the lux score91
the lux score explained
Have you planned a weekend in Berlin? I truly suggest you stay at the Hotel Zoo. Like many other luxury hotels in the capital city of Germany, it’s located in the heart of the city center: we are in fact in the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, at number 25 of Kurfürstendamm, one of the most famous avenues of this amazing city, lined with fashion and interior design boutiques on both sides of the street. The property is just one hour from the airport and it’s easily reachable by car or public transportation.
As its name suggest, the hotel, member of Design Hotels, a collection of 284 boutiques and luxury hotels and resorts worldwide, takes inspiration from animals (it is no coincidence that it’s a ten minute walk far from the city zoo). Its “animalier style” expresses itself primarily in the decoration (paintings, ornaments, cage-shaped chandeliers, carpets with wild animals).
Built in 1889 as a private residence, the building’s history as a hotel began in 1911. The hotel has risen again following extensive renovations by American design team Dayna Lee and Ted Berner. Together, they have revitalized the iconic venue by embracing its past glory while installing a firm sense of modernity.
The building’s re-incarnation sees soaring ceilings restored and the original brick and steel-work revealed. Touches of fantasy permeate the public spaces, where Alice-in-Wonderland whimsy is invoked with playful proportions. The spacious rooms and suites are equally eccentric, featuring bespoke furnishings and bold Berliner spirit. Luxurious fabrics and contemporary furniture are mixed with keepsakes from the past, as though traces of the original family still remain. At the heart of the hotel the welcoming Living Room entices guests to linger, and a double-sided fireplace flickers both inside and in the open-air Winter Garden. Local DJ talent spins in the lively Grace Bar, home to the city’s creatives and scenesters from near and far.
Welcome and accomodation
As I stepped into the hotel, I was welcomed by a young and friendly lady, who gave me all the necessary information (except for the names of the aristocratic former owners of the building, portrayed in the drawings at the entrance, but it was just a curiosity…). After the check-in, I was assigned the room 306, a grand deluxe room which met my expectations: it had a dark wooden floor, purple curtains, sleek furniture, a comfortable bed and large bathroom.
Designer Dayna Lee treated the rooms and their bespoke layouts individually, giving an intentional impression of a pied-à-terre. Careful preservation of the unique trademarks that the over a century old building provided was meticulously executed. Room styles range from the classic, with original brickwork and high ceilings, to the cutting-edge glass and curved lines of the new additions. Views of the iconic Berlin skyline set the scene for urban explorations, with the bustling Kurfürstendamm Boulevard below.
Designed by Dayna Lee (New York City, Los Angeles), the Grace restaurant provides an atmospheric adventure that transports guests to another place. The kitchen takes the restaurant on a new course. Traditional and exotic flavors are merged into a special flavor. The cuisine is characterized by modern culinary and aromatic taste impressions. I suggest you choose the Grace Sashimi (cobia, tropical fruit, coconut jelly & crispy rice) and if you are vegetarian or just a veggie food lover, the “Cupola Artichoke” (sweetheart cabbage, shiitake, cilantro & pho).
The Grace Bar
If you just want to have a cocktail, the bar provides an atmospheric adventure that transports guests to new direction. The atmosphere is inspired by having once been the meeting point of legendary movie stars as well as the intellectual and political elite, it reinterprets cocktail classics from the 1920s and 1950s.
The hotel has a small but well equipped exercise room with new and high-tech body building machines (you can use skype while running for example). A large meeting room is appealing for business groups or special events.
The Lux Traveller Loves
I loved the distinctive design of this hotel, its allure and the mood of extravagance expressed by amusing artifices: just to mention one, the fake flash photos taken as you get into elevator on the ground floor. The hotel is ideal for a weekend to discover Berlin and its highlights: the location is very close to the city center and, for those who are first-time visitors, convenient to hop-on-hop-off city sightseeing tours.
It’s a pity that such a majestic and luxurious hotel doesn’t have a spa or even a sauna.
A standard double room starts from € 180.