German’s “Themed” Hotel Proves There’s More to a Hotel Room Than a Mere Bed
When first hearing of a “themed” hotel in Stuttgart, visions of tacky plastic veneer figures and polyester uniforms came to mind. Perhaps I’ve spent too much time in children’s theme parks. But this isn’t at all what the V8 Hotel is about. Instead the hotel is a tasteful part inside a larger commerce park and cultural center near the Mercedes-Benz factory in Sindelfingen that fits in wonderfully with both the other businesses and surroundings. To understand how someone could park a VW Beetle inside a hotel room and not think it a bit nutty, one explore the history here at the renovated Motorworld Complex.
Just after the First World War, the farmland of Böblingen was little more than some grass fields and a flight school, but a decision by city planners put the official airport for all of Stuttgart right in Böblingen with the first commercial airline landing in April 1925. Over the following years, highlights include the inaugural docking of the “Graf Zeppelin” on November 3, 1929 that thrilled over 100,000 spectators. The airport was also the scene of the 1930 tragic death of German stunt aerialist Fritz Schindler that lead to the banning of all future aerial acrobatics.
In 1935 the airport reached maximum capacity and a new location for commercial travel in Echterdingen (where the current airport is now located) was chosen. Of course the airfield was used by the Luftwaffe starting in 1939 to fly sorties during World War II with Messerschmitt Bf109s with the US armed forces setting up flight operations after the war. Finally the airport was closed for good in 1992 and the area fell into disrepair.
Plans for a 26 million dollar renovation of the airfield and the buildings began in 2004 with initial renovation work beginning in 2007 and in September 2009 the Motorworld business complex was opened as an automotive oriented collection of businesses directed at the sports car enthusiast. Today there are car dealers, shops, garages, restaurants, a cooking school, and of course the V8 Hotel as the crown jewel of the complex all housed inside the roughly 270,000 square foot grounds.
The V8 Hotel occupies what was once the airport’s control tower. A building that was built in the “Bauhaus” style of architecture so many years ago. In fact these buildings are now registered historical landmarks.
The V8 Hotel is the brainchild of Simeon Schad. Mr. Schad and his wife Karen, also the proprietors and sports car enthusiasts felt that there needed for a “base of operations” for all the enthusiasts visiting Stuttgart to participate in European Delivery for their new Porsche or Mercedes-Benz or simply tour the many automotive museums in the area.
Once you make it past Michael Schumacher’s Benetton B 194-5 Championship Formula 1 car in the lobby, guests can stay in three types of rooms at the V8 Hotel. The regular rooms are just that – regular boring hotel rooms that one may find around all of Germany or Europe. Then there are the themed rooms. These themed rooms are what sets the hotel apart from everyone else. There is a “Gas Station” room (Mr. Schad’s favorite room), a “Car Wash”, and a “Winner’s Circle” room. Families might enjoy the “Campground” room or perhaps the “Drive In” which may each accommodate 5 people. The whole idea is to create a variety of rooms that appeal to both the adult classic car enthusiast as well as the children.
Lastly there is the Mercedes Suite. This four-story complex occupies 1300 square feet of the old airfield control tower and offers guests a view of the entire area and an open roof terrace. Now that your interest has been piqued, how do you book such awesomeness?
Reservations may be made using several online reservation sites. But it is best to contact the hotel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a specific themed room. Also the hotel runs periodic package deals not available through third parties
What’s in the future for the V8 Hotel? Future rooms could incorporate a glass garage allowing the guest to sleep with their car. This should be especially tempting for enthusiasts who have just picked up their new vehicle at one of the plants in southern Germany (Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Porsche) and wish to spend their first night together.