Originally a private townhouse built in 1889, this heritage property became a hotel in 1911. History informed a redesign in 2014, led by film set turned interior designer Dayna Lee – particularly fitting as the hotel’s list of luminary former guests includes actors Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly. Two portraits of a glamorous couple – the imagined owners of the townhouse ­– hang in the entry passage, looking over the impeccably styled interior featuring exposed brick, green velvet and grand chandeliers. Throw in a buzzing rooftop bar, elegant rooms and a luxe restaurant, and it’s tempting to skip a day in the city to explore the hotel instead.

The location

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In the district of Charlottenburg, the property is situated on the Kurfürstendamm, the city’s glossiest shopping strip. It’s not far from the zoo and Tiergarten, Berlin’s largest park, and is around 20 minutes’ drive from Tegel Airport.

The rooms

Hotel Zoo

No room is exactly the same in layout or decor, an impressive feat considering there are 144 of them, plus four suites. The consistent through line is a palette of creams and greys accented by a unique feature colour. The smallest room category (petit) ranges from 16 to 22 square metres. At the opposite end of the scale, The Suite is an enormous 105 square metres and comes replete with living room, fireplace and record player. The Superior Room, with its dark floorboards, Maison Martin Margiela robes, rain shower, heated tiles and incredibly comfortable bed, feels more like a chic bedroom at a manor than a typical hotel room.

Food and drink

Hotel Zoo restaurant

The Grace Restaurant is both lavish and super cool – it’s popular with locals and visiting celebrities alike. The upmarket pan-Asian menu is a big hit in a city that has only recently built up its number of quality Asian restaurants. It’s particularly breathtaking at night, when birdcage light fittings throw a soft glow over the jade velvet chairs and cream linens. Expect dishes such as pork belly in miso, ginger and lime or Maine lobster in yuzu with cherry tomatoes. There’s an adjoining cocktail bar but the rooftop bar (a rare find in Berlin) steals the show; it’s a near perfect spot to sip an expertly shaken passionfruit mojito at sunset. An internal courtyard with an open fireplace is where guests can hang out reading the newspaper with coffee and brownie.

For business travellers

A large conference and event space can be divided into four separate rooms and is equipped with both projectors and screens. There’s a reception area for welcome drinks, and the concierge can plan a concise itinerary for travellers with limited time to see the city.

For wellness travellers

There’s a well-equipped gym on the first floor with cardio machines and weights. In room massages are available on request.

The fab factor

Hotel Zoo

Undoubtedly, the concierge: we asked for a lunch recommendation and within two minutes had a table waiting at Neni, a fantastic Middle Eastern restaurant.

Best for: Creatives in town for business or pleasure
Number of rooms: 144 plus four suites
Rates from: $201/night
Wi-fi: Fast and free
Parking: The hotel-owned car park next to the hotel is 22 euros for 24 hours
Address: Kurfurstendamm 25 10719 Berlin
Telephone: +49 (0) 30 884 370

SEE ALSO: One Perfect Day in Berlin

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