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Germany’s most photographic hotels ranked

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There are plenty of rankings out there that highlight the world’s most luxe hotels, but they tend to focus on vacation hotspots in the likes of Dubai and Singapore. Europe’s comparatively business-centric destinations tend to be overlooked.

To fill this void, real estate brokerage Tranio has created a ranking of Germany’s most photographic hotels. To compile the list, Tranio’s analysts scoured Google reviews and Instagram posts to narrow some 13,000 hotels down to the 10 most stunning. 

The Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf proved to be an Instagram favourite, even beating out Berlin’s legendary Adlon Kempinski

German top hotels

The next ten hotels are as follows:

Rating position

Hotel

Number of Instagram posts*

City

Number of Google reviews

11

Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin

20 900

Berlin

2 744

12

The Westin Grand Munich

19 000

Munich

2 513

13

InterContinental Berlin, an IHG Hotel

18 600

Berlin

3 191

14

Hyatt Regency Cologne

18 500

Cologne

2 469

15

Hotel de Rome, a Rocco Forte Hotel

18 400

Berlin

1 117

16

Grand Hyatt Berlin

17 400

Berlin

1 716

17

Kameha Grand

16 500

Bonn

7 27

18

Mandarin Oriental, Munich

16 500

Munich

2 437

19

Hilton Berlin

16 000

Berlin

3 605

20

Sofitel Munich Bayerpost

15 500

Munich

2 172

*data gathered on 20 October 2021.

Despite having seven times fewer Google reviews than the Park Inn in Berlin, the Hyatt Regency in Düsseldorf was tagged a record number of 58,200 times on Instagram. It took the top spot among the most instagrammed German hotels. Its popularity likely owes to its coveted location on the tip of a Rhine peninsula, in the bustling Media Harbour, which boasts panoramic views of the city centre and the Rheinturm. 

Hotel guests aren’t the only enthusiasts; bloggers, wedding photographers, and even luxury car advertisers flock to the  hotel’s iconic stairs, swimming pool and mirrored terrace bar to draw in the Instagram likes.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin ranked second, with upwards of 42,000 posts on Instagram. Opened at the dawn of the 20th century, it quickly emerged as one of the most famous hotels in Europe, hosting such celebrity guests as Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein, and Marlene Dietrich. The original building was largely destroyed during World War II, and then demolished in the 1980s. 

The design of the current hotel was inspired by the original. Located on Unter den Linden, Berlin’s main boulevard, the hotel lures in guests wishing to wake up to views of the Brandenburg Gate—and perhaps rake in the likes with a shot of their morning coffee pictured against the world-famous backdrop.

Another Berlin hotel in an eye-catching location is the Ritz-Carlton, pictures of which have been posted on Instagram some 29,000 times, placing it in third place. Located right next to the historic Potsdamer Platz, the Ritz-Carlton’s striking figure has proven endlessly fascinating to visitors and passers by.

“The buildings comprising a location’s skyline can play a key role in attracting tourists,” said architect Edwin Lesthaeghe of the Belgian firm Format Architecten after reviewing the study. “The Hyatt Regency in Düsseldorf is a classic example of the power a silhouette can have in a skyline. It’s so obvious and noticeable that it awakens the curiosity of passers by.” On the other side of the coin, the Adlon Kempinski, captures attention with its glamorous interior. “The symmetry, round shapes, arcs and loud-yet-refined interior leaves its mark,” Lesthaeghe said.

It bears noting that the Radisson Blue in Berlin, famous for its aquarium with a built-in transparent elevator, didn’t make it into the top 10, landing in 11th place. Despite being tagged more than 20 thousand times on Instagram, Radisson Blu Hotel lost to the other hotels surrounded by more often photographed neighbourhoods. Although the top hotels mostly comprise large chain hotels, the economically priced but trendy nhow hotel in Berlin beat out more expensive hotels like the Mandarin Oriental in Munich.

Another unexpected discovery was the significant disparity between the number of photos and of reviews for many of the top hotels across Germany. 

“This indicated that in many cases, those photographing hotels were not necessarily the people staying there,” said Elena Skrebkova who led the research project. “Rather, they can be tourist attractions in their own rights, complete with their own panoramic views and landscaped surroundings.”

This was particularly true of the #1 hotel, which was not the leader in terms of the number of  reviews. Only two hotels in the ranking, the Park Inn by Radisson in Berlin and the Estrel Berlin, boast a high number of both pictures and reviews.

Methodology

With the help of Google Maps API, we downloaded a dataset comprising about 13,000 hotels in more than 100 German cities. In addition to the spatial distribution of hotels, we obtained an array of data points, including review numbers, ratings, and categories (hotel, hostel, guesthouse, wellness hotel, etc.). 

In order to identify hotels mentioned by the Instagram users most often, Tranio generated a unique link for each geo-tag, and determined the number of posts published in each location.  Machine and manual data collection methods were used.

We sorted the hotels with the number of Instagram posts in descending order and developed a ranking of the hotels that were most frequently featured on Instagram. This methodology entailed several assumptions: 

  • The most popular hotels among Instagram users would presumably have reviews on Google Maps.
  • The hotel can be a city-wide point of attraction due to its unusual design or panoramic location. Consequently, photos mentioning the hotel may not have been taken by guests. For this study, it is the overall popularity of the hotel that is taken into account, not just popularity amongst hotel guests.
  • The posts were downloaded for all time without taking into account the temporal  dynamics of popularity.

Berlin and Munich have the most Instagrammed hotels

More than half of the most Instagrammable hotels are in Berlin, which lives up to its title as the country's trendiest and hippest locale. Munich and Cologne are noticeably behind. Curiously, in 11th place is Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which does not qualify as a city in its own right, but which is home to a famous ski resort and has six hotels each of which has been photographed and posted on Instagram more than 1,000 times.

Top 10 cities in Germany

Most hotels are located in the west and south of the country, as well as in the central area. There are considerably fewer hotels in the north.

Heatmap of German hotels
Heatmap of German hotels
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