Eavesdropping on all things Berlin related
Here is the 3rd installment of 4-part Hotels in Berlin series. This post will focus on a small selection of charming boutique hotels. They may not as daring as The Unusual, or as über-luxurious as The Swanky but these are comfortable and endearing. If you are city-hopping, or if you happen to be one of those people who likes their hotels simple and to the point, then these hotels will likely do it for you.
This first suggestion comes highly recommended. Honig Mond is a small privately-owned hotel consisting of two refurbished classic Berlin residential building’s in the northern part of Mitte. The location south of Nordbahnhof is good for shopping or cafe-hopping; it is adjacent to one of the most bustling parts of town (The triangle between Rosenthalerstr, Chausseestr and Torstr.) and the shopping area on Friedrichstr. Rooms vary in size, from the smallish and cozy to the massive and airy. The hotel has nice old wooden floors, restored antique architectural details, newish bathrooms and friendly, personable staff. Some of the rooms have four poster beds, but nothing is too fancy here – rooms have a relatively simple, antique fused with modern, personalized design.
Ackselhaus is another small hotel that mixes the antique with some modern touches. Here, the antiques and heavy pieces hint at the colonial while the contemporary elements provide an innovative touch. Ackselhaus has decorated each room with a theme – but not to fear, these rooms are nothing like the full-on theme rooms in “The Unusual” post. The decor in this hotel is pretty tame, but tasteful. Pictured is the “Kairo” room. Many rooms look out onto the lovely courtyard garden and breakfast buffets are available on weekends at the attached cafe. Ackselhaus is located next to the Water Tower in Prenzlauer Berg, a great place for first-time visitors to start exploring Berlin. Nearby Myers Hotel is another option for those looking for a good value option in Prenzlauer Berg.
The next hotel has a much more modern approach to design. Camper Casa is a beautiful, new-ish (2009), modern hotel by the same people that brought you Camper shoes. Exactly why Camper has expanded into hotels, I am not exactly sure. But you can see that the company has lavished the same attention to design, comfort and simplicity in the creation of this hotel as it has to its footwear products. All rooms have roughly the same design: solid red walls, natural wood floors and furniture, and a bathroom area which faces the street. The bathroom also has huge windows so you can have a look over the city while you brush your teeth or shower, quite an shift from the usual hotel room set-up. This is Camper Casa’s second location, the first being in Barcelona. But they made a great choice in the location of this second version: its in Mitte, right on Rosenthalerstr, near Hackersher Markt.
But what is truly special about this hotel? Well for one, the roof-top cantina, open 24 hours a day, offers guests free snacks and free drinks! This is a replacement for the lack of a mini-bar in the rooms, but when have you ever seen a free mini-bar! I think every hotel needs one of these! It is a smart idea that works, like much in this hotel. To top it off, the restaurant on the ground floor is a foodie’s paradise: its chef was once the head chef at the (in)famous Spanish restaurant, elBulli, the meals are japanese inspired but served in the form of spanish tapas and the seating has almost every guest at a counter looking in on the kitchen. For a more detailed review of the hotel and restaurant see this Sleeper article.
Right next to Camper Casa, is another boutique hotel. Under the same management as the Lux Eleven hotel, the Weinmeister Hotel caters to the young and “trendy”. Honestly this place had a little too much of a “Phillip Stark meets corporate design fair” sensibility for my taste. But the staff is very friendly and the location unbeatable. Each room have nice new iMacs as a TV, open concepts bathrooms and huge beds (+ points) but they unfortunately have covered the walls with bad Mr. Brainwash style art (- points). But to each their own! I can imagine some guests getting a kick out of this place.
Lastly, here is an alternative option that is much less central, but that offers guests a chance to stay in a classic villa for a reasonable price. Villa Ammonit is in Berlin-Lichterfelde, an old residential part of town a little ways outside of the central hustle and bustle. The building is protected as a historic space and has been beautifully maintained and restored. The decor throughout the hotel is Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) and, as one would expect from a villa from this era, it has a ballroom, which is currently doubling as the hotel lounge. So if you are looking for a calmer time here in Berlin, one where you can pop into the city without being in the center of it, then this might be a good place for you. Plus who doesn’t love a lounge with an antique grand piano.