Inside Hotel Adlon Kempinksi, Berlin’s most prestigious address

Following its 1990s resurrection, the centrepiece stay on Berlin’s historic Pariser Platz is still every bit the shining light that it was when it first opened in 1907…

George Kipouros
12 November 2023

Sometimes the phrase ‘best location in town’ is more than just a throwaway line. The setting for the Adlon Kempinski Hotel, just steps from Berlin’s most iconic landmark, the Brandenburg Gate, was a coup even back in 1907 when it originally opened its doors. The early glory days didn’t last long, though. The Adlon managed to survive both World Wars in Europe, only for the first iteration of the hotel to burn down in May 1945, just as peace was breaking out across the continent. It didn’t fully come back to life until 1997, long after the city’s reunification.

This grande dame now takes over an entire city square, and has a design that harks back to its origins in the early 1900s, with all rooms featuring Art Deco-inspired furniture. Our recommendation is to opt for a room with views of the Brandenburg Gate, to savour the moment when its lights gradually turn on, just at the end of the day’s blue hour.

The hotel is just steps away from the Brandenburg Gate (Kempinski Hotels & Resorts)

Among the 78 suites, one in particular stands out: the 185 sqm Royal Suite, so named following Queen Elizabeth II’s stay in 2015. In addition to fine views, it features hand-crafted parquet de Versailles flooring made from old oak, complemented by antique wall coverings of hand-painted silk. And for those not booked to stay in this room, a concierge may be able to arrange a quick tour if it’s unoccupied.

Berliners and visitors alike still come to the Adlon to celebrate special occasions in one of the city’s best-known gastronomic restaurants: the Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer. This estimable eatery is named after the hotel’s founder, and it has been consistently awarded two Michelin stars for its European fine dining. For more casual fare, the Brasserie Quarré serves a rather memorable version of a currywurst, the city’s signature sausage, sprinkled with edible gold. The hotel’s in-room dining and mini bars are also an ode to Berlin’s gastronomic renaissance, with locally crafted beers, chocolates and popcorn available alongside traditional dishes, such as Frikadellen (meatballs).

The hotel has an Art Deco interior (Kempinski Hotels & Resorts)

The Adlon boasts a surprisingly large spa and wellness area, with a lap pool joined by extensive facilities, including saunas, steam rooms and cold plunge pools. Access is included as part of the stay. A special warning to British and American visitors: this is a German-style wellness experience, with swimwear verboten except when using the pool.

In the still affordable German capital, the Adlon is perhaps as approachable as a historic luxury hotel can be, with entry-level rates starting at €370 (£316) a night in the off season – which is the only time we’d recommend visiting ever-popular Berlin in any case!

Booking information: Doubles from £316pn, room only;

You can opt for a room with a view of Brandenburg Gate (Kempinski Hotels & Resorts)

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