Short stay: Carloft, Berlin, Germany

 

Carloft is an apartment with a difference in the Kreuzberg region of Berlin, on the corner of Liegnitzer Straße and Reichenberger Straße. As its name implies, this is an apartment where you can park your car in a lofty position – right outside your apartment, irrespective of which floor that might be on. The car (in my case, the BMW X4 which I was driving as part of the #BMWstories campaign) is driven into a lift and reversed back out on to a balcony, from where you can enter the accommodation.

Street sign

The welcome

I was welcomed at the airport by representatives of BMW and driven to the Carloft. It was interesting to hear not only about all the amazing features of the BMW X4, but also about the Carloft and how it has an international patent – not on the concept of having a lift for a car, but on the configuration of how this is achieved.

The room

This isn’t just a room but a spacious apartment, owned and designed by Frank Dittel. It is his own personal residence when he is in Berlin, but he spends some of his time in Stuttgart also. A feature wall in the lounge offers a bold statement as you enter, and the futuristic kitchen/bar provides ample space to entertain.

Carloft lounge

Carloft kitchen

There is also a dining table with seating for up to 8 people should you wish to hold a dinner party.

Carloft dining area

The loft is used for commercial purposes but also has a luxurious private wing that includes a simple, open plan sleeping area with a low-lying bed.

Carloft bedroom

The bathroom

The bedroom extends into the bathroom where there is a twin basin, rain shower, lovely bath and WC. Toiletries provided included Alpecin Tuning Shampoo designed, I’m sure, to look like engine oil – a nice touch given that I was there to work for BMW!

Carloft bathroom

Carloft tuning shampoo

Carloft bathroom

The facilities

There’s an additional bathroom and an outdoor decking area (aside from the balcony for the car). Also, hidden away from the kitchen, is a small library/study, with a smattering of books about design and the city of Berlin.

Carloft library

Other nice touches

Of course, the lift to your apartment – with your car – is what really makes this apartment quite unique. This isn’t as lazy as it might seem – it’s actually quite practical. There was no way to accommodate all the vehicles in the base of the building so this seemed like a logical – if a little ambitious – solution. The upshot of this though is a number of practical benefits. You can unload your shopping directly to your kitchen. You can get your kids to and from the car in complete safety – particularly ideal if you have little ones – and you can pack for a trip away without doing several trips up and down the stairs.

Although the lift spaces are quite narrow, there was ample space for the BMW X4 that I was driving (even if Christine doesn’t look too convinced in the photo!) and the car’s ‘bird’s eye view’ on the screen display inside the car made navigating in and out of the space much, much easier. That particular feature really comes into its own here. An integrated camera system – with cameras strategical positioned around the car – allows you to see the car in plan view on the interior display. This helped me to see exactly how close I was to the walls of the lift on each side of the vehicle.

Driving into the Carloft lift…

Entering the lift to the Carloft with the BMW X4

Heading up to the apartment in the lift…

BMW X4 in the lift up to the Carloft

Parked outside the apartment, having reversed out of the lift…

BMW X4 parked at the Carloft

Cost

The apartment is not available for rent like a hotel room or self-catering apartment so there is no published tariff available.

The final verdict

A novel but practical way to accommodate a vehicle when city living space is limited.

Working at the Carloft

Disclosure: I was invited to Berlin courtesy of BMW to drive the new BMW X4, experience the city and take part in the #BMWstories campaign.

Comments (23)

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  1. Cory Lee says:

    Looks like a fantastic place to stay, and what a great ride you had as well! I love Germany and have been all over different parts of it, but actually never to Berlin. Glad you had a good time!

  2. Brianna says:

    What a great apartment! I love the modern design throughout but the kitchen and dining area are my favorites.

  3. Natasha Amar says:

    This is a very cool modern concept. Also love the feature wall in the lounge and the general look of the apartment.

  4. Being innovative and high tech is probably what I like the most about the Germans. I’m still having mixed feelings since the FIFA World Cup… But I’ll get over it soon.

  5. Els says:

    Now, that is one very fancy apartment! :-) Not too sure about the featured wall though…but love the rest!

  6. Revati says:

    Wow. What will they think of next. This place is so stunning, i’d love it even without the novelty of the car lift!

  7. Christina says:

    What an awesome apartment and BMW X4. Did you use the tuning shampoo for the car or for yourself? ;)

  8. Paul Johnson says:

    That was for me… it’s supposed to stimulate hair growth from the roots, but I am probably ‘beyond repair’ on that front… ;-)

  9. Karen Warren says:

    That apartment is quite an amazing design. I’ve seen car parks with lifts before, but never one that takes you to your front door!

  10. Jameela Deen says:

    The apartment looks quite unique but not sure i like so many different style in one single apartment… still the car lift is totally awesome

  11. Milosz Zak says:

    Your shots prove that Germans definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to design – and that goes for cars, as well as home design.

  12. Em says:

    Wow, what a great place! And what better way to arrive back than a BMW in a lift! I’d love to stay in that apartment :)

  13. Elena says:

    Wow, that first room is crazy!And that BMW in the lift! The whole apartment looks very impressive and the design is amazing!

  14. Anne Klien says:

    Thats a very cool place I love the idea about the car on a lift :) I never been to Berlin but its on my list.

  15. Adrian Ann says:

    I just know myself and I would bang my car up to high heaven. Please tell me they some sort of advanced system of warnings when you get to close? The apartment is just beautiful, I love the feature wall, it is a nice touch. Still love the car….

  16. Paul Johnson says:

    As well as the sensors that tell you how close you are, Adrian, you can get a bird’s eye view displayed on the screen inside which shows you exact how close you are to the walls of the lift, all the way round…

  17. Marie-Carmen says:

    Oh that bath looks absolutely awesome! And the rest too but I think I would just stay in there forever!

  18. Looks like an amazing place, but sorry I’m more interested in that shampoo! I’ve seen loads of adverts for it but never seen it in person! Haha!

  19. Veronika says:

    I guess it would be awesome to have an apartment and a BMW like that..:) And drive it in Berlin, weeeee… :D Fun post!

  20. Margherita says:

    Lovely place, with or without car lift! I love the decor and the massive bedroom! You definitely know how to travel in style!

  21. Bianca says:

    Not bad if I may say so. Both car and apartment are just a treat on the eyes. I love the decor of the apartment. Really cool that you can take the car up the lift with you too.

  22. Mindi says:

    This is quite an apartment! It would be helpful to know the normal rate since Berlin is on our short list to visit.

  23. Paul Johnson says:

    Hi Mindi

    It doesn’t have a ‘normal rate’ because it’s not normally available to the general public. If you are serious about wanting to book it, though, you could try contacting Frank Dittel. Expect to pay top dollar, though, if indeed you can rent it at all…

    Paul

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