Opt to stay in a hotel as unique as the city itself – there are plenty to choose from. Here’s our pick of the best of boutique in Berlin.
Part of the AMANO Group, Hotel ZOE is a gin lover’s heaven. Its dedicated Gin & Tonic bar – the first in Germany – serves the hotel’s own barrel-aged gin in a range of cocktails and long drinks.
Perhaps gin’s not your tipple of choice. No matter: ZOE’s rooftop bar is likely to offer something more to your tastes. For maximum effect, enjoy your drink on the terrace overlooking Berlin’s TV tower.
When you’re ready to retire inside, you’ll find plush interiors in velvet and marble. With low lighting, muted greys and blacks and the odd splash of eccentricity (tea lights in wire pineapples, golden palm print wallpaper), Hotel ZOE is a place to take a breather from the bustle of the city outside.
Henri Hotel brings the past into the present – from the antique typewriters and vintage artwork dotted around to the receptionists in retro uniforms. The nostalgic references manage to feel charming rather than cloying; perhaps because it’s got the history to back it up. In the centre of former West Berlin, the building dates back to the late 19th century and retains lots of its original features – apparent even on entering, with its period stucco-front.
The hotel gives guests a taste of authentic Germany, in the form of its free ‘Abendbrot’ (evening meal) served in the kitchen on weekdays between 7pm – 9pm. There are no excuses for not investigating the local cuisine when it’s delivered to your door.
This hotel might not sound German, which makes sense – it’s a cultural mishmash. With a French name, old school British interiors, and unmistakably German views (some of the suites look out over Berlin Cathedral), you get a bit of everything here.
There’s plenty to keep you happy in the hotel, like a lounge complete with an open fire to recline in front of and a full library to peruse. Alternatively, you can head outside with your book to the courtyard bar, which serves drinks and snacks.
And, being situated in Berlin-Mitte, there’s lots to see right on your doorstep – not least the UNESCO World Heritage Site Museum Island, which features five of Berlin’s most popular museums.
25 Hours Bikini Hotel
Berlin and bikinis may not come to mind as the most natural pairing, but Bikini Hotel is all about breaking the mould.
The hotel's design is pure urban jungle, with succulents, fronds, and greenhouse-esque structures throughout. There's a sky-high bar – the Monkey bar – for those who wish to climb up to the hotel's 10th floor, and a panoramic roof terrace for unobstructed views.
Add to this the beachy vibe created by the hammocks found in some of the hotel's bedrooms and you can start to see Berlin as more of a tropical destination than you'd ever imagined.
A creative place for creative types, Casa Camper can be found in the epicentre of Berlin’s sprawling selection of art galleries, cafes and museums. And, in true hipster fashion, the hotel rents bikes, so you can explore the city without needing to head underground.
But adventuring can be hungry work. Luckily for you, this hotel’s top floor lounge serves refreshments all day long. Wave goodbye to overpriced minibars – the ‘serve yourself’ never-ending buffet of hot and cold food and drink is completely free of charge. Hunt further and you’ll find the hotel’s Finnish sauna and gym (also free).
Das Stue Hotel
You’ll notice when you arrive that this hotel has presence. The building used to house the Royal Danish Embassy, so it’s appropriately grand. But the quality isn’t just skin (or wall) deep – this is a five-star hotel that takes luxury seriously.
There’s a pool which couldn’t be further from the community centre swimming lessons of your childhood (it features a Susanne Kaufmann spa and three treatment rooms), Diptyque products in every bathroom and interiors by designer Patricia Urquiola.
Looking out over Berlin Zoo, you can have a semi-safari experience from the hotel’s terrace, with ostriches and antelopes wandering in front of the deck. There’s also a private entrance for guests, letting you zoo without the need to queue.
The indoor swimming pool is the jewel in the crown of this former bathhouse, a listed building in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg.
The pool and its hall have been restored to stay true to its 1898 roots, retaining its arches and impressive vaulted ceiling, so you feel as though you’ve swum all the way back to a simpler, yet very ornate, time.
If you’ve worked up an appetite splashing around in the pool, Oderberger’s restaurant – located in the area’s former thermal power station – serves high-end interpretations of regional favourites. Staff are able to suggest German wines to pair with the food, so you can revel in the extra smugness you can feel as you embrace both local food and drink.
After dinner you can continue to bask in this warm glow by retiring to a fireside armchair for a postprandial debrief.
The Dude Hotel
Cool, eclectic and international: this hotel is classic Berlin – with a New York twist.
Featuring only 27 rooms, guests are made to feel at home at The Dude: complimentary drinks are offered on arrival and Moleskin notebooks are left on your bedroom desk, for any insightful notes you might like to jot down while you’re staying.
With two on-site eateries – YADA YADA bistro with its breakfast club and The Brooklyn restaurant, specialising in American steaks – you definitely won’t go hungry.
The hotel's not without its quirks: there’s a blanket ban on photography and large group bookings aren’t allowed, but these just serve to maintain its aura of exclusivity and privacy.
Just one question remains: is the hotel’s name a homage to the Big Lebowski’s anti-hero?
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