Although it only opened at the beginning of 2013, this 31-floor, limestone-lined skyscraper hotel has already become one of City West’s 5-star hot spots. Rising dramatically above the historic Zoologischer Garten district, it’s a statement in every sense. Designed by German architect Christoph Mäckler, the hotel’s architectural boldness is matched by its art deco interiors: There are chandeliers and barrel-vaulted ceilings in the main entrance (a nod to the New York City Waldorf), and the rooms are clad in warm-hued woods, soft leather, and polished marble. Since each room has at least one glass wall, they all offer exceptional views (except, perhaps, for the few that face the inner courtyard); the higher you go, the better the experience gets. The hotel also benefits from a glamorous Michelin-starred restaurant, a handsome café-bar, and a high-end spa.
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Located right next to Germany’s biggest and most famous zoo and aquarium, the hotel is perfect for exploring West Berlin. The mighty Kurfürstendamm (often abbreviated to Ku’damm), with its eclectic mix of high-end brands and big-name fashion boutiques, is just a 10-minute walk away. Also nearby is the Kaufhaus des Westens—Germany’s answer to Harrods, with a world-renowned sixth-floor dining hall—and the vast Tiergarten Park—the city’s green lungs. For anyone interested in history, the bombed-out—and fascinating—Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is right across the street. Most other primary landmarks are easily accessible via the nearby S- and U-Bahn.
Need to Know
Rooms: 232 rooms and suites; from $275. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: At Les Solistes, Michelin-starred head chef Pierre Gagnaire serves up superlative French dishes such as grilled asparagus with quail egg, and turbot poached in haddock-flavored milk; an impressive wine list—that runs to some 450 bottles—complements the food. The hotel has also resuscitated the Romanisches Café, an iconic 20th-century hangout for artists and intellectuals that now serves breakfast and a selection of Mediterranean meals. Afternoon teas and cocktails, meanwhile, can be taken in the hotel’s two bars: the art deco Lang Bar and the cozier Peacock Alley. Spa and gym details: The sprawling fifth-floor spa—the only Guerlain Spa in Germany—was named "Best Luxury Hotel Spa" by the World Luxury Spa Awards in 2014. It offers spa and beauty treatments and a 24-hour gym.
Who's it for: Business and leisure travelers with the money to splurge on the exceptional; families who want to be close to the zoo and Tiergarten; anyone wishing for direct access to the neon thrills of Berlin’s historical West End. Our favorite rooms: Most rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, so it’s hard to go wrong with the view. That said, the presidential suite is the highest. Let the city soothe you: The signature treatment at Guerlain Spa is the "Berlin Chic massage," which involves special massage techniques named after some of the city's most famous landmarks.