Since the fall of the wall, post-Communist Berlin has become a thriving creative and cultural center, boasting an internationally renowned arts scene, first-rate shopping, legendary nightlife, and ultra-modern architecture. It is also a major business hub, attracting suits and ties from across the globe. But alongside these modern digs is historical Berlin: iconic sights like the Brandenburg Gate and the East Side Gallery attract families and backpackers alike to this European capital. Such a diverse crowd means extraordinarily diverse lodgings. From luxe suites to hipster hovels (very attractive hovels, though), there is a "best" hotel for everyone in Berlin. Here are our favorites:
Berlin's Gilded Grande Dame: The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin
Classic elegance: that's the name of the game at The Rtiz-Carlton, Berlin. Featuring mahogany furniture, plush bedding, and massive marble bathrooms like the one seen here, this is easily one of Berlin's most luxurious properties. And the grandeur doesn't come without modern amenities: Wi-Fi, touch-screen controls, and large flat-screen TVs are available in each room and guests have access to a large spa, indoor pool, sauna, and fitness center as well. The upscale French brasserie, tea lounge, and British gentlemen's club-inspired bar are the icing on the oh-so-delicious cake. This is definitely the frontrunner for those guests seeking a luxe experience in the German capital.
Berlin's Most Intimate Chic Stay: Sir F.K. Savigny Hotel Berlin
The ultra-modern black and white motif throughout the Sir F.K. Savigny Hotel Berlin attracts a design-focused clientele with a penchant for hotel freebies (Wi-Fi, a well-stocked minibar with beer and soft drinks, a Nespresso machine) and a chic locale. The boutique's Charlottenburg neighborhood is rife with intimate restaurants and elegant shops, and it is just a short walk from Ku'Damm, an area lined with upscale boutiques and designer stores. The 45 rooms are bright and modern, equipped with large flat-screen TVs and iPod docks; some even have private balconies. The outdoor garden is a major plus, but the bathrooms do lack complete privacy and food is sometimes expensive.
Berlin's Most Historic Site to Seal the Deal: Hotel Savoy Berlin
The historic Hotel Savoy Berlin first opened its doors in 1929. Back then it attracted famous guests Greta Garbo and Thomas Mann, but today the hotel is home to more business travelers than starlets. Large, traditional rooms with simple bathrooms feature free Wi-Fi, coffee machines, and flat-screen TVs. The elegant Charlottenburg neighborhood is home to several upscale businesses (as well as great restaurants and shops). Plus the hotel's on-site cigar lounge (seen above), small fitness center with sauna, reliable restaurants, and rooftop terrace are all great locales to merge and acquire as you see fit.
Berlin's Behemoth Convention Space: Estrel Berlin
For the business traveler with larger plans in mind, Estrel Berlin is the city's best option. With a 15,000 square meter convention center with multiple stages, this behemoth hotel can accommodate any business trip. The Estrel has 1,125 rooms and suites, five restaurants, two bars, a summer garden, and a concert venue with performances happening almost every night. The complex's rooms are simple and modern, with solid amenities.
Berlin's Loveliest Locale for Romance: Abba Berlin Hotel
For couples seeking some peace and quiet, the Abba Berlin Hotel is a tranquil upper-midrange retreat located near the stylish Ku'Damm thoroughfare. Rooms are plush and neutral, with whimsical design touches like the crystal chandelier seen here. The hotel's chic restaurant and relaxed lounge are great spots to cool down at the end of a day of sightseeing. The wellness center, featuring an indoor Jacuzzi, sauna, and fitness center, is a great addition that couples are sure to enjoy.
Berlin's Most Scrumptious Bed & Breakfast: Hotel Art Nouveau Berlin
This charming, family-run B&B in Charlottenburg features 22 individually decorated rooms in a historic apartment building, complete with an antique cage elevator. Rooms at the Hotel Art Nouveau have stucco ceilings, wooden floors, and a great mix of antiques and contemporary decor. Free Wi-Fi and (small) flat-screen TVs are nice modern touches. The star of your stay, however, is the food. An organic buffet breakfast is served daily in the sunny breakfast room while an evening honesty bar is a great place to relax come nightfall.
Berlin's Quirkiest Hotel for the Hip of Heart: Michelberger Hotel
A trendy, budget-friendly option popular with the hipster crowd, the Michelberger Hotel is set in a former warehouse in the up-and-coming Friedrichshain neighborhood. Formerly an industrial sector, Friedrichshain has attracted students and artists for years for its cheap rents and dynamic vibe. Visitors will enjoy the nearby East Side Gallery, Fairytale Fountain, and Karl-Marx-Allee. The Michelberger itself offers a variety of rooms that all exude an artsy vibe. The quirky hotel is also known for its stylish lobby and bar with live DJs. Throw in a couple of odd extras -- a huge bird's nest in the hotel's garden (no, we don't know its purpose), a foosball table off the lobby, and funky accessories -- and any flannel-sporting traveler will be pleased.
Berlin's Most Stylish, Kid-Approved Hotel: Precise Casa Berlin
While at first glance this mid-range boutique doesn't seem family-friendly, it actually comes with quite a few perks without sacrificing style. Deluxe rooms and apartments offer a huge amount of space, kitchenettes, and soaking tubs -- which means plenty of room for the tykes to play and a haven for mom or dad after bedtime. Located in Charlottenburg, the Precise Casa Berlin is in a safe, elegant neighborhood full of shops and restaurants perfect for strolling with the family. And the price isn't half bad either. For those looking for a more in-your-face kid friendly atmosphere, the Hollywood Media Hotel is a fun, film-themed property that kids will enjoy.
Berlin's Wallet-Friendly Stay: Grand City Hotel Berlin Ku'Damm
With rates sometimes falling as low as $60, the Grand City Hotel Berlin Ku'Damm is an excellent option for those traveling on a budget. Quiet rooms are stylish, with flat-screen TVs, playful modern design, and updated bathrooms. Unique touches, like the jazz-themed breakfast area and lobby fireplace, make the hotel stand out from the competition. Plus, the hotel's location close to Berlin's best shopping is ideal.
Berlin's Neighborhood Hot-Spot Hotel: Bleibtreu Hotel
If hanging with the locals is your thing, then the Bleibtreu Hotel is one of your best options in Berlin. A boutique property that has managed to ingratiate itself with its neighborhood, Bleibtreu offers a charming bistro/diner and a flower shop with an outdoor garden that is often frequented by locals. Rooms are stylish and functional, if small, and are decorated with natural materials; some have balconies. Wi-Fi is free for the first hour, the free minibar (nonalcoholic) is replenished each day, and bike rentals are available through the hotel. It's a great pick if you're looking to capture that true Berlinner vibe.