Tired of faceless business hotels or fake rusticity? The "Sorcerer's Apprentice" is the ultimate designer boutique hotel, right in the heart of the trendy Bean Quarter. It's like staying in a conceptual art gallery, or a so-hip-it-hurts club. The 17 spacious rooms are a decorator's dream, all done by the owners, and each is completely different in style.

"Sunrise" is all black and white and urban Zen, complete with a gold circular headboard and small Hindu statues. A rooftop garden and open-air tub aid meditation. The stunningly modern bathroom features a wood-floored minimalist shower room with black brick and glass walls. The sink is a mere curve of thick glass thrust into a porcelain stand. "Chalet," with its cowhide floor and antler chandelier, is clean, white and bright, sort of dude ranch meets the city. "Floor to Heaven" has a round white bed and exposed, whitewashed beams partitioning off the super funky living room with over-sized gilt throne, zebra-striped cushions, and glowing pink wall panels. A shower of crystal drops cascades from ceiling to floor. The huge bathroom has three separate rooms painted in hot tropical colors. The black granite sink runs the whole length of one wall, layered with huge leaves.

The shower is a mango-colored room wired for sound, with a constellation of tiny LED lights in the ceiling. "Titanic" has a waterbed, clawfoot bath and turn-of-the-century nautical theme, while "Paddington" is a Victorian fantasy. "Zeitfalle," the smallest and cheapest double room at €140 including breakfast, qualifies as a high-fashion bargain. It's an imaginative use of 18 square meters, and it has a balcony overlooking the garden.

All rooms have private bathrooms, minibar, flatscreen TV, CD players, and high-speed Internet access. There are two separate buildings, and be warned that corridors tend to be dark, lighted by glowing panels in the floor.

There is also a popular but pricey international fusion restaurant. —by Lydia Itoi

Contact: Der Zauberlehrling, Rosenstrasse 38, 70182 Stuttgart, tel. +49/0711/23 77 77-0, fax 23 77 77-5. Proprietors: Karen and Axel Heldmann. Karen is the principal designer.