8 Best Hotels in Berlin
Berlin is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities, a hub for bohemian types, creative urbanites, and history buffs, who come for the sights, but stay for the nightlife and contemporary art. The city's hotels reflect the same diversity of activities and pastimes in microcosm, from stately grand dames that have survived the destruction of World War II to stylish boutiques where Berlin's cool kids gather.
Jen has been a staff editor at Architectural Digest, Travel + Leisure, and Martha Stewart Weddings, and her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Afar, and Elle Decor. When she's not snowmobiling in the French Alps or tasting scotch straight from the barrel in Scotland, she's at home in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Soho House Berlin
Set in a trendy Mitte Bauhaus building that once served as a department store and administrative offices for the Communist party, the Berlin Soho House is a surprisingly affordable gem that draws the city’s creative classes with its grit-meets-glam interiors and hip vibe. The 65 guest rooms blend industrial elements like exposed concrete beams and pillars with romantic era-appropriate details, including velvet headboards, herringbone floors, and chairs upholstered in floral chintz. There’s also a library, private cinema, spa, and rooftop pool (not to mention a Damien Hirst art piece in the lobby) for when sightseeing just won’t do.
Hotel Adlon Kempinski
Overlooking Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, the stately Hotel Adlon Kempinski is every bit as grand as its historic guest list—which included everyone from Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo to Queen Elizabeth II—might suggest. Though the 1907 limestone building suffered bombings during World War II and a fire soon thereafter, you’d never tell in the restored lobby, a jewel box resplendent with gold-tinged ceilings and a stained-glass dome, the 9,000-square-foot spa, with its massive mosaic-tile pool, or the intimate Michelin-starred Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer restaurant. The rooms are equally elegant, with mahogany furnishings, oak and limestone flooring, and ornate damask-printed fabrics.
Known for its cool design and unfussy attitude, the Generator Berlin isn’t your mother’s hostel. Though it attracts budget-savvy travelers and traditional backpackers, the Mitte hotel offers more than just the essentials, from a buzzy copper-clad cocktail bar that hosts regular DJ sets and an all-day café to a 24-hour reception desk and an on-site laundry room. The 145 rooms are just as functional thanks to clever layouts (groups can book the eight-bed dorms) and designated lockers. They’re also unexpectedly attractive, with minimalist gray palettes and colorful baths, and the hallways that lead to them are embellished with street art–style murals by Thierry Noir.
If you feel like a boldface name at Hotel Zoo, that’s because the 1891 building has a history of entertaining VIP guests: the official hotel of the Berlin International Film Festival in the 1950s, it has hosted the likes of Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly. Since then, a glamorous transformation has restored the space to its former glory. An emerald carpet emboldened with leopards brings you from the retail giants of the Kurfürstendamm to the Living Room, where flames from a large double-sided fireplace play off Tom Dixon wingbacks and leather club chairs; during the day, sunlight streams in from massive floor-to-ceiling windows. The sumptuous feel continues in 144 rooms complete with hardwood floors, plush platform beds, rain showers, and slippers by Maison Martin Margiela.
If moody Sir Savigny feels like the home of your most stylish best friend in West Berlin that’s the point. Located in a 19th-century tenement building and designed around the fictional history of a world-traveling aristocrat, the hotel welcomes guests in a library-like lobby before an elevator delivers you to the real draw: 47 sumptuous rooms outfitted with cozy velvet club chairs, leather headboards, and the masculine hues that have become synonymous with modern-day boutiques. Another quirky feature: each comes with an on-demand burger button that connects guests to upscale fast-food joint The Butcher, just off the hotel’s lobby.
One look at the tranquil Mandala Hotel, in Potsdamer Platz, and you might forget for a moment that you’re in Berlin. The neutral palette and clean lines recall the streamlined restraint of an urbane Asian hotel chain, from the Chinese antiques to the babbling water features to the bamboo plants in the rooftop garden. The spacious residence-style suites encourage hibernation with built-in kitchenettes, plush sofas, and sprawling city views, as do the light-based therapies at the spa and gourmet meals at Michelin-starred Facil restaurant, but do leave the property. The Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, and the Holocaust Memorial are all a five-minute stroll away.
Nodding to its central location overlooking the Berlin Zoo, Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has infused Das Stue with whimsical animal references, from the crocodile head in the massive stone lobby stairwell to the wood rhinoceros and hippopotamus figures that appear throughout. But the vibe remains exceedingly sophisticated thanks to chairs and sofas in Urquiola’s signature shapes, sumptuous fabrics, and a moody palette infused with bright jewel tones—both in the 78 cozy guest rooms and in public spaces, a series of inviting libraries, lounges, and bars that look straight out of a magazine. Another Spaniard, Paco Pérez, has earned the hotel’s Cinco restaurant a much-deserved Michelin star; don’t miss his elegant nine- and five-course molecular gastronomy–inspired tasting menus.
For the hippest spot in town, where everyone from street-style models to magazine editors to indie boutique owners congregate, look no further than the Michelberger Hotel. Housed in an abandoned factory building in the up-and-coming Kreuzberg neighborhood, the property’s 118 small rooms (think loft beds and peek-a-boo showers) look like they’ve been curated from a collection of flea-market finds, but the real draw is the buzzing bar and courtyard, which have all the exuberance of a creative kid’s house party. Still, you won’t stay on the premises for long: the hotel is within walking distance of Friedrichshain’s best-loved nightclubs, including techno temple Berghain.
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