Germany’s capital dates back to the 13th century and has a well-earned reputation as one of Europe’s cultural and creative hubs. A city of striking contrasts where historical buildings stand aside cutting-edge architecture, and where past and present intermingle.
The famous Potsdamer Platz attracts the film and entertainment industries, while the glass-domed Reichstag, home of the German federal government, offers an incredible view from its rooftop terrace. The State Opera House, Berlin Cathedral, and Television Tower have point of place. Reminders of the city's turbulent history include the stark Holocaust Memorial.
The city’s unique history defined the 20th century like no other. It lead the way in avant-garde art, music, and literature in the Golden Twenties, something that West Berlin continued to embrace through the years, almost as an expression of rebellion. This creativity led to the development of a unique identity and the city became a magnet for nonconformists in search of an alternative lifestyle during the divide.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best luxury hotels in Berlin:
Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin - 9/10
Hotel Adlon Kempinski holds a prime position in the central Mitte district, at the corner of Pariser Platz directly opposite the Brandenburg Gate. The original Hotel Adlon was of the most famous hotels in Europe. It opened in 1907 but was largely destroyed in the closing days of World War II, although a small wing kept operating until 1984. The current hotel which opened on August 23, 1997, is inspired by the original. Choose from one of the 382 elegant guest rooms which come in 13 different categories, all with varied views of Berlin. Designed by London’s Ezra Attia Associates and Sweden’s AB Living Designs, they vary in size and indulgence levels, but all come with limestone floors, mahogany furnishings and black granite bathrooms with baths.
Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer is the two Michelin-starred restaurant by Hendrik Otto. Upscale Sra Bua serves quality Pan-Asian food, and more casual dining is offered at Restaurant Quarré – known for its legendary schnitzel and Chateaubriand. The Lobby Lounge and BarBar are ideal for drinks and light meals. The hotel’s impressive circular reception area has a dedicated concierge desk and ‘Ladies in Red’ Kempinski’s brand ambassadors. There are still several in-house boutiques offering gifts, jewellery and fashion. Their 800 square metre Adlon Spa by Resense is spread over three levels and is likely one of the city’s greatest wellness facilities. One of Berlin’s most glamorous addresses, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski has hosted Michael Jackson and Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, among many others.
Regent Berlin - 9/10
The Regent Berlin in the historic heart of the city started life as an elegant mansion designed by the same architect as the city’s German Cathedral. It was revived as the Regent Hotel Berlin in 2004 under the guidance of architect Josef P. Kleihues, with interiors by design legend Frank Nicholson. In the lobby, pink marble walls and floors reflect the many crystal chandeliers. Fringed ottomans, gilded mirrors, antique furniture and 19th-century paintings further contribute to the old-world opulence. The 156 rooms and 39 suites are done up in a warm mix of green, peach and golds, some have private balconies, all have lush sink-your-toes-in carpets. Large, comfortable beds with 300-thread-count linens, decent-sized work desks and Biedermeier armchairs with foot stools are matched with mod cons that include Nespresso machines and iPod docking stations. The bathrooms have walk-in showers, deep baths and L'Occitane products. The Premium suites have fireplaces and kitchenettes.
The hotel’s Belle Epoque-styled Charlotte & Fritz is a brand new addition run by Chef de Cuisine Jörg Lawerenz. With a 19th-century salon feel, it offers a view of the square and a menu rich with regionally sourced organically certified ingredients. The Regent’s Bar is the place to gather for afternoon tea or evening cocktails. In the warmer months, dine among orange trees and lavender bushes in the Summer Lounge on the ground floor inner courtyard. With health and wellbeing always considered, spend a peaceful afternoon being spoilt by one of the skilled therapists in the spa, or working out in the gym.
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin - 9/10
The Ritz-Carlton, on Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz reflects Berlin’s golden age with its Art Deco design, references to the film era and crisscross motifs. This theme is carried through in the hotel’s luxury accommodation. Despite being in a distinctive skyscraper-style building, the interiors are classic Old Europe, with baroque chandeliers, a marble arches, a large staircases and beautiful Art Deco-inspired furnishings. The 303 spacious guest rooms, including 40 suites, have classic décor with splashes of blue, burnt orange and mauve lifting the feel. There are Markus Luepertz watercolours on the walls and a mix of cherrywood furniture, all have featherbeds, touchscreen control panels, heated floors, fluffy robes and slippers, and Asprey toiletries in the marble-tiled bathrooms.
In theme, the hotel’s Curtain Club serves exquisitely poured drinks, inspired by the Roaring 20s and days gone by. Hidden behind secret corridors, the Secret Champagne Garden is a summertime pop-up bar to be seen at. Explore the high garden, an oasis with cocktails inspired by flowers and botanicals. There’s a Cigar Club with a the walk-in humidor that presents handmade cigars to the aficionado. POTS Restaurant serves their take on German cuisine with an innovative sharing concept. Fragrances, serving outstanding drinks based on aromas. The wellness area has a sauna, pool and fitness room in a discretely luxurious and private atmosphere.
Hotel de Rome - 9/10
The Hotel de Rome, in a neoclassical 19th-century building on the historic Bebelplatz in the heart of East Berlin was once the headquarters of the esteemed Dresden Bank. Stepping through the stone entranceway, with its grand Atelier Prométhée magenta urns and Olivia Steele’s neon birdcage and large black velvet sofas – guarantees an immediate sense of place. Many of the building’s original details—marble columns, skylights, an intricate iron staircase—have been retained. The rest of the hotel is in neutral browns, creams and whites. The refreshingly designed 145 bedrooms and 37 suites have well-crafted modern furniture, understated artwork, patterned carpets and comfortable beds.
In-room amenities include long work desks and espresso machines. Bathrooms have heated tiled floors, walk-in showers and baths, as well as quality products. For added fun, book the oak-panelled suite in the old bank directors’ offices, or the Renaissance Room – the former meeting room for the bank's top executives, or better still, the colourful Bebel Suite with wraparound terrace, hardwood floors and library of over a thousand books. On the ground floor, La Banca restaurant serves classic Italian and Mediterranean food. In summer, the roof-top terrace offers excellent views of Berlin's historic city centre. Housed in the former jewel vault, the De Rome Spa has golden mosaics and black marble tiles – as well as a welcoming pool.
The Schlosshotel Berlin by Patrick Hellmann is located in the heart of the exclusive Grunewald residential area and provides a unique retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Built in 1911 in the Renaissance style of 18th-century French palaces, the hotel's interiors and artworks were resurrected by Patrick Hellmann, while honouring the history. The hotel oozes character and atmosphere, from the gated gravel driveway and its fleet of expensive cars, to the opulent hallway. There are 22 rooms by Hellmann, with the others, described as Classic, remaining in the old Lagerfeld style. Hallerman decorated some of his in slick black and white, others in cool greys and warm blues. Cut from the same fabrics as Hellmann’s fashion collections are individually-crafted armchairs, with spacious wardrobes and working desks, and artwork from the his collection.
The Kaiser Wilhelm suite includes a library, and the Karl Lagerfeld suite a pink bed and stone balcony that overlooks the garden. Dine at the in-house restaurant, order off the meticulously curated wine list, spend time on the deep terrace and in the newly designed champagne lounge. Beyond that is the cigar lounge and lounge area, plus there’s a sizeable pool, spa offering massage treatments and a Finnish sauna. It’s also possible to arrange tennis, golf, horse riding and yoga sessions.
Grand Hyatt Berlin - 8/10
Grand Hyatt Berlin is also on Potsdamer Platz. The hotel’s 321 elegant guestrooms and 21 luxurious suites offer scenic views of Tiergarten, the Berlin Philharmonic or Marlene-Dietrich-Platz. All rooms have been designed in a modern style, with contemporary art hanging on the walls, marble and cherry wood bathrooms and Balmain cosmetic products. With its extravagant concept, Grand Hyatt Berlin‘s Vox Restaurant has established itself as a crowd pleaser on Berlin’s gastronomical scene. Opened in 1998, the restaurant has thrilled with its open show kitchen, sushi bar and spacious summer terrace under the old Linden trees on Potsdamer Platz.
Massive steel lanterns featuring huge candles and a new lighting concept by American designer David Singer, give it a distinctive feel. Don’t miss the Grand Hyatt Berlin and “Le Petit Chef ” collaboration that takes you on the trail of Marco Polo from France via Arabia, India and the Himalayas to China, during a dinner show hosted by a chef the size of a thumb who wanders across the table in an optical illusion, in between your 6-course tasting menu being served. With more than 150 different varieties, the Vox Bar focuses primarily on the finest of whiskies – although will perfectly pour your drink of choice. Club Olympus Spa & Fitness is on the 8th floor of the hotel, with great views of the Berlin skyline while you work out. Facilities include a pool, spa pool and modern gym, as well as various saunas.
Waldorf Astoria Berlin - 8/10
Waldorf Astoria Berlin is located between the Kurfuerstendamm shopping boulevard, Berlin Zoo, and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the city’s upmarket City West district which is lined with design stores from Burberry, Chanel and Versace, as well as many restaurants. Elegant and sophisticated, the hotel’s interiors seamlessly blend classic Art Deco with modern day touches, from the grand spiral staircase and marble floors to the signature Peacock Alley lounge. The giant metal gate pays homage to the towering façade of the flagship Waldorf Astoria New York. The 232 rooms and suites are in the hotel’s imposing 118-metre-high Zoofenster (zoo window) tower. They all have floor-to-ceiling windows and views of Berlin Zoological Garden.
The look is 20s-inspired with pops of purple, red and gold, patterned carpets and natrual tones. Minibars, coffee machines and elegant tables add to the comfort. ROCA restaurant on the ground floor has an all-day dining menu of seasonal and Mediterranean cuisine. The atmospheric Lang Bar, named after film director Fritz Lang, with its classic 'old New York' feel and retro bar stools, booths and lamps offers more casual dining. Afternoon tea, can be enjoyed ing the 15th-floor Library Lounge. The only Guerlain Spa in Germany is located on the fifth floor of the hotel. Spanning a massive 1,000 square-metres, this beauty features no less than eight therapy rooms, a cloud-shaped pool, sauna, steam room and Vichy shower. Signature treatments by the renowned French cosmetic brand are offered.
Hotel Zoo Berlin - 8/10
Historic Hotel Zoo Berlin is situated at the busy end of Ku’damm, the city’s longest and best known retail boulevard. The original hotel opened in 1911, and was the official VIP hotel to the Berlin International Film Festival and a magnet for the rich and famous. The revised hotel, created with great attention to detail by Hollywood designers Dayna Lee and Ted Berner, is very imaginative with splashes of decadent colour and Weimar-era influences. A long jade-green catwalk carpet by Diane von Fürstenberg leads to the reception desk, and the huge Living Room has showy doors, a large fireplace and Tom Dixon wing chairs. Reinstating the glamour of 1920s Berlin, the 127 rooms and 14 suites have edgy fashion photographs by Andreas Kock, comfortable platform beds and walnut and hardwood floors and furnishings. Nespresso coffee machines, large televisions, glass-walled rain showers, and specially designed gowns and towels by Maison Martin Margiela come as standard.
The two sixth-floor Penthouse Suites are in a world of their own – especially with their spacious living area and double-sided fireplace. In-room beauty products are included. The hotel’s low-lit and seductive Grace Bar serves a range of exotic cocktails, and has DJs every night from 10pm. Grace Restaurant serves meals off a refined menu. Grace Rooftop high above Berlin has a lounge and bar area surrounded by glass windows and 270-degree panoramic views – perfect for those balmy Summer evenings. Look forward to massages, facial treatments as well as modern and upscale manicure or pedicures in the spa. And stay fit with your very own digital coach and Vaha mirror.
SO/ Berlin Das Stue - 8/10
SO/ Berlin Das Stue is in the heart of the diplomatic district close to Berlin’s Zoo. Recently taken over by Sofitel's hip SO/ brand, the hotel has a warm and sophisticated interior design. The classically curved main building was constructed in 1938 by German architect Johann Emil Schaudt, and once housed the Danish Embassy. The entrance hall features a showpiece crocodile sculpture and gorgeous restored staircase. The interiors, by Patricia Urquiola, range from a comfortable and stylish pastel-shade mix of sofas and chairs to the more exposed brick walls and neutral tones. The 78 guestrooms, which include a mix of Stue Rooms, Embassy Rooms and Suites, are split between the original building and a newer annex. The rooms have elegant fabrics, dark hardwood floors, stylish furnishings, sliding walls and fun handle-less cupboards. The suites have generous balconies.
The hotel's Michelin-starred Cinco restaurant is the culinary highlight of the hotel, thanks to its distinctive interior – one large table, a brass kitchenware sculpture on the ceiling, and high-end Spanish-Mediterranean fusions. The Casual Restaurant doubles as the breakfast room, and serves tapas-style shared dishes. The Stue Bar has playful interior design and an impressive bar menu. The first floor Susanne Kaufmann Spa has treatment rooms, a 16-metre indoor swimming pool and a sauna, and the reception can arrange personal yoga, training sessions, and sightseeing jogging. An Audi SQ7 is available for rent.
Hotel am Steinplatz, Autograph Collection in Charlottenburg was once the preferred choice of celebrities such as Vladimir Nabokov and Brigitte Bardot. Long combing an Art Nouveau structure with intimate, high-end service, the hotel takes pride in its generous blend of luxury, culture and lifestyle. The 84 rooms and three suites – including one Spa Suite with its own sauna and freestanding bathtub, are discreetly opulent. With Weimar-era flair, emphasis on modern technology and natural materials, the interior designer Tassilo Bost has opted for elegant shades of grey, brown, and black throughout, with designer furnishings and chrome-edged mirrors. The black-and-white bathrooms has walk-in showers and Etro toiletries, and there are also Bose and JBL bluetooth speakers, and sleek Illycaffè coffee machines.
The cosmopolitan atmosphere and excellent food offered at at Restaurant am Steinplatz will see you dining in. Soak up Berlin’s unique drink culture in the award-winning Bar am Steinplatz, twice named ‘Hotel Bar of the Year’ and steered by a dedicated team of mixologists. The prime location gives easy access to Tiergarten and the Berlin Zoo. The rooftop spa has uninterrupted views of the Berlin skyline and luxury treatments and you can recharge and reboot in the state of the art fitness centre.
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