We go outside our criteria in giving this place a page. It’s more of a hostel than a hotel, in fact it contains several dormitories. It’s been carved out of a former telephone components factory and it feels, and looks utilitarian. The connecting parts are frankly industrial – dark, concrete stairs, walls of painted brick, exposed pipes. Bedrooms are basic, with ugly lighting and metal wardrobes that could have come from a prison. Most rooms have shared bathrooms and lavatories.
So why? It’s interesting. In fact you might almost call a stay here ‘performance art’ in which you briefly relive Germany’s bleak post war years. Moreover, the place has character and the people who run it are genuine. The atmosphere downstairs in the 1950s lobby-sitting area is relaxed and friendly and the café, run as a separate operation on the premises, has a gently lively ambience. Die Fabrik is in the ‘happening’ former student and immigrant district of Kreuzberg and coming here would be a mild adventure for our usual readers. You’ll do without ‘normal’ comforts for a night – but you’ll get a notable bargain: standard doubles start at 52 euros for the room, breakfast extra.