A short hop from the looming socialist architecture of Alexanderplatz in the heart of Mitte, this discreet luxury hotel complex is ensconced within a former Communist KGB office. Not that there’s anything remotely "Ost" about the bright, modern apartments and suites. Decorated throughout with a minimalist, all-white aesthetic and equipped with writing desks, designer furnishings, open bathrooms with rain showers, and kitchen units with mini-stoves, coffeemakers, microwaves, and dishwashers, they’re more catwalk than comrade. The accommodations are all apartments and suites rather than rooms, ranging from 30 square meters to a whopping 160 square meters, and there’s a launderette with Miele washers and dryers in the basement.
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The hotel is located right between the stark Communist edifices of Alexanderplatz and the trendy bars and boutiques of downtown Mitte, some of which—like Apartment fashion store, just around the corner—are completely hidden from view. The surrounding streets also contain plenty of less exclusive fashion stores (such as Adidas and Levi's), and the commercial shops and restaurants of Hackescher Markt and Oranienburgerstrasse are within walking distance, as are the Neue Synagogue and the Museum Island UNESCO World Heritage site.
Need to Know
Rooms: 73 apartments and suites; from $260. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Breakfast is served in Prince restaurant, right next to the lobby. This chic, basement-like space—popular with locals as well as guests—has wood floors and cactus displays, and serves innovative Southeast Asian cuisine. The restaurant’s equally swish neon bar whips up some serious cocktails; the gin fizz is recommended. The Milchbar, part of the Type Hype concept store, also serves coffee and organic "slow food." Spa and gym details: Next to the hotel is a hairdressing salon and spa run by Beate Kahlcke. The spa uses only Aveda products and offers a full range of relaxation packages, from facials to manicures.
Who's it for: Chic travelers in town to experience East Berlin's vibrant art, shopping, and nightlife scenes; occasional long-term guests. Our favorite rooms: Executive suites 317 and 417 have superb views across Alexanderplatz and the famous television tower, and both come with their own living area and sizeable kitchen. Book ahead: The hotel's Aveda salon and spa is popular enough to require advance booking of a day or two.