BACKGROUND Melia Hotels International's "business lifestyle" Innside brand has ten hotels in Germany and two in Madrid. It opened its third Innside in Dusseldorf in September. There are plans to open eight more in the next two years, including one in Manchester in 2014. WHAT'S IT LIKE? The four-star Innside Dusseldorf Hafen takes up most of the Colorium, a 16-storey building that juts out over the Hafen harbour like a diving board and offers wonderful views across the city. Constructed in 2001 as an office building, the exterior consists of 2,000 panes of coloured glass and, as a result, manages to stand out despite being surrounded by similarly modern, state-of-the-art architecture. The 134-room hotel occupies the ground floor and levels five to 14 and 16 at the top – floors two to four and 15 remain office space. WHERE IS IT? In Dusseldorf's Media Harbour in the Hafen district, 3km south-west from the city centre and a 15-minute drive from the airport. Once a warehouse and industrial zone, the area has in the past two decades been reconfigured as a high-tech hub filled with the offices of internet firms and many major global fashion brands. ROOM FACILITIES Standard rooms are 22 sqm and occupy the lower floors. All rooms from the tenth to 15th floors are either Premium (27 sqm) or suites (46 sqm) because of their stunning views. My Premium room was on a corner on the 12th floor. Windows ran along the entirety of two sides and overlooked the harbour, including the Rhein Tower, and the city as a whole. The windows have electronic blinds controlled with switches near the door. Once down, you can then manually lower an additional blind to block out almost all light. The room design is open-plan, with the sink located in the bedroom itself to the right as you enter, and separate cubicles for the toilet and walk-in rainshower. Between the shower and the sink was an open wardrobe with space for your suitcase. Although there was room on the side of the sink to place toiletries, there was nowhere to hang towels apart from a single rail on the outside of the shower door. The king-size bed was comfortable, with large soft pillows and two single duvets. Against the window at the foot of the bed was a glass-topped desk supporting a 40-inch TV, a phone, lamp and a small pot filled with fresh flowers. There was also a plug (EU socket only) and a wired internet socket. Wifi is free in all rooms up to 50MB per 24 hours, with the option of paying e5 for unlimited access. There was also a fridge containing free soft drinks, a Nespresso machine (Premium rooms/suites only), tea facilities and a safe. An iron and ironing board is available on request. The room was painted white and uncarpeted. There wasn't much space between the foot of the bed and the desk so it felt a little cramped. At times it was too hot and the air conditioning didn't work, despite a staff member popping up to help me turn it on, and opening a window often let in a gale, this being a 12th-floor room. I imagine this was a teething problem for the new hotel. RESTAURANTS AND BARS The View Skylounge restaurant and bar on the 16th floor provides incredible views across the city and is often frequented by non-residents, particularly in the evenings. A breakfast buffet offers a good spread, and a set two-course menu for e18 is available at lunchtime, while dinner options include veal fillet and entrecôte. BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES There are two meeting rooms on the ground floor, both overlooking the harbour and seating 50 delegates. LEISURE FACILITIES The "wellness centre" on the fifth floor has Technogym equipment and a sauna. VERDICT A distinctive building in an inspiring area. The breathtaking views and welcoming staff made for an enjoyable visit. FACT FILE
- HOW MANY ROOMS? 134 – 57 Standard, 68 Premium, seven Junior suites and two Innside Lifestyle suites.
- HIGHLIGHTS The vista from the aptly named View Skylounge bar and restaurant, the comfortable bed and the friendly service.
- PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in February started from £117 for a Standard room.
- CONTACT Innside Dusseldorf Hafen, Speditionstrasse 9; tel +49 211 447 170; innside.com