Purposeful Travel by Kesang Ball

Adopt a Secret Identity at Gorki Apartments

Before arriving in Berlin, we hit up some friends to find out the best places to stay in the city. The most recommended (even from the local heads) was Gorki Apartments.

In a city known for its affordable cost of living and creative pull from all corners of the world, Airbnb can be perceived as the best option to tap straight into the culture and live like a local. Unfortunately when you take a closer look at the impact Airbnb has on the local communities, it's not as socially sustainable as one might think. Zero hour contracts for staff and property value inflation leads to driving locals out of the tourist hotspots and ultimately diluting the culture.

On the other hand, hotels such as Gorki offer secure employment opportunities and ensure locals are still inhabiting the apartments in the centre of the city.

Some think hotels detract from that 'home from home' experience, but Gorki Apartments aim to show otherwise. The hotel finds itself situated in Mitte, in what they describe as “the pulsating heart of the city”.

“It’s where it all happens - the galleries, the artists, where you find the best restaurants and bars. As you know, Berlin has a lot of centres, but Mitte is still where it all comes together - it connects all the best cultural areas of the city.”

When walking around the streets of Berlin you'll notice all the apartments have names instead of flat numbers, making you feel more connected to the city and its people.

This personal approach is something Gorki embraces, having named each of their individual apartments. Some of these are from old owners and others reference the backgrounds of locals - creating a more inclusive philosophy. For examples, a room is named Penelope because of the surrounding Spanish and Latin American community.

“For us, it’s like the idea of living under an alias or another name”

The Gorki building is full of history, as it lived through both wars. When you walk into the lobby you can see remnants of its heritage and history woven in its modern interior. The paintings in the hallway were covered by the previous owners before Gorki let them breathe again. Each of the 36 apartments has its own vibe and was personally designed by Sandra Pauquet, a French designer who’s been living in the city for the past ten years.

“Our interior designer travels around Europe collecting old furniture from vintage markets. When the apartments were empty, she walked through the building, slept through the empty rooms and inhaled the unique spirit of each apartment”

Just like our WhatsApp channel, Gorki embodies the nature of being at eye level with your peers. The concierge is only a text away and available at any time. You communicate by dropping them a WhatsApp and they’ll still be at hand even after you’ve checked out if you need any help or just fancy a chat.

Talking to Fredrik Sens about the design and history of Gorki in their penthouse suite
Fredrik Sens from Gorki, who is also a photographer
Fredrik Sens from Gorki, who is also a photographer

Photography: Sam Blenkinsopp & Trisha Andres

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