You wouldn’t guess from the simple entrance or lobby how well-designed the rooms are in this winner of a hotel. Spread out over five floors, guestrooms come in a wide array of sizes—from affordable rooms with shared bath (45€ for a single) to doubles, suites amd apartments with balconies or skylights—but all of them share the same design aesthetic, which provides a pleasing, comfortable, uncluttered environment with art on the walls, modern furniture and well-designed fixtures. Like many German hotels, this family-owned establishment is not completely smoke-free, so if you’re a non-smoker, be sure to specify that you want a non-smoking room. The staff here is unusually friendly and helpful. There’s a great on-site cafe. The hotel is in the so-called Belgian Quarter of Cologne, near the university, an easy 10-minute tram and/or U-Bahn ride from the main train station.