With its hedonistic nightlife, cutting-edge culture and reasonable prices, Berlin ticks many boxes for a brilliant city break. Berlin's popularity continues to rise – it attracted nearly 13 million visitors in 2017. Over the past decade, the number of hotels in the German capital has doubled and the options are as varied and dynamic as the city itself.
So where to bed down in Berlin? Here are some of the most stylish and great-value digs in town.
Best for nightlife: nhow Berlin
With a cantilevered structure jutting out over the River Spree, this 304-room hotel is walking distance to the bars and clubs of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain (just pray you get past the doormen at Watergate and Berghain). The Karim Rashid-designed property is an explosion of candy colours and sinuous shapes, with round-the-clock room service offering guitars and decks for late-night jam sessions and DJ sets. There’s a riverside terrace for sunset cocktails, saunas to sweat out the previous evening’s excess, and 5pm check-out on Sundays.
Doubles from €95, room only
Best for live music: Orania.Berlin
A block down from one of Berlin’s most famous punk clubs, this boutique hotel brings something different to edgy east Kreuzberg – namely, a sophisticated ground-floor lounge with live jazz, craft cocktails and contemporary cuisine from Michelin-starred chef Philipp Vogel. In an art nouveau building that once hosted cabaret shows, the hotel’s 41 rooms feature warm reds and golds, oak floors, hand-knotted rugs and supremely comfortable beds, and come with free tickets to the jazz and classical concerts held in the top-floor salon.
lDoubles from €200, B&B
Best for history: Hotel Adlon Kempinski
Neighbourhood: Unter den Linden, Mitte
Overlooking the Brandenburg Gate, this grande dame has been a favourite of many: from Albert Einstein to a baby-dangling Michael Jackson. Opened in 1907, the hotel survived the Second World War, only to be accidentally torched by Soviet soldiers raiding the wine cellar. Rebuilt in 1997, the current incarnation features a two-Michelin-starred restaurant, three-level spa and 385 rooms decorated in elegant style – think rich silks and mahogany furniture. Major sights such as the Reichstag and the Holocaust Memorial are only a short stroll away.
Doubles from €290, room only
Best for budget: Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz
Neighbourhood: Alexanderplatz, Mitte
Making its debut in December 2017, this 708-room hotel is the 10th Berlin outpost from the design-led German chain. In the shadow of the TV Tower, the buzzy lobby-lounge channels Berlin’s creative vibe with street art murals and colourful Moroso armchairs. Rooms are cosy and comfortable, with double or queen beds dressed in Egyptian cotton linen and tech that includes rain showers. Sign up for the hotel loyalty programme and score a free breakfast and late check-out on Sundays.
Double rooms from €89, room only
Best for modern luxury: SO Berlin Das Stue
On the edge of the leafy Tiergarten – the Berlin equivalent of Hyde Park – this 78-room hotel was once home to the Danish embassy. Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola’s playful, public spaces mix animal sculptures with colourful bespoke furnishings and black-and-white fashion photography. Rooms come with high ceilings, Arne Jacobsen Egg chairs and high-end entertainment systems, while sprawling Stue suites have freestanding silver tubs. Downstairs, there is a Michelin-starred restaurant by Catalan chef Paco Pérez and a Susanne Kaufmann spa with botanical-based treatments.
Double rooms from €240, B&B
Best for shopping: 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin
Minutes from the Kurfürstendamm shopping strip and adjacent to the hip Bikini Mall, this 149-room hotel is perfectly placed for a little retail therapy. A lobby lounge strung with hammocks and bikes suspended from the ceiling create a funky vibe – rounded out by a buzzy rooftop bar, ninth-floor sauna with views of the Berlin Zoo’s ape enclosure, and free MINI Coopers to borrow. Choose from Urban rooms overlooking the bomb-shattered Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, or Jungle rooms facing the zoo and Tiergarten park.
Doubles from €140, room only
Best for romance: Provocateur
A five-minute stroll from Ku’Damm, Provocateur is the kind of hotel where you order a bottle of champagne and hang the ‘do not disturb’ sign. Opened in January 2017, the 58 rooms are shamelessly sensual, with lipstick-red or rich teal hues, plush velvet and a bedside switch that dims the lights, plays sultry tunes and beams sexy video art on the wall. You may never feel the urge to leave – though there’s an equally seductive cocktail bar and acclaimed French-Chinese restaurant downstairs.
Double rooms from €119, room only
Best for wellness: Hotel de Rome
Neighbourhood: Bebelplatz, Mitte
A stone’s throw from the State Opera house, this Rocco Forte hotel is housed in a 19th-century former bank. The old vault has been converted into an 8,600-square-foot subterranean spa where you can splash in a gold mosaic-tiled pool, schedule a shiatsu massage and hit up the Finnish sauna. Most of the 145 rooms are chic and contemporary, with king-size beds and huge bathrooms, while four historic suites feature wood panelling, parquet floors and the odd bit of Second World War shrapnel damage.
Doubles from €280, room only
Best for old-school glamour: Hotel Zoo
Originally opened in 1911, in a prime location on Ku’Damm, Hotel Zoo became the official hotel for the Berlin International Film Festival in the 1950s, welcoming stars like Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren. Renovated in 2014 by Hollywood designers Dayna Lee and Ted Berner, the 144-room hotel marries contemporary whimsy with old-school flair. Rooms have high ceilings, hardwood floors, glass-walled rain showers and plush Maison Martin Margiela towels, while the see-and-be-seen Grace Bar offers top-notch cocktails and DJs on the weekend.
Double rooms from €190, room only
Best for architecture: Hotel Oderberger
Neighbourhood: Prenzlauer Berg
Formerly a 19th-century public bathhouse, this neo-Renaissance building was transformed into a 75-room boutique hotel in 2016. Original features, such as tiles and doors, are layered with modern furniture and contemporary art; old bathing cabins have been turned into bedrooms, while the former boiler room is now a modern German restaurant with 50-foot ceilings. But the hotel’s most striking feature is undoubtedly the 65-foot-long indoor pool in a cathedral-like hall. After a dip, wander down to Mauerpark for the Sunday market and open-air karaoke.
Doubles from €140, B&B
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