The Unique and Elegant Wasserturm Hotel Cologne – a dog-friendly review!

From a 19th century water tower to a new trendy hotspot, the Wasserturm Hotel Cologne welcomes guests to live a bit of history. Today, it’s not only a gorgeous and unique Hilton hotel, it’s also one that welcomes dogs! That’s all we needed to know to book the weekend in Cologne at this fabulous property. It’s not only the fascinating architecture that makes this place special, it’s also the history of the building itself.

Birth of the Wasserturm (Water Tower)

In the late 19th century, Cologne’s rapidly growing population needed a larger and more reliable water supply. Enter the city’s first water tower, which was commissioned in 1897. The structure was truly monumental for its time. The wasserturm is a whopping 252 feet tall and could hold 792,000 gallons of water!

During World War I, the tower even served as an observation post, taking advantage of its strategic position overlooking the city and its 360 degree views. But technological advancements eventually rendered the tower obsolete. In 1931, its water-storing days came to an end and the poor old Wasserturm decayed into disrepair.

Revival and Transformation

It wasn’t until the 1980s when a renewed interest in preserving Cologne’s architectural heritage began. The Wasserturm, recognized for its historic and architectural value, found a champion in entrepreneur Josef Sauren, who converted the derelict water tower into a luxury hotel.

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The structure required extensive renovations in a way that would maintain historical preservation but also allow for the modern amenities and infrastructure that would be required. I’d call the 11-year long project, completed in 2021, a resounding success!

The Wasserturm Hotel Cologne Today

The tall brick reception area of the Waserturm Hotel in Cologne
The reception area of the Wasserturm Hotel Cologne

Today, the Wasserturm Hilton Hotel‘s facade retains its unmistakeable silhouette, and historical charm. The interior is gorgeous, all in brick, with a stunning lobby that contains towering neon signs that say “water” in several different languages. The floor plan is, naturally, round – which takes a little getting used to. But no worries, if you walk past the door to your room by mistake, there it comes again!

The circular brick walkway to the rooms. You can see the catwalk on the floor above which had an entrance to our bedroom on the top floor of the suite.

Each of the 88 rooms and suites offers stunning views of the city. Allied air raids destroyed most of old Cologne during World War II, but the cathedral and several other impressive churches have survived and stand out against the skyline. We were able to see four of them from our room!

THE ROOM (#603)

And our room. Wow. We got an unexpected upgrade, and it was utterly fabulous! The first floor had the bathroom, living room, minibar, desk, large TV and closet. Up the staircase was an open area that looked over the first floor, and the bedroom. The bedroom had another door leading out on to the open Mezzanine level which offered another view of the innards of this amazing space and a catwalk-like passage around the tower.

The bathroom was not sprawling, but big enough – with one sink, and a shower. The bath and body care products provided were very nice, and two robes and slippers hung on the door.

The room we ended up with was a free upgrade, but our original room was a very modest $130 per night plus about $7 per night city tax.


The panoramic rooftop bar, “Bar Botanik,” is a breathtaking spot to grab a craft cocktail with fresh botanicals while gazing at the view.

We were there during “Manhattan Week” so we took advantage. They’ve also got a small but nice selection of food including a sliced steak sandwich which was quite good. And let’s face it, you can’t find bad fries in Germany!

Breakfast was fantastic, with a typical continental selection with cold cuts and cheeses, and a hot English breakfast on the other side of the dining room. The whole gigantic spread had everything from chia pudding, amazing pastries, a real honeycomb, a machine to fresh squeeze your orange juice, and even a menu to order from, on top of it all.


It’s about a 20-minute walk to the cathedral from the hotel. Once you get to the cathedral, the rest of the old town and many museums, shops, restaurants, breweries, and points of interest are close by. So, it’s not right in the thick of the action, but it was peaceful and quiet and easier to find nice calm spots to walk Helga. For what you get, I think that few extra minutes of walking is worth it.


There is a parking garage underneath the hotel which leads right inside. As you would imagine, it too is curved and spirals down in a circle. Parking is an extra charge, which came to about $23 per day.


There were no extras provided for dogs in the room, but we bring our own basics anyway, so we find special touches thoughtful but ultimately not necessary. Helga was perfectly delighted with the room as it was, with plenty of space to roam and explore. Although she was pretty sure that some of those treats in the room had to be for her!

The pet fee was very reasonable, too. We were only charged about $25 for our four day stay.

Lunging for the wasabi snacks!

There was no obvious green space close by, but there were many quiet side streets to explore, and we even found a segment of the old Roman wall that surrounded Cologne just a block from the hotel!

Would we recommend the Wasserturm Hilton Hotel? Absolutely. Whether you have a furry friend with you or not, this is an exceptional hotel experience not to be missed.

A french bulldog lying next to her suitcase in the dog-friendly Wasserturm Hotel
I got the feeling she didn’t want to leave!

You can book your stay at the Wasserturm Hotel Cologne HERE. Tell them Helga the Frenchie sent you!

Read more at my comprehensive post with lots of tips and tricks for staying in a hotel with your dog!

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