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The city’s love affair with all things avant-garde extends to some of the quirkiest, coolest places to stay on the Continent.
Berlin has never, ever played by the rules, which is why its fine dining temples are often staffed with waiters in skinny jeans and its fanciest bars shun even a sign at the door. It seems fitting then that some of the best stays in town sport plenty of personality. Yes, Berliners enjoy pampering as much as everyone else and the capital’s top boutiques feature five-star amenities. Nevertheless, they approach luxury on their own terms. The following places may offer all the creature comforts a traveller could want, but they do so in utterly unconventional spaces showcasing exceptional design.
A top-to-toe refurbishment restored this Art Deco icon to its former glory when it was the official VIP hotel for the Berlin International Film Festival. Lush touches like the eye-popping emerald green carpet and the leather upholstered chairs recall its glam past in the 1910s and 20s, when A-listers used to regularly frequent these halls. Even if you’re not staying here, it is worth swinging by Grace Bar, a dimly lit speakeasy, for an espresso martini.
From the slab of concrete spray-painted by Damien Hirst in the lobby to The Store, a curated selection of covetable home décor, fashion, and coffee table tomes, everything about this hotel is on-point. A dead-central location on the corner of Torstrasse, casual day-time café, stunning rooftop pool, and lobby bar cool enough to lure locals make a good thing that much better.
Located next to an upscale concept mall that spotlights local designers, this unusual boutique sports all sorts of funky touches. Neni, its contemporary Middle Eastern restaurant, is just perfect for a light bite, but the most popular feature by far is the Monkey Bar. Overlooking the primate enclosures in the adjacent zoo, this hip tiki lounge often requires an hour-plus wait just to get in the door.
Though many have tried, few hotels can exude the kind of effortless cool that seems to come so naturally to this one. Its location near some of Kreuzberg’s most famous techno clubs, regular concerts and events, and buzzy bar with a solid menu of craft cocktails and natural wines all add to the infectious vibe.