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Schlosshotel im Grunewald Fit for a Kaiser featured

Berlin might be all about new urban vibrations but it wasn’t always that way. For the best slice of old-world charm this city has to offer, you only have to go to the Schlosshotel in Grunewald. Well secluded in the city’s western forests, it was built in 1912 as the residential palace for Kaiser Wilhelm’s personal adviser.

Karl Lagerfeld—who else?—redesigned the hotel in the ‘90s and brought everything up to date. For a bit more than a modest sum, you can nab the biggest hotel suite in Berlin, which has its own bedrooms, libraries and posh marble baths. Though for a more realistic price, their standard double rooms still grant spectacular access to the hotel’s pool, bar, spa, garden and even cigar cellar.

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.

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