of the city’s best restaurants and bars, as well as the popular Live Music Hall.

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    This is an updated version of an article originally by Evelyn Smallwood.

    These recommendations were updated on May 4, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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