Looming over one of central Berlin's most vibrant intersections, this restored Bauhaus building, with its distinctive 1920s curved facade, was transformed in 2010 into the Berlin outpost of the glamorous Soho House hotel and private members brand. The building has heaps of history, having started out as a Jewish-owned department store before being taken over by the Nazis and then occupied by the Communist regime (for archival purposes).
Today it’s one of Mitte’s foremost havens of hip, offering quirkily decorated rooms that mix vintage with contemporary design tropes—think Bose sound systems and old-school record players, floral armchairs and art deco bathtubs. The recently unveiled lofts are even more astonishing, both for their capacious size and their industrial-chic aesthetic—some come with grand pianos and foosball tables. The hotel also has a rooftop pool and adjacent bar with views of Alexanderplatz, concept retail area, a private cinema and a library room that host occasional events open to the public, an in-house restaurant, and a Cowshed spa that’s a popular destination in its own right.
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Located on one of Berlin's trendiest roads, Torstrasse, in one of the city's buzziest areas, the hotel is surrounded by boutiques, bars, and clubs. A few steps along Prenzlauer Allee is the newly refurbished Bötzow Brewery, whose dilapidated interior has been redesigned as an "industrial chic" restaurant—Le Soupe Populaire—and upscale cocktail bar—Le Croco Blue, with an impressive collection of rare gins. Many of Berlin's historic landmarks, from the famous TV tower to the Museum Island, are within walking distance. And for a total change of scene, guests just need to stroll north to leafy Prenzlauer Berg. That's assuming, of course, that they can escape the rooftop pool area.
Need to Know
Rooms: 65 rooms, 20 fully serviced apartments, 4 lofts; from $200. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The House Kitchen serves bistro-style food, from steak tartare to pizza, all day long. The rooftop hosts occasional barbecues, and has bar snacks available to complement the house cocktails—which guests can sip while sitting by the heated pool and enjoying spectacular views over the city. Spa and gym details: The Cowshed Spa is open until 10 p.m. every day, perfect for a pamper after a day of sightseeing or shopping. The hotel also has an outdoor rooftop pool.
Who's it for: Professional creatives, wannabe rock stars, and bona fide celebrities (plenty of whom have stayed here). Our favorite rooms: Rooms at the front and top have the best views, but the vast, open-plan loft spaces are best for groups or those who want to entertain. Spa time: The spa has side-by-side manicure and pedicure chairs, great for catching up with friends after a day of exploration, or for some romantic relaxation.
A rarefied retreat in Berlin
It's history that unites a disparate city like Berlin and the Soho House in Mitte is no exception. The private members club and hotel occupies a Betahaus building which saw its incarnations go from department store to Communist archive storage space after the war. Following the model of Soho House London, the space was initially conceived as a safe haven for influential public figures and has largely retained that air of rarefied retreat. Guests sneak away from the urban din with one of 65 rooms or 20 short-term apartments, a rooftop pool (heated during the winter), a full Cowshed spa and gym, a 30-seat private screening room (members only), a basement library and several posh restaurants. English chic reigns in most rooms, with plush velvet armchairs and vintage touches like Robert's radios, but East Berlin's signature kitschy-cool is never far.