Sleepover instead of champagne – for its hotel opening in August 2018, Schulz Hotels and its partners gave Berlin school classes the opportunity to take a new look at their hometown. About 250 students and teachers from different parts of the city were given a free night, as well as a two-day cultural program. Kristina Fischer, the director of a secondary school in Berlin, was part of it.
"The call of a friend came as a surprise! He, my friend, has been working for Nizar Rokbani for a while already – the man who did not only found a school, but who is also the founder of the Meininger hotel group and is now starting a new hotel concept: Schulz Hotels.
“Oh, and we are supposed to sleep there as test subjects?”, I asked half-jokingly, half hopeful. “Yes!” Immediately I tried to get as many of my students of 9. grade in the project. A 24 hour-class trip within Berlin and all of that for free – how awesome is that!!?!
"Knowing your own city helps to feel that you belong. The more the children learn about the history of Berlin, the better they can identify with their place of residence and ultimately integrate in it", says Jens Großpietsch, educational advisor to Freudbergschule Berlin. “For many of the students it was also the first time that they stayed in a hotel”, the founder of the hotel, Nizar Rokbani, sees a social responsibility: "We also want to make it possible for socially disadvantaged children to relive their hometown".
Berlins students explore Berlin
"So two classes together with four teachers of the Wilma Rudolph High School of Berlin were allowed to check in for one night at the Schulz Hotel at the end of August 2018. Another 4 or 5 secondary schools were present with their student groups for this soft opening event, as well as chic businessmen and women and diligent craftsmen.
Completely in awe with the furnishing of the very modern and still completely new hotel, the library in the entrance area, the beautiful thick carpets in the corridors and the names designated room doors, our 51 students occupied their 3- to 4-bed rooms. At 4 pm Nizar spoke to his guests and told them about his idea to give Berlin another cosmopolitan and cool side. He spoke of his own career - born in Berlins district Moabit he grew up to become the founder of a hotel group - and urged everyone to pay respect to each other and to forget the personal envy. Thumbs up, Nizar, Robert and Co! Respect!"
What a show
Just before dinner, we had the opportunity to take a closer look at the East Side Gallery, the preserved part of Berlin Wall, which starts right next to the hotel. We strolled through the neighbouring districts Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg and got into the subway, to attend the Blue Man Group on Potsdamer Platz. What a show! We were lucky to have ear plugs with us, because the guys on stage were loud, amusing and inspiring. When one of our students was asked to wear a suit and was hung upside down to be thrown twice against a wall to create a beautiful work of color, we teachers became a bit nervous though...
No class trip without a bit of culture
The bus that was organized for us then brought us back to the hotel. The breakfast the next morning comforted everyone over their fatigue. It was time to pack backpacks, check out and go down to the jetty, in between eat a farewell ice cream, and board the ship, that would drive us three hours through the center of Berlin and bring us to the last stop of our "mini-class trip". No class trip without a bit of culture: The exhibition in the Palace of Tears did not knock the students off their feet in their morning mood, but perhaps gave them a bit of understanding of East-West-German history. All in all, Schulz Hotel came up with a wonderful program. We would like to thank you once again and emphasize that we all enjoyed this incredible generosity, openness and coolness.