The Luise is one of Berlin's most original boutique hotels, with each fantastically creative room in the 1825 building or 2003 built-on wing—facing the Reichstag—styled by a different artist. The location, at the border between East and West Berlin, and just a short walk from the Reichstag, is great, although rooms can be noisy when the windows are open. Memorable furnishings range from a suspended bed and airplane seats to a gigantic sleigh bed and a freestanding, podlike shower with multiple nozzles.
Each of the 50 rooms is designed by a different local artist, so each is unique. Some have towering 13-foot ceilings; the small, simple attic rooms have a shared bath. In the new building, rooms have air-conditioning and soundproofed windows (good thing, since many are right next to the S-Bahn tracks).
The popular Vincent Van Gogh room—decorated like the artist’s bedroom in his famed painting—is ideal for single travelers.
Like the room décor, the bathrooms vary wildly. Some have showers and bathtubs; others have shared bathrooms.
The spacious lobby resembles an art gallery, with sculptures by the Dutch artist Hans van Meeuwen and wall art by Markus Linnenbrink. There is a comfortable seating area with international newspapers, an internet terminal, a small snack stand and a bookstore focusing on literature about the city.
The attractive restaurant Habel is all warm wood and features a great wine list and German-Mediterranean specialties. There’s al fresco dining on the terrace in summer.
There is a small bar and a handful of stools at the in-house restaurant Habel.
Located in central Mitte, the hotel is an 11-minute walk to the Hauptbahnhof station, Berlin's main transit hub with regional train service, S- and U-Bahn service, as well as multiple trams.
It’s a tough reservation to score, but Pauly Saal (18-minute walk), set in a former Jewish girls’ school, is worth it for the striking art deco surroundings and excellent modern German cuisine. Night Kitchen (16-minute walk) occupies a renovated 19th-century brick building in the courtyards of Heckmann Höfe, and is a charming spot to dine on regional cuisine.
The cozy book-lined Böse Buben Bar (4-minute walk) is a great spot for coffee, wine and beer. For an upscale cocktail in a swanky, boudoir-like setting, check out The Liberate (20-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Quirky and comfortable, the stay here feels like a true Berlin experience, surrounded by art and plenty of neighborhood energy. As each room is uniquely decorated by individual artists, you’re sure to find one that fits your taste—and budget.