Spring Exterior - Adlon Kempinski, Berlin, Germany

Adlon Kempinski

One of Berlin’s most historic properties, the 385-room Adlon Kempinski feels appropriately old-world and often houses politicians and visiting dignitaries.

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Room Interior - Amano Hotel, Berlin, Germany

Amano Hotel

With an entrance tucked around the corner from one of the bustling arteries of Mitte, the Amano hotel, which opened in 2009, offers a more traditional hotel option than many of its hip neighbor hotels. The contemporary building features a cool lobby for lounging and a bar known for its excellent DJs, but there is an efficiency to the staff that draws businessmen as well as families who like the apartment-like units with small kitchen areas. The standard rooms are miniscule in size with only showers, so it is important to see photos and layouts of spaces before booking. There is a nice garden area in the back, and the rooftop cocktail lounge and Mani restaurant draw an attractive crowd from the area.

Exterior View - Casa Camper, Berlin, Germany

Casa Camper Berlin

One of the newer boutique hotel additions (opened in 2009), Casa Camper is the sister hotel to the cool Spanish label’s Barcelona property. The boutique property has just 51 rooms, all with eco-friendly bamboo floors, rust-red walls and spacious, light-filled bathrooms. Many of the rooms can connect, a plus for families. The accommodations are all the same size, have the same layout and face the same direction, but the best ones are on the highest floors thanks to their stunning views.

There are no amenities to speak of, but the Camper has a really nice seventh-floor lounge, which is stocked all day with food and drink. It’s open only to guests and the views and lovingly prepared culinary fare (including cakes, cookies, sandwiches and an honor-system cocktail bar) inspires you to want to curl up with a book. Not that you want to stay put, given the hotel’s central location near the Hackesche Höfe and some of the city’s hippest restaurants, galleries and shops.

Bikes can be rented on the premises (it’s unclear why more hotels do not offer this, considering the bike-friendly nature of the city). Foodies will love the fact that acclaimed Spanish tapas restaurant Dos Palillos is just downstairs (chef Albert Raurich worked as the chef de cuisine for Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli).

Nearby are great shopping streets like Neue Schönhauser, August-, Mulak- and Steinstrasse. Fabulous and fun restaurants and cafés, like Monsieur Vuong, Mädchenitaliener, The Barn, Bandol Sur Mer, Dudu and the fabulous dance hall Clärchens Ballhaus. Galleries like Eigen + Art and KW Institute of Contemporary Art. Plus, Museum Island is a 15-minute walk. In a nutshell: this is one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

Interior at Das Stue, Berlin, Germany

Das Stue

Located in an elegant neighborhood reserved mostly for embassies, Das Stue made a big splash when it opened in 2013. The former East Berlin has more than its share of design hotels but this cool enclave sits in the former West.

A member of Design Hotels, the 78-room, 19-suite Das Stue boasts sleek interiors, accented with black-and-white photography, bursts of color and cool objets, like the an alligator skull that greets arrivals in the lobby. A grand staircase—this is a classic 1930s building after all, which used to house the Danish Embassy—leads to the small guest rooms. Some come with views across the adjacent Berlin Zoo, a fun touch for children. Some of the more spacious suites come with balconies from which to take in the vistas.

Das Stue scored Michelin-lauded Catalan chef Paco Pérez to oversee the Mediterranean-influenced restaurant menu. The dining room has a cool open kitchen and incredible installation of gleaming copper pans that hang artfully above the diners. The holistic spa program was created by German wellness guru Susanne Kaufmann, and even though there’s a state of the art gym, the best way to exercise when staying in this part of town is with a run in the Tiergarten. (Daily yoga classes are also offered.) **Indagare Tip:**Skip breakfast at the hotel and walk across the street to the charming Café am Neuen See, a bonafide Berlin hang-out with delicious breakfast and brunch fare.

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Bar at Grand Hyatt Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Grand Hyatt Berlin

Many of the guests who descend upon the city each February for the Berlin International Film Festival base themselves at this 342-room hotel, designed by Pritzker Prize–winner José Rafael Moneo. Besides being well located (at Potsdamer Platz) and business-friendly, the Grand Hyatt is also quite fashionable, with a great contemporary art collection and two stylish restaurants: Vox, which has the city’s largest open kitchen, and Tizian, with a floating fireplace. The rooms start at around 400 square feet and are outfitted with cherry-wood furniture, a rain shower and Aveda bath products. All are light and have views that look out at a nice garden. The top-floor fitness center and spa—complete with a pool, Turkish steam bath and a Finnish sauna—has great views as well.

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inside hotel lounge with glass skylight ceiling and red carpeting

Hotel de Rome, A Rocco Forte Hotel

In a former bank building in Mitte, the Hotel de Rome from Rocco Forte is the most luxurious hotel in Berlin, Germany (in walking distance to major sites).

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Suite at  Lux 11, Berlin, Germany

Lux 11

This apartment hotel occupies three adjacent whitewashed buildings in happening Mitte. It’s clear from check-in that the place is for low-maintenance guests: there’s no round-the-clock service—the front desk, in a small reception area, closes at 10 p.m. on weekdays and at 5 p.m. on weekends. Guests, a mix of stylish international thirty-somethings, don’t seem to mind, as the lack of pampering is made up for in serious savings. The minimalist but chic rooms, designed by London-based duo Silvestrin/Salmaso, have kitchenettes, glass-enclosed showers, flat-screen TVs and faux-fur throws. Book a premier suite on one of the upper floors (the hotel has seven stories). Rooms that look over the leafy courtyard are quieter than the ones with Alexanderplatz views. On the ground level is an Aveda salon and spa.

Lux 11 is located in one of the best areas of Mitte, in close proximity to such shopping streets as Neue Schönhauser, August-, Mulak- and Steinstrasse; and near fabulous and fun restaurants and cafés, like Monsieur Vuong, Mädchenitaliener, The Barn, Bandol Sur Mer, Dudu and the fabulous dance hall Clärchens Ballhaus. Galleries like Eigen + Art and KW Institute of Contemporary Art are a 5-minute walk; Museum Island is a 15-minute walk. In a nutshell: you’re staying in one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

Suite at  Mandala Hotel Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany

Mandala Hotel Potsdamer Platz

Well priced but with without skimping on service, this hotel has 166 suites with Asian-influenced décor, including Chinese antiques, raw-silk curtains and cherry-wood floors. Join chic locals at the Qiu lounge, where you can sip cocktails while seated on mohair couches next to a wall of Bisazza mosaics. Reserve a table at the hotel’s all-glass Facil restaurant, one of the city’s best. Note: The Potsdamer Platz location is very central, at one of the spots where the former East meets the former West Berlin, but know that you won’t be doing a lot of walking in this busy area. There are some museums nearby, but to reach most of the sights and recommended restaurants, you will need to be taking taxis.

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Regent Berlin

In a city the size of Berlin deciding where you want to be based is as important as picking the hotel. The Regent has one of the city’s loveliest locations, right next to the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt square. It’s in walking distance to Unter den Linden boulevard and the Brandenburger Gate but feels tucked away, discreet and more quiet.

It used to be the Four Seasons Berlin before Regent took over in 2004, and the common spaces and rooms have an upscale—if not terribly inspired—look and feel. The lobby—appointed with marble floors, silk-upholstered chairs and sofas, crystal chandeliers—is cozy rather than imposing, and it’s a wonderful place to linger over a cup of tea. The 195 comfortable rooms are classically decorated in tones of gold and beige, and the marble bathrooms are spacious with separate bath and shower, as well as L’Occitane products. The Regent has some of the largest rooms in Berlin (the smallest category starts at 430 square feet), and the best ones face the imposing buildings of the Gendarmenmarkt, including the French and German cathedrals and the Konzerthaus concert hall. It’s also in walking distance to such restaurants as Borchardt, Cookies n’ Cream and Lutter Wegner, and an easy walk to the cool neighborhood surrounding the Hackesche Höfe north of the river

The staff is warm and not overly stiff or formal, which adds to the nice ambience of this hotel. The Regent is also home to Berlin’s sole two-star-Michelin restaurant called Fischers Fritz, where expertly prepared seafood is served in an appropriately haute setting with wood-paneled walls, luminous chandeliers and well-chosen original art work. Fischers Fritz serves an excellent breakfast in the morning.

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Suite at Soho House Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Soho House Berlin

Located on the edge of Berlin's hip Mitte neighborhood, this private club has a screening room, spa, restaurant, bar and rooftop pool. Accommodations are spacious and outfitted with such elegantly cool furnishings as velvet tufted headboards and mirrored-glass Art Deco style coffee tables. The building's previous life as a late Bauhaus-era department store remains evident in the many large windows, exposed brickwork and high ceilings. Whimsical (though not always working) amenities include vintage record players, radios and rotary telephones, alongside modernized features like heated bathroom floors, large rain showers and Bose sound systems. The bathroom is stocked with delicious-smelling, full-size, organic Cowshed amenities.

Walking into the cozy downstairs Cowshed spa feels like going to visit a friend's house. Before treatments, guests sit at a dining room table stacked high with magazines, newspapers and pitchers of cucumber- and lemon-infused water. Massage treatments are exceptional and very reasonably priced.

Created by Alex Eagle, The Store is more of a showroom than a concept store and offers much more than fashion. You can find food and fresh pressed juices at the Store Kitchen’s organic café, music in the record shop, literature in the library and beautiful bright flowers from florist Mary Lennox.

The restaurant on the seventh floor and the bar and pool on the eighth boast fabulous views of Berlin's TV Tower and serves an excellent breakfast though the dinner menu can be skipped in favor of Berlin's many other excellent eateries. The Soho House brand's iconic restaurant, Cecconi's, is located on the ground floor and serves cozy Italian fare in an elegant dining room with red leather booths.

The one caveat to know is that service can fall short, and everything takes about ten times as long as it should. It is also worth knowing that while located in the hip Mitte, Soho House is a good 10 minute walk from the center of the action. Casa Camper and Lux 11 have better locations in this neighborhood for those who don't want to be walking too far for dinner or shopping.

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Facade - Ritz-Carlton Berlin, Berlin, Germany

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin

When this hotel opened in an 18-story Potsdamer Platz building in 2004, its aim was to become one of the country’s best. It may not have been entirely successful in its quest, but the growing pains have been addressed, and now everything is up to par, especially the very professional staff. A favorite of Americans, the Ritz-Carlton is for those who like their Europe served grand but also brand spanking new. The lobby is opulent, with marble columns, a sweeping staircase and plenty of brassy and gilded details. The 303 rooms including 40 suites, 25 clubs rooms and the Ritz-Carlton Apartment are light and spacious, and the best feature beautiful views of the Tiergarten.

Note: The Potsdamer Platz location is very central, at one of the spots where the former East meets the former West Berlin, but know that you won’t be doing a lot of walking in this busy area. There are some museums nearby, but to get to most of the sights and recommended restaurants, you will be taking taxis.

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