After hitting the city’s renowned club scene, kicking back with a restorative treatment and a peaceful night’s sleep at one of the best spa hotels in Berlin might just be the answer.
If there’s one thing everyone knows about the German capital, it’s that Berlin takes its hedonism seriously. The vast collection of spa hotels scattered across Berlin, each a beckoning haven of tranquillity, represents the polar opposite of the city’s frenetic nightlife scene. But they still go heavy on the indulgence – after all, every pleasure-seeker needs a little R&R. Whether you’re putting your feet up or your head down, you’ll find your bliss in these Berlin spa hotels.
Waldorf Astoria Berlin
Waldorf Astoria Berlin boasts a spa by the renowned Parisian beauty brand Guerlain | Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Berlin / Hotels.com
Its distinctive cloud-shaped pool is the first clue as to the level of blissful drifting to be expected at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin’s award-winning spa. Located in the western Berlin suburb of Charlottenburg, this is Germany’s only spa by the renowned Parisian beauty brand Guerlain. Visitors clad in plush robes journey from one relaxing experience to the next: from pool to sauna to steam room to one of the six serene therapy rooms for a personalised treatment. When you’re done with the pampering, head to the 15th floor Library Lounge for afternoon tea against a backdrop of panoramic city views.
A Berlin icon – whether you recognise it because of Greta Garbo, Dr Who or Michael Jackson’s infamous baby-dangling incident – what the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in the city’s central Mitte district really deserves to be known for is its luxury spa. At 835 square metres (9,000 square feet) and spread over three floors of calming neutral tones, marble, mosaic and the deep turquoise of the heated pool, there are few wellness whims that can’t be met by the extensive treatment menu or a bespoke experience guided by one of the knowledgeable spa concierges. Offset at least some of that healthy living by splurging on the hotel’s signature reinterpretation of a German culinary classic: the ‘Adlon-Currywurst’ with its secret-recipe sauce.
Unassuming as its name may be, this beautifully restored Prussian-era mansion on Berlin’s famous Kurfürstendamm shopping boulevard turns up the old-world charm with antique furnishings, handmade stained glass windows and decadently spacious suites. In the generous basement spa, a carefully curated spa menu by former Olympic athlete Ditte Kotzian champions Ayurvedic health, yoga and mindfulness, offering more than just massages, and then throwing in things like coaching, counselling, Reiki and even kids’ treatments. Once you’ve achieved your zen, a lounger next to the heated indoor pool is the ideal place to get lost in that trashy holiday read – or you can pick something up at the hotel’s library.
Built in 1889, in a past life the Hotel de Rome – now among Berlin’s best hotels – was once the headquarters of the Dresdner Bank. It’s apt then that its greatest treasure should be housed behind a reinforced steel-plated door in the former jewel vaults: the De Rome Spa. Here, safely tucked away from the tireless buzz of its Mitte locale, guests can enjoy an indoor pool surrounded by stately pillars, a Finnish sauna, a steam room, private yoga and pilates classes or find deep relaxation in one of the six treatment rooms. Each of the hotel’s opulent 108 rooms and suites is fitted with a king-sized bed, meaning the sense of splendour and tranquillity is sure to follow you well beyond the spa.
Like many Berlin hotels, this Mitte landmark has a storied past, first as a seven-storey department store in the late 1920s, then as the HQ of the Reich Youth Leadership and, after the war, home to the Communist Party’s Central Committee. Now, as hipster haunt Soho House Berlin since 2010, it’s one of the city’s most creative spaces. Open from Monday to Friday, its Cowshed Spa, with its plush velvet chaises, traditional Turkish hammam and relaxation pods, is a welcome retreat from sightseeing, shopping and techno dance floors. What’s best, though, is that the party doesn’t have to end here: the spa offers ‘Cowshed Parties’, giving gatherings of five or more exclusive use of the space with two treatments per person, snacks, a gift bag and more.
The Stadtbad Oderberger in Prenzlauer Berg has seen multiple incarnations in the century since it opened in 1902: first as a public bathhouse, surviving the war largely unscathed; then, forced to close the pool in 1986, as an art exhibition space, before being extensively renovated and reopened as a hotel in 2016. ‘New’ though it might be, history has endured. The pool hall is once again its glittering heart, boasting 20 metres of inviting aquamarine swimming pool and a Finnish-style sauna, while the oak floors and high ceilings of the suites speak of the understated opulence of Berlin Altbau (old building) living.
Berlin’s Friedrichshain district is on the cutting-edge of all things cool. For the Almodóvar Hotel, that means more than a fashionable rustic-chic aesthetic or the city’s hippest address on Boxhagener Straße; the hotel prides itself on an approach that is eco-friendly, energy-saving, ethical and sustainable. It’s an ethos carried all the way from their Bardot Bistro’s focus on vegetarian fare through to the rooftop spa, a minimalist and understated space with cosy beanbags and a Finnish sauna flooded with natural light that allows the soaring city views to take centre stage. Plus, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your room for a massage – book at reception and a professional massage therapist will come directly to you.