As In the past, hostels were only intended to offer travellers protection. Guests had to put up with makeshift straw beds, fleas and uncouth manners. Nowadays, we are much more demanding. Hostels have developed into hotels which are expected to offer more than just a safe place to sleep. Hotels act as a link between our familiar home territory and the unknown, allowing us to feel at ease, relax and find inspiration. Ideally, hotels relieve feelings of homesickness whilst satisfying our desire to travel. That is no easy task, because every guest has a different notion of home. For Max Frisch “home” was to be found in particular people. In Herbert Grönemeyer’s case, home is a feeling, for Edgar Reitz it is a longing for something bygone, and Hans Albers believed home was a good place to die. Our understanding of home is as diverse and uncharted as our feelings about what is foreign, and as the sentiments aroused by these perceptions are profound and individual, hotels look for a way to offer the best of both worlds. Images are selected which, for most of us, evoke feelings of confidence, warmth, protection and respect. Only those who are able to discover a certain familiarity in things which seem foreign, and in so doing feel they are being respected, can appreciate this perceived foreignness, can overcome prejudices and cope with rejection. Finally, they are able to view their homeland, the world and the diversity in both of them in a generous and benevolent manner. We very much hope that you are appreciated and respected both at home and away, and can share that with others. Here is to feeling at home with diversity – everywhere we go.
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