Hotel Zoo is one of Berlin’s most fashionable hotels, nestled between designer stores on the city’s prestigious, tree-lined Kurfürstendamm.
It’s a visual feast for design lovers with exquisite, contemporary interiors by New York/LA design team Dayna Lee and Ted Berner. However, Hotel Zoo isn’t entirely new – it opened in 1911 and was once the official VIP hotel to the Berlin International Film Festival, attracting the likes of Romy Schneider and Sophia Loren.
Many newly-renovated hotels try to hide any trace of their tired old furnishing, but Hotel Zoo cleverly enlisted Swedish photographer Andreas Kock to capture the naughtier side of hotel life in the bedrooms before closing for renovation.
Arriving at Hotel Zoo, you immediately feel like you’re entering a glamorous world as you walk the jade green leopard carpet through to the check-in desk. This leads on to the elegant lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows, a giant Alice in Wonderland-style door, over-sized mirrors, striking artwork and plush pink velvet sofas with Dali-esque gold coffee tables.
This buzzing space is bathed in natural light due to the gorgeous winter garden, complete with lanterns, open fire and sleek outdoor seating.
Our Grand Deluxe Room with a view over the Ku’damm was just as impressive as the public areas with the same lofty ceilings and attention to detail. The spacious room was designed in a palette of soft neutrals with opulent dark aubergine curtains covering both the windows and door, wood flooring and a sumptuous statement rug.
Room features include a large LCD flat-screen TV, executive writing desk, free wifi, Nespresso machine and a mini bar filled with gourmet treats from Dean & Deluca and Berlin-based producers. The king-size bed was extremely comfortable and covered in high quality linen with a number of plump pillows.
A stay at Hotel Zoo is made even more luxurious with its uber-cool partnership with Maison Margiela. The textiles in the room have been designed for the hotel by the avant-garde brand, including a chic wool throw, fluffy bathrobes and slippers and fringed bathroom towels. Also to be found in the minibar is a limited edition bottle green nail polish created by Uslu Airlines exclusively for Hotel Zoo – all available to buy at the hotel or online.
We were very kindly welcomed with delicious and beautifully presented raspberry panna cotta, fresh berries and copious bottles of L’Eau Sans Souci mineral water. It was a perfect early afternoon treat before we set out for a long walk exploring the Ku’damm, Tiergarten and Potsdamer Platz.
The bathroom is a joyful oasis of calm with a wide double sink, powerful rain shower, underfloor heating and full-size April Aromatics bathroom products blended specially for Hotel Zoo. I also loved the pretty butterfly mother of pearl tablet and trinket box and artisanal purple glasses – it’s rare to see so much thought put in to accessories to make the bathroom feel homely.
In the morning, we enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast in the stunning Restaurant Grace. There was a good selection of items, from Continental cheeses to yoghurt with fruit purées and marble cake, and I particularly liked the dedicated tea station with an overwhelming range of loose-leaf infusions. Hot dishes such as pancakes and waffles can also be cooked to order.
In the evening, Restaurant Grace offers fresh and healthy Asian-inspired dishes such as sashimi, summer rolls, black cod, Maine lobster and beef Chinois. I would definitely come back for dinner on another trip to Berlin to experience this scene restaurant at night.
The seductive speakeasy Grace Bar attracts Berlin’s well-heeled fashion set and after 7pm, even hotel guests need to dress to impress to gain access. I personally prefer a more relaxing bar aimed towards the comfort of hotel guests in residence, but if you’re in the mood, there’s something rather decadent about rolling upstairs to your room after a glitzy night out in Berlin.
The only thing that could possibly be added to Hotel Zoo is a spa, however it has a partnership with the nearby Aveda Institute for beauty fixes.
Hotel Zoo is a fabulous place to stay in Berlin if you want stylish design with a lively, central location. With such sleek interiors and cosmopolitan atmosphere, you might not want to leave.
Chérie City was a guest of Hotel Zoo
Photos by Chérie City