Berlin hotels & hot spots

Old Apr 29th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Berlin hotels & hot spots

Hello fellow Fodorites!

Our oldest is graduating from college in June. Hooray! She's doing it in four years, two degrees, on the Dean's list and is at UCLA. Just have to brag momentarily about her brilliance, forgive me.

She's headed to Europe, again, this summer. One of her stops will be Berlin. We've never been to Berlin so I'm no help with tips.

She sent the following e-mail, that I'm going to cut and paste so you can see what she desires and get a kick out of the typical college kid not using caps in their e-mail. Drives a mother crazy but if you have a college kid, you know what I mean. Here's her note:

if you get bored, i'm looking at hotels in berlin for (date removed for privacy's sake by Mommy dearest). If you want to play, the area i'm interested in is called Kurfurstendamm (or Ku'damm). it's supposed to be the most chic and fashionable with amazing restaurants and close to the city center and monuments -- perfect!

let me know if you see anything cool.

i saw one so far -- ku'damm -- looks awesome.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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Berlin has many hip areas and they are well-connected by U-Bahn and S-Bahn.

The Kurfürstendamm and the side streets and the parallel street Lietzenburger Straße is the classic area.

Also, do not miss a nightly stroll on Oranienburger Straße, Hackesche Höfe, Hackescher Markt.

Another hip neigbhorhood is Prenzlauer Berg.

You are interested in some ultra-chic hotels in Berlin?

http://www.loock-hotels.com/
http://www.propeller-island.de/
http://www.bleibtreu.com/
http://www.hotelalexander.de/
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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Arcotel Velvet on Oranienburgerstrasse is also worth considering.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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Kudamm 101 hotel on Kudamm may be cool, but is at the far end of Ku'damm that is a bit less desirable than the end more towards the center in my opinion.
For cool hotels in the area, I'd also consider Hotel Q (as suggested by traveller1959 under the Loock Hotels link who usually has excellent advice on Germany).
The Bleibtreu is the other cool affordable option in that area.

While Ku'damm is still an upscale area of Berlin, I'm not sure whether I'd still label it the most chic. It features an interesting mix of upscale and actually quite low-key areas and establishments in its side streets.

In general the area around Savignyplatz has lots of nice small restaurants and bars in abundance.

For nice bars and restaurants in the Ku'damm area look at:

Restaurant Nu for all things Asian:
http://www.nu-eat.de/flash.html

Adnan is a popular hip see-and-be-seen Italian located on Schlueterstr. 33

Paris Bar on Kantstr 152 has been around for ages, but is still sort of chic (but was rumoured to have some financial difficulty, so I'm not sure whether still open currently)
http://www.parisbar.net/

Florian on Grolmanstr is also an option to consider:
http://www.restaurant-florian.de/entry.php

For a beer (I jsut love Holsten Pilsener from tap and this is one place to get it, along with quite good and reasonably priced longdrinks, Hefner Bar on Savignyplatz is a possibility:
http://www.hefner-berlin.de/

Currently two hotspots, but not in the Ku'damm area are

Grill Royal for steaks and people watching:
http://www.grillroyalberlin.de/

and

Shiro Shiro for Japanese:
http://www.shiroishiro.com/

For a bars also not in the Ku'damm area, I'd suggest

Solar Barr with great views:
http://www.solarberlin.com/

Riva Bar under the rail tracks in Dircksenstr, between Alexanderplatz and Hackesche Hoefe, one of the best cocktailbars in town:
http://www.riva-berlin.de/

Newton Bar on Gendarmenmarkt with gd, but pricey (for Berlin standards) long drinks and cocktails with nice photographhy on the walls that may be geared a bit more towards their male patrons:
http://www.newton-bar.de/
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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In my opinion, Ku'dam is NOT chic. It reminds me of the old Times Square area of Manhattan.

I think the chicest area of Berlin is in East Germany--the area around Unter den Linden/Friedrichstrasse and moving into Prenzlauer Berg. Lots of art galleries, restaurants, and clothing shops near Hackescher Mkt.

Thin
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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I agree with Thin. Didn't like Ku'dam at all. It reminded me of a big shopping center. There are a lot more interesting places to see, although the bombed church is not to be missed.

My trip report: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...=schuler&fid=2
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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I agree with Thin and some of the others. My two college aged daughters much prefer the former East. Prenzlauer Berg is lots of fun; there are lots of quirky shops and cool restaurants, and no doubt clubs although I certainly would be no help with that! My younger daughter will be in Berlin for the entire school year 2008-09 and she hopes to live in P-Berg.

So, I'd pick a hotel near Prenzlauer Berg, or just south of there - near Unter den Linden. OR, somewhere near Potsdamer Platz, which is plenty lively and central.

Ku'Damm doesn't really do anything for either of my girls.

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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Hey schuler, the link you posted was not to your trip report, but was to what comes up when you search your screen name. To get the link to your trip report, you need to pull it up then click on its title. The link will then appear in your browser address bar.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 11:47 AM
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Sorry that I have to correct some of the more superficial impressions.

It is right that the Ku'damm is mainly a shopping street, but the real life happens in the sidestreets (where the cool hotels are located) and on Lietzenburger Straße and on Savignyplatz (which is also in the Ku'damm vicinity). This is the area where the local crowd gathers at night - primarily the students and academics.

And you find the coolest Currywurst at Curry 195 - Kurfürstendamm 195 - where you can wash down your Currywurst with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot.

But as I have posted, there are several hot areas in Berlin - try them all!!!
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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I have the same view, although Ku'damm/Charlottenburg is a more expensive/exclusive area to live, Prenzlauerberg has more soul and grit for the younger generation.

A lot more new cool places for the younger crowd are mushrooming along the zigzag walking route through Friedrichstrasse ,Oranienburgstrasse,Rosenthalerstrasse and perhaps even part of Schoenhauser Allee.

The western part of Kreuzberg may be be another area of interest for the younger crowd.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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Location of the hotel does not matter very much in Berlin - public transport is so efficient, you are within minutes in every other part of the city.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Thanks Noe.

My trip report: http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...n_name=schuler

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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 04:48 PM
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Thanks, thanks, thanks! You guys are the best and always come through. I'm compiling everything to send to my daughter so please feel free to post more suggestions. They're very much appreciated.

By the way, she's traveling alone so safety is very important.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 08:10 PM
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By the way, during a conversation with the dear one this afternoon, I told her that there was a beautiful Ritz in Berlin. She poo-pooed it, deeming it not chic enough for her age group. Sigh, I booked her at the Paris Ritz a couple of years ago and she loved it. Of course, it was before a month of dreadful nights in other less special hotels for some poli sci classes she just had to take in Paris & Amsterdam.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 08:38 PM
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TTess, how long is your daughter planning to stay in Berlin?

I have one graduating from college in two weeks, but no trip for her. Just a week at the beach with some friends before graduation. She and her sister did come for a spring break trip to Berlin in March. Her favorite museum was the Hamburger Bahnhof (contemporary art). Other hits: the Turkish Market, the weekend flea markets, Garage (shop selling vintage clothing by the kilo - my girls loved this place).
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 12:48 AM
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If u want to go upscale hotels, I recommend the Grand Hyatt strongly vs. the Ritz. It's on the other side of the street of the Ritz and has unobtrusive modern design, very personal service and the best spa (rooftop) of Berlin hotels, while the Ritz' faux classic decor is a bit over the top in my opinion.

As to what area's coolest I agree with those who claim that there are many nice areas.
While Prenzlauer Berg is attractive, too, many of the younger Berliners who moved there initially after re-unifaction have headed back to Charlottenburg (where Ku'damm is) over the past years - and the side streets of Ku'damm are about as diverse as those of Prenzlauer Berg (if not more), with the difference of having grown more organically, probably. Thus, I would not dismiss Ku'damm area completely as it may be a very good base to experience Berlin life as many of Berliners do, whereas the East attracts more crowds of tourists.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 01:45 AM
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The side streets in Ku'damm are indeed very enticing. Our favourite afternoon in Berlin included:

Fasanenstr. near Ludwig Church: Quiet, quaint and lovely little restaurants. No tourists. Best espressos and margaritas were found here.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 01:58 AM
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I may add that the Hotel Q! is Brad Pitt's and Angelina Jolie's favorite hotel in Berlin.

http://www.loock-hotels.com/hotelq/

Mick Jagger prefers the more conservative Schlosshotel, but you need a taxi to go to and fro, because it is not in the city center. But when you can afford staying there, what does taxi fare matter?

http://www.schlosshotelberlin.com/english/index.html
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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x for bars
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Old May 1st, 2008, 04:36 AM
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I agree with hsv's recomendation, we checked out the Ritz and thought it was not that great, there are so many better hotels in Berlin.

Another hotel that I often recommend highly is the Mandala hotel on Potsdamerstrasse even though I have stayed mostly at the Berlin Grand Hyatt using miles. If you have to pay for a room at the Hyatt, you'd be better off with any of the Mandala suites at comparable prices. The hotel is located right across the street from the Sony entertainment center and a block away from the Arkade mall where they have the best gelato in Berlin.

There are 2 Mandala Suite hotels, the one on Potsdamerstrasse is by far the better one. The larger suites (management suite to the half circular grand suite) are the better buy, euro per euro. It is more like staying in your own luxury apartment with a fully staffed concierge where they prepare everything for you before you arrive including groceries, music CD or any detail. The CD our daughter requested was playing in the entire suite apartment when we entered. The staff is very unintrusive and breakfast is served at their modern designed glass restaurant FACIL (well known for its food).
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