Face to Face with the Industriepalast Hostel Berlin
Warschauer Str. 43 | 10243 Berlin | +49 (0)30 74078290 Industrial Palace, that´s what the hostels’s name means and also what it looks like. The red brick building fits perfectly into the surrounding environment that shows signs of interesting brickwork facades, the Suburban Railway passing by and crossing the famous Oberbaum Bridge, the attractive East Side (open air) Gallery, a former section of the Berlin Wall, just around the corner and altogether a very lively scenery give you at once a feeling of “I have definitely reached my destination”. This is Berlin. In the middle of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. No matter where you are, in front of the hostel or inside, this is what I am thinking of when I recall Berlin. And when I later asked the hostel staff in which other city or region they could imagine their hostel to be, they unanimously and passionately stated: “Nowhere else! The Industriepalast represents Berlin, it is deeply connected with Berlin, it simply has to be in Berlin.” Quite right they are!
The Industriepalast Hostel has succeeded in keeping up the wonderful Berlin atmosphere that is created by it’s surrounding Kiez (Kiez is what Berliners call their neighbourhood). Speaking of that, the hostel has great tips on how to get round the Kiez by bike or on foot without missing anything like fantastic little cafés, clubs, interesting old corners, all sights of course and even attractive places to take great pictures. Just ask!
Entering the hostel you are finding yourself in a spacious lobby with wonderful high ceilings, deriving from the time when the hostel still was an industrial building filled with giant machines. There are lots of testimonies of that period around the hostel. The picture below with the control tools for example or also the wonderful old transport cages, nowadays used for storing guest’s luggage. Or the memorable yellow phone cell dating from the more recent past.
In the lobby you will also find a nice small book exchange as well as a generous bar. Here I got a wonderful coffee brewed by Industriepalast Hostel’s sales manager Ulli Weida personally.
Sipping the cup of coffee, Ulli told me a lot about the hostel, its history as well as things and stories out of their hostel life. When I asked him about his best experience in the Industriepalast Hostel, he told me something worth to remember: “It is not that much about the one and best experience. Working in the hostel business, you can make people happy during their holidays or leisure time. Very often with small things. So many of them are happening day after day, you simply have to notice. Wonderful things that give you positive feedback and good energy right away. Like serving somebody a good cup of coffee after a 24 hours flight. Or make a guest’s room available a few hours before the official check-in time. Many things like that. The important point is to recognise them within the busy everyday work. And the sum of all these small details and moments make you much more content than one huge single event.”
These words are so true, not only in terms of hostel work but for all of us in our daily routines. Ulli certainly has developed a good eye for positive things in life.
Nevertheless, he and his colleagues are of course very excited when all of a sudden celebrities from showbiz and politics turn up in the Industriepalast Hostel. Like actor Vince Vaughn during a film-shoot or the Cockney rapper Mike Skinner, better known as “The Streets”.
When I was remarking that the music in the lobby was not like Mike Skinner at all, I was told another interesting detail about the hostel: they have no such thing like a fixed selection of music. Instead, it is a crew-mix. Whoever is in charge at the reception decides about the radio station. So you can listen to almost everything at the Industriepalast Hostel, from the Berlin station Flux FM to the Australian Triple J. Now you know where to go for a music request at the Industriepalast :-).
Last but not least I wanted to know what the Industriepalast Hostel likes best about the ASSD Software. The man to ask here is Jonas Wernecke. He is very happy with the monitoring tool which outlines quickly and clearly structured various to-dos like demanding a confirmation or deposit. Thus, they can in time get back to the relevant guests, send reminders etc. and reduce no-shows at the end of the day.
At that occasion Jonas also told me about a software feature he would love to work with: our ASSD PMS should recognise incoming calls and should then automatically open the relevant reservation document. Well, here we are: this feature is already included in the ASSD PMS and only needed to be activated at the Industriepalast Hostel.
Not only from that perspective we have to notice once again that it is always good to talk :-).
Thank you very much for the extremely nice welcome, a very interesting tour through the Industriepalast Hostel and our profound interview!