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Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Berlin, Germany, Europe
77 Unter den Linden
Tel: 30 2261 1111
Fax: 30 226 12222's insider take:

Just steps from the Brandenburg Gate on the historic Pariser Platz is Berlin's original "Grand Hotel"—indeed, the movie of that name, starring Greta Garbo, was filmed here. Though Garbo famously uttered the words "I want to be alone," other celebrity guests (including Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Mann) flocked to the Adlon for an entirely different reason: to see and be seen in the grand lobby, a favorite gathering place of intellectuals and art-world glitterati during the hotel's heyday. The original turn-of-the-century building burned down in 1945, but it has since been lovingly rebuilt. The second-generation Adlon, opened in 1997, includes faithful reproductions of the stained-glass dome in the lobby and the coffered 14-karat-gold–plated ceilings. The rooms and suites, meanwhile, are a retro-modern hybrid of Art Deco and Asian fusion. The Roman-style Adlon Spa occupies the basement, and a Michelin-starred restaurant dedicated to French haute cuisine, the Lorenz Adlon, is on the Bel Étage (the second floor). There is one recent development that is less welcome, however: With newer luxury properties opening in Berlin, the Adlon has expanded to 303 rooms and 81 suites in an effort to attract more conference business. The large and sometimes noisy crowds in the lobby and other public spaces tend to take away from the old-world glamour.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 93.0
  • Design: 91.2
  • Food: 89.1
  • Location: 97.1
  • Rooms: 94.2
  • Service: 93.2
In "Germany's premier location"—next to the Brandenburg Gate—this 1907 limestone edifice counts Emperor Wilhelm II and Greta Garbo among past guests. Golden ceilings and a stained glass dome cover the lobby; even the simplest rooms have "limestone bathrooms and wood paneling." Staff "pay attention to detail: At breakfast, I picked up the Herald Tribune. The next morning, that day's edition was outside my door."

(382 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Pool, Spa

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.