From intimate boutique hotels to quirky hostels, Berlin has accommodation to suit every kind of traveller. When it comes to luxury, the choice of hotels is world class: an opulent historic villa, a chic townhouse and a renovated Bauhaus department store all feature among Berlin’s seven best luxury hotels.
Though for many, Berlin’s gritty alternative vibe is part of the German capital’s appeal, Berlin’s best luxury hotels offer something a little more refined. These plush places to stay are beacons of style and class, and reflect the city’s creativity in their architecture, design and vibe. Whether you are seeking a spa, a rooftop pool, a central location or some old-world opulence, there is a luxury hotel in Berlin for you.
While Berlin is known for its hipster, minimalist aesthetic, in the pre-war period the city was famously lavish and whimsical in style. No hotel better exemplifies this than Hotel Zoo, set on the historic Kurfürstendamm shopping boulevard. Hotel Zoo calls itself a ‘refuge for individualists’, and is notable for its chic townhouse vibe, which stands in contrast to some of Berlin’s grander luxury hotels. There are 10 suites to choose from, each uniquely designed to strike a balance between Art Nouveau and Kreuzberg’s inimitable alternative vibe. Also channelling 1920s glamour, the in-hotel Grace Restaurant is not only frequented by guests, but also by trendy Berliners who flock to sample the best of casual fine dining. Hotel Zoo is an ideal choice for those who want to enjoy luxury without forgoing environmental responsibility – the hotel is a certified Green Globe hotel by virtue of its commitment to sustainability.
Berlin was among the hottest destinations for the celebrity jet set of the 1950s and 1960s, and when in town, the likes of Brigitte Bardot – along with intellectuals such as writer Vladimir Nabokov – called the Hotel am Steinplatz home. Since reopening in 2014, it has managed to retain its mid-century charm while offering stellar modern amenities. The Moorish arches and Art Nouveau architecture sit side-by-side with modern flourishes and technology including flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and Bose speakers in all rooms. There is a small but pristine gym, along with a spa area with two different types of sauna. All of Mitte’s historic sites are mere minutes away, with the in-house restaurant the perfect place to refuel after a day of sightseeing.
Once the headquarters of Dresdner Bank, Hotel de Rome occupies a grand 1880s building in a prime location just minutes away from Berlin’s State Opera and the cathedral. The Hotel de Rome is for those seeking the best of Berlin on their doorstep, while also enjoying the finest amenities: a spa – built in the well-conserved bank vaults – along with cocktails at the rooftop bar and Italian cuisine at the in-house La Banca restaurant. Simple yet extravagant, the light-flooded rooms overlook the magnificent Bebelplatz square and feature smart TVs and luxurious Forte Organics toiletries. The interior designers have artfully juxtaposed the bank’s conservative architectural aesthetic and contemporary design, with the La Banca restaurant playing host to various temporary exhibitions from art galleries across Berlin. In short, Hotel de Rome is a triple threat: location, history and dynamic design.
Grand Hyatt hotels are famed around the world for their welcoming charm and excellent service. Berlin’s own (the first Grand Hyatt in Europe) is located on central Potsdamer Platz, an area famed as a favourite hangout spot among the city’s artists. In keeping with this history, paintings and sculptures by famous German artists (including the likes of Monika Baer and Günther Förg) are on display around the hotel, making the place feel like both a gallery and a luxurious home. Rooms are stylish and comfortable, with marble bathrooms and flat-screen TVs, while the common areas are equally appealing: guests can relax at the living room-style Jamboree cocktail bar, dine on Italian cuisine at the Tizian restaurant or enjoy sushi at Vox. This refined hotel is particularly popular among business visitors.
The crème-de-la-crème of Berlin’s luxury hotels – just ask Her Majesty the Queen, who stayed here on a trip to Berlin, or the revolving cast of A-list celebrities who have spent the night at this historic hotel. Like a luxurious cabin on the Orient Express, the sense of grandeur is strong at the Kempinski. As you would expect, the service is unmatched and there’s a nostalgic drama in the classic decor and furniture (the elephant fountain in the lobby, for example). Today, the amenities are state-of-the-art, striking a balance between past and present. A Roman-inspired indoor pool sits beside the tranquil spa, while each room is fitted with high-tech entertainment centres. The Kempinski also has four restaurants, with the Restaurant Quarré specialising in regional cuisine and overlooking the iconic Brandenburg Gate.
The Patrick Hellmann Schlosshotel is a luxury boutique hotel set in a historic villa surrounded by its own private park. Conceived by fashion and interior designer Patrick Hellman, the hotel is located in the prestigious, leafy West Berlin suburb of Grunewald. Thanks to its position in an area of great natural beauty – close to the Teufelssee Lake and Grunewald forest – the Schlosshotel is ideal for travellers seeking sanctuary from the city without wanting to sacrifice convenience. Picture yourself at the spa and wellness centre – complete with pine-forest views – before taking a dip in the pool or heading to the grand Karl Lagerfeld-designed rooms. It might feel far from the city, but the hotel is just a few minutes’ drive from the bustling Kurfürstendamm boulevard.
It’s hard to express the impact Soho House has had on luxury travel since opening its outposts around the globe, starting with its London base in 1995. Berlin’s own is located between Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, in a safe neighbourhood with a burgeoning restaurant scene, close to Berlin’s must-visit attractions. Set in a Bauhaus department store dating back to the 1920s, this exclusive members-only hotel boasts a spa and gym, four bars, restaurants, a rooftop pool and a live-music space. The hotel’s aesthetic encapsulates Berlin today: unfussy, sleek and subtly extravagant. Appealing to hardcore shoppers and culture lovers, Soho House is now home to The Store, a retail and cultural hub filled with fashion, food, art installations and co-working spaces.