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Business

Food Hotel combines suites with sweets

If you're into food – really into food – you may want to spend a night or two at the Food Hotel on Germany's Rhine River. Its themed rooms cover all kinds of food products, from biscuits to beer.

Food Hotel bedroom

Hotel guests may experience a craving for biscuits

Neuwied, Germany, is home to what is believed to be Europe's first supermarket-themed hotel.

Thirty-six sponsors, including German household names like Veltins beer and Dr Oetker foods, have collaborated with the German National Food Retailers Association to help build the hotel and design rooms to attract food and drink fans.

In return for their investment, the companies, including international brands like Coca-Cola and Unilever, are given the opportunity to present their own product ideas and corporate philosophies in the bedrooms.

Dr. Oetker pudding

Dr Oetker is one of 36 corporate sponsors

Each of the 47 sponsored rooms – the hotel has a total of 115 – is unique. For instance, the room designed by the German snack food producer Chio encourages particularly young guests to party on potato chips and other snacks in a room with a rotating mirror disco ball and music pumped in by an integrated sound system.

Or take the room designed by German tea producer Messmer: There's no getting away from tea in this room, which is decorated with traditional tea crates and images of exotic tea plantations on the wall.

And yet another eye-catcher is the room created by Ferrero, the company behind the popular Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread and a wide range of sweets. The room recaptures the scene of a television commercial for its Raffaello coconut candies set on a desert island, complete with palm trees and shells as well as photos of sandy beaches and books about travel destinations.

Standard supermarket shelving

The shelving in the rooms is standard supermarket equipment, which the German shop designer ITAB adapted for the hotel. And while the hotel check-in desk has the look and feel of a store checkout point, guests can relax in the reception area in chairs that look like shopping carts.

The hotel includes a mini-supermarket, stocked with a variety of snacks, beverages and other foods that can be warmed in a microwave.

Food Hotel bedroom

Each of the 47 sponsored rooms has a unique design

Born of necessity

The idea of opening a hotel focused on grocery store merchandise was actually born of necessity, according to hotel manager Peter Gruenhaeuser.

The German National Food Retailers Association needed a modern facility to house trainees visiting its non-profit training center in Neuwied, and also to put up retail executives attending its various conferences.

"We needed something more upscale," hotel director Peter Gruenhaeuser told Deutsche Welle. "So we're now a four-star conference hotel, which is also open to the general public."

Plans for future expansion include the creation of a wellness center, which, Gruenhaeuser says, will also feature a food theme.

A single room costs 90 euros and a suite 120 euros – and there's plenty of food and drink for snack-lovers.

Author: John Blau
Editor: Sam Edmonds

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