Berlin is an extremely historic city in itself; the capital of Germany played a vital role in WWII and the evidence is throughout the city. This also means that many of the area’s hotels have a rich history as well. We visited the most popular historic hotels in the city to see how their features stacked up against the competition — from the comfort of the guest rooms to the quality of the on-site restaurant. So if you’re heading to Berlin and want to stay in a property with an interesting past, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at our top historic hotel picks in Berlin and get inspired!
The Hotel Adlon Kempinski is an elegant, classic hotel with a rich history. Its predecessor was one of the most popular hotels in Europe through World War II, hosting guests such as Charlie Chaplin and Josephine Baker. The original building was demolished, but after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a building inspired by the original was built on the same location near the Brandenburg Gate. This 382-room hotel still attracts A-list clientele -- this is where Michael Jackson dangled his baby son from a balcony in 2002. Luxurious rooms have heavy drapes, four-poster canopy beds, plush couches, and fresh cut roses. Marble bathrooms offer soaking tubs and heated floors. These inviting rooms, combined with the hotel's impressive amenities -- an indoor pool, full spa, fitness center, and variety of restaurants -- make this one of the best picks in Berlin.
The historic Hotel Savoy is located in the elegant Charlottenburg neighborhood. This hotel first opened its doors in 1929, and welcomed famous guests from Greta Garbo to Thomas Mann in its grander days. The 125 rooms are large and traditional, with simple bathrooms, free in-room Wi-Fi, coffee machines, and flat-screen TVs -- though they are starting to show some wear and tear. Perks here include a cigar lounge, several restaurants and bars, and a small fitness center with sauna. A color palette of regal red is found throughout this charming hotel, and though some guests complain of thin walls, service here is still top-notch.
Set in a quiet residential neighborhood far from the city center, the 53-room Schlosshotel Im Grunewald is a small but opulent five-pearl boutique that was once a private mansion. The interiors have since been redesigned by Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld to dazzling effect. The standard Deluxe Rooms are small yet posh, offering free minibars and marble bathrooms with heated floors, and there are a handful of incredible suites. An indoor pool, full spa, and beautiful gardens provide plenty of space for the well-heeled traveler to relax, and the nearby Grunewald forest is a great natural perk. The service is top-notch on paper, with personal drivers and translators available, but not always so in practice. Non-smokers may not appreciate that the haze from the cigar lounge and designated smoking areas can intrude into the dining spaces
The 33-room Grand Hostel Berlin is a cut above the average for hostel accommodation, located in an historic Victorian building. It's in the hip neighborhood of Kreuzberg, opposite a picturesque canal and close to the city's nightlife scene. There's a hip library bar just off the lobby, and a restaurant and snack bar on-site too. Bicycles are available to rent for a fee from the front desk. There are private rooms and dorm rooms available, all of which are clean and comfortable with neutral decor.
Named for the Badewanne jazz club housed here in the 1950s, which hosted Duke Ellington and other legends, the 285-room Ellington has retained a grandeur that fits its history -- and enriched it with Bauhaus-inspired design. Rooms are sleek and contemporary, but bathroom tile could use a refresh and showers lack privacy. Around the corner from Kurfurstendamm, Berlin’s main shopping street, the upscale hotel is convenient to most major tourist attractions and public transportation. It has a posh, open-kitchen restaurant and wine cellar, a summer garden, a smokers' lounge and bar, a fitness center with personal trainers available for an extra charge, and conference and event facilities.
Part of the Spanish hotel chain H10 that continues to expand through Europe, H10 Berlin Ku'damm opened in 2011, renovating an old historic property and adding another building to create a modern 199-room, upscale property. It's in a convenient location in western Berlin, within walking distance of restaurants and Kurfürstendamm avenue, known locally as Ku'damm, one of the city's main tourist and shopping streets. Still, the hotel sits on a busy crossroad that can give street-facing rooms some unwanted city noise. The standard Deluxe Double Rooms are on the small side, but the urban elegance of lofted suites in the older building are memorable.
The Hotel Art Nouveau Berlin is a charming, family-run B&B in the Charlottenburg neighborhood. The 22 individually decorated rooms occupy the second and fourth floors of a historic apartment building, complete with an antique cage elevator. Rooms have stucco ceilings, wooden floors, and a great mix of antiques and contemporary decor. Technology includes small flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. An organic breakfast buffet is served in the sunny breakfast room and an honesty bar is open throughout the night. While there is no 24-hour reception and no air conditioning in the rooms, the great use of color and distinctly Berlin flair make this B&B a good pick.
Made up of 11 apartments of various sizes in an historic building, Brilliant Apartments offers a cozy and homey place to stay in the trendy and picturesque Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin. The area is central, but fairly quiet, too, with lots of restaurants and shops within walking distance, and all major sights within a quick metro ride. There's a great cafe, Krone, on the first floor, which serves breakfast for a fee. The apartments are spacious and tastefully decorated, with separate kitchens, sitting areas, and dining areas.