Soho House Berlin, Berlin, Germany $$$$
Tel: 49 30 405 0440
Concierge.com's insider take:
The April 2010 debut of Soho House was met with a storm of news articles and threatened protests far out of proportion to the property's modest size (40 rooms) and price (from 100 euros). It's not just a hotel, you see: It's also a private club, and the restricted membership list has caused quite a stir in traditionally laid-back Berlin. That hasn't stopped German (and British) celebrities from packing the lobby, where Damien Hirst spray-painted a shark on a raw cement wall on the club's opening night. The rooms are intentionally eccentric, with a mix of dark parquet floors, broad swathes of red and green velvet, and chintz-covered chairs. The pricier suites offer extra touches like antique phonograph players and claw-foot tubs. Hotel guests have access to club facilities that the hoi polloi will never see, including a bar and lounge, a screening room with red velvet seats, and a rooftop pool and terrace that feel more like Ibiza than Berlin. The building itself is late Art Deco and fairly screams German Expressionism, and the protested club has the distinction of being one of the least controversial things that it has housed. The address has previously been a headquarters of the Hitler Youth and the seat of the fledgling East German government after World War II.—Ralph Martin
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