— BERLIN I —
INTERVIEW : TOM MICHELBERGER OF THE MICHELBERER HOTEL
No trip to Berlin, for us, is complete without some table tennis at the Michelberger Hotel with Tom. He is the Hercules, the bi-focal, the power station (and the namesake) of the Michelberger. Our hotels are like sisters in a long distance relationship. They like to glue cut-up book pages to the lamps in their lobby, and we like to glue them to the walls of our bathrooms.
We talked with Tom about their website (which is more addictive and better for you than YouTube), what inspired the Michelberger into creation, and being the last man standing.
How did the Michelberger come to be? What was your vision?
A hotel is a hands on product where a lot of people can contribute their thoughts and hands, which makes it rich and charismatic. We were just looking for a base. Our new home and the temporary home for many new people we wanted to meet. We have never done it before, but doing things for the first time has something special to it.
How does what exists now differ (in good and bad ways) from the vision?
It is better than I could have ever invisioned. In all aspects and ways. Visions are not accomplished I believe, they just put you on the way. And along that way, you have to be open for new ideas and people to join in.
The aforementioned table tennis — Alex and Tom.
Which is your favorite room in the hotel and why?
Depends on the time and day. But our restaurant is quite a distinct and inspiring place to me.
Tell us one moderately to extremely inappropriate thing that has happened in that room.
Every couple of months, I invite 15 of my football friends, we put all tables aside and play a ping pong tournament in quite shitty looking tennis outfits.
What were your influences when you began to create the Michelberger?
What we have seen in our lives and in Berlin.
If you lived in the hotel for one week with absolutely no other soul present —completely empty hotel other than Tom — what would you do for a week?
I would turn all lights off and play The National very loud in the courtyard, cook a prime steak for myself and drink a Hefeweizen. Party for one.
I spend more time than I care to admit exploring and re-exploring your website. How much is a hotel, and its digital iterations, a playground of the mind and a place for fantasy and ridiculousness?
In a way, we want things to stand on their own, whatever we do. So we wanted the website to be worth a visit. Even if you don’t want to book a room.
Thank you, Tom.
Tom and Nadine Michelberger and Alex, considering something very important.