Brandenburger Hof Quadratic and charismatic featured

On a quiet side street within walking distance of Berlin’s moneyed Kurfürstendamm, this boutique hotel is an oasis of casual, understated luxury, with four opulent wings wrapped snugly around an inner courtyard. Covered with a glass ceiling, the Hof is awash with light and lush greenery, creating a serene breakfast area that can’t fail to give you that smug feeling that only the finest hotels can. The breakfast itself is the stuff of legend, with a variety of appetizing à la carte options and not a buffet cart in sight.

The courtyard is flanked by snug private meeting and dining rooms for a range of occasions, as well as the intimate restaurant, Die Quadriga, headed by Finnish Michelin starred chef, Sauli Kemppainen, serving up his unique brand of new Nordic cuisine.

nhow Berlin Soft beds, hard beats featured

Billed as Europe’s first “music hotel”, nhow Berlin, a brick behemoth on the north bank of the river Spree in Friedrichshain, was built to beguile those exploring Berlin’s music scene. The hotel is equipped with a conference center, music lounge, “guitar room service” and recording spaces run by the co-directors of the city’s legendary Hansa studio, where David Bowie wailed out “Heroes” in the shadow of the Berlin Wall.

Meeting somewhere halfway between 2001: A Space Odyssey and a mid-90s Kylie Minogue music video, the hotel’s Pop Art-inspired interior aesthetic from New York-based designer Karim Rashid certainly goes for the gusto, sporting an eye-popping array of neon colors, curved forms and the occasional gold leather couch. Rooms come in a choice of baby blue, hot pink or a muted gray—pick a room with a river view (60 percent of the 304 rooms have one) in case your eyes need a more placid focal point.

Crowning the building is a three-story, aluminum skinned upper tower for the studios and suites, fronted with double-skinned glass on the Spree side and cantilevered 21 meters out from the building over the riverbank. At ground level, Chef Patrick Rexhausen, a native Berliner, serves up modern interpretations of German-French cuisine at Fabrics restaurant, which also offers fine views of the Spree, albeit from a lower altitude.

andel's Hotel Corporate cool

This behemoth design hotel has more than a few tricks up its sleeve: a compelling interior conceptualized by leading British designer duo Jestico & Whiles, an extensive wellness area and no less than four—yup four—restaurants.

Despite its massive size—andel’s offers some 500-plus rooms, plus a ballroom and corporate center—the newly-minted hotel never feels corporate with its poppy avant-garde design and bold colors with minimalist Asian touches. Meanwhile, the penthouse “Sky Bar and Cafe” rivals Weekend for the best bird-eye view over the city—all while nibbling on Viennese cakes and enjoying a glass of wine from the hotel’s very own walk-in wine storage, no less.

Hotel Otto A personal touch

This cheery apartment building-cum-hotel is the welcome newcomer on an old block. Plugged into the upmarket Charlottenburg area, Otto experienced a recent face lift at the hands of Swedish designer Lars Bork, who brightened the space with healthy splashes of blue, magenta, green and black colors to achieve a contemporary chic look.

It’s easy to tell why young professionals favor the establishment, from its faultless service to its immediate accessibility. The 45 rooms take many incarnations (standard, comfort, studio or suite with a private rooftop sundeck), but each comes equipped with bottles of Aveda products in bathrooms, flatscreen TVs and wi-fi. Organic produce and weekly changing delicacies—such as Alsatian meat and cheese platters—greet guests at the very minimalist, very clean breakfast nook, as does the super fair checkout price of 80-120 Euros per night.

Chessboxing Rental Apartment Check, mate

You’ll likely feel in control when resting your head on one of five beds with playful Muhammad Ali, Bobby Fischer, Mike Tyson, Miyamoto Musashi or Anantoly Karpov themes.

These fully tricked-out rental apartments—where international chessboxers stay during tournament season—offer TVs with DVD players, fully equipped kitchens, DSL internet, and of course a chess set and boxing bag. These generous spaces start at 130€ per day plus 50€ for clean sheets and towels.

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