We all know how disappointing it is to rock up to a hotel you’ve carefully chosen to find it disappoints on all levels—dodgy location, long check-in line, rock-hard mattresses, and that “pool” they advertised is more of a glorified bathtub. No matter the destination, where you choose to call home on a trip away can easily make or break your stay.
Fortunately, Berlin has a strong selection of first-rate hotels to choose from. Many of these are laden with history having been built before or during the Weimar era and survived the war, the Iron Curtain, its fall, and the reunification of Germany. Seizing Berlin’s rapid regrowth, these prize locations have been snapped up by leading hoteliers and ambitious designers, who have revived and reinstated them to their former glory, albeit with a much more contemporary aesthetic.
Although getting around Berlin is made easy thanks to its numerous public transport options and reasonably priced cabs, popular locations to stay include the Western hub between Berlin’s longest shopping street Kurfurstendamm and the expansive Tiergarten park; as well as in the central neighborhood of Mitte close to the city’s historical Museum Island or around the boutique and gallery hotspot at Rosenthaler Platz.
As part of our partnership with American Express, we were asked to curate a list of hotels in the city to make sure you’re guaranteed a great night’s sleep when you’re next in town. Located between Highsnobiety’s main offices in New York and Berlin, Founder David Fischer knows the city well, and we called on him to weigh in on his top choices.
Ideally located for discovering the stylish side of Berlin’s Mitte district, at AMANO you are a stone’s throw away from enough boutiques, galleries, and restaurants to last you several trips. One of the larger hotels on the list with 163 rooms, it boasts a minimalist yet tasteful decor and offers all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. On the ground floor is the AMANO bar, which is a firm favorite in the city for its first-class drinks. In summer, the bar opens its roof terrace so you can gaze out over the rooftops of Berlin while sipping on a divine drink.
Like its sister locations, Soho House is the hangout spot of choice for the local and visiting fashion crowd. The building itself is laden with Berlin history. First opened as a Jewish department store in 1928, it became the headquarters for the Hitler Youth, and then served as a storage facility for the Communist archives. It now maintains all the atmospheric charm of its former days, while the modern decor adds a sense of luxury to the industrial-chic vibe. It boasts a rooftop swimming pool, bar, restaurant, cinema, and gym, as well as a cutting-edge concept store on the ground floor. Plus, its central location on the border of Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg is ideal for exploring the city.
Hotel Zoo oozes Weimer era charm. Constructed in 1891 as a residence for a well-off Prussian architect, it was transformed into a chic hotel in the 1920s and became the rest spot of choice for Berlin’s International Film Festival VIP guests. Recently, it was redesigned with extreme attention to detail and a contemporary artistic flair, housing highlights such as a 70 ft-long, Diane von Fürstenberg jade-green carpet, and Thomas Dixon Wingchairs. The hotel’s impressive living room—complete with huge industrial windows, walnut wood doors, and a five-meter-long fireplace—is the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring when the rooftop is closed.
Want to swim in a jewel vault? Or fall asleep in a former bank directors oak-paneled office? Well at Hotel De Rome you can. Owned by the affluent Rocco family and located in a disused bank, this is by far one of the most decadent and prestigious hotels in the city. Alongside its 108 rooms, this hotel also plays host to a restaurant headed up by a Michelin-starred chef, sublime pool, spa, and rooftop bar with one of the most spectacular views in Berlin.
A recent addition to the 25 Hours boutique hotel brand, this playful, hipster haven is located in a recently redeveloped 1950s office block overlooking Berlin’s Zoo. The ‘Bikini’ building is also home to a concept shopping mall which houses boutique stores, eateries, and coffee shops. The hotel is designed with a modern aesthetic and quirky touch, incorporating features such as a hammock lounge, rooftop terrace titled Monkey Bar, hanging bicycles, and a sauna that has a window facing onto the zoo. There are free bikes available for guests, but if that’s not your style why not borrow one of the hotel’s free Mini Coopers? We said it was a hipster haven…
As the name suggests, this stylish sleeping spot has a sensual streak to it. With its bold red and blue color scheme, lavish velvet furnishings, and hits of gold—this is the place to stay if you want to indulge in glamorous comfort. The Art-Nouveau architecture is typical of that of the upscale Charlottenburg neighborhood where the hotel is located, and the rooms are inspired by Paris in the 1920s. The restaurant offers Chinese-French fusion cuisine and the low-lit bar, open until the early hours and buzzing at weekends, serves a fine drink. According to the hotel, “Our cocktails will make even the wildest of tigers purr like a kitty kat.”
This 1930s former embassy looks over Berlin’s famous Tiergarten Park and houses 78 luxurious rooms. It maintains all its historical charm and has been remodeled with a contemporary decor and artistic twist. Setting foot into the grand entrance hall, you are greeted by a giant sculpture of a crocodile’s head by French artist Quentin Garel and dotted throughout are Benedetta Mori’s mesh wire animals — tributes to the neighboring wildlife. Amenities include a Michelin-starred restaurant, salon-style cocktail bar, pool, spa, and guests are even granted free access to the zoo.
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- Location Selection: David Fischer