25hours Hotel Bikini is the perfect blend of luxury and contemporary cool in the heart of Berlin´s bustling Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf says Christopher Rosar.
Situated in front of Berlin´s iconic Zoologischer Garten and Kaiser Wilhelm Church, the 25hours Hotel Bikini has brought hip luxury to the heart of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
Opening in 2014, the 1950s high rise block has been transformed by Werner Aisslinger into a true original destination hotel and its rooftop Monkey Bar is a popular, buzzing destination with its views over Tiergarten, the Siegessäule and wider Berlin.
Next door to the Hotel Bikini Berlin is a concept shopping mall boasting both local and international designer boutique shopping. Berlin´s main shopping street Kufürstendamm is a few minutes walk away so as a base from which to explore the city´s rich history or go shopping, the location of 25hours Hotel Bikini could not be better.
Tegel Airport is a mere 6 km from the hotel and Zoologischer Garten station has connections throughout the city. All guests enjoy a discount at the next door public parking garage. Berlin is amongst many locations of the boutique 25hours chain which includes Frankfurt, Hamburg and Vienna.
Industrial design subtly matched with gentle eccentric touches features throughout the hotel. The 149 room hotel is accessed via an extraordinary elevator that features music and live action holograms projected onto its black walls.
David Bowie´s ´Starman´ was playing when we stepped inside the elevator. As we ascended, surrounded by moving avatars of deep ocean cave fish projected onto the glass, it did feel like we were being elevated into another dimension. A very impressive and memorable arrival.
25hours Hotel Bikini´s Reception is on the third floor. Check in is unstuffy, and service was just the right side of informal. Staff are friendly, professional and helpful. We had several queries about events nearby such as the lovely Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Church and these were answered with efficient enthusiasm.
The public areas feature plenty of exposed concrete matched with set pieces such as bicycles dangling from the ceiling, fur upholstered hammocks to relax in and illustrations and photos. A tropical theme runs through the hotel so expect plenty of jungle foliage and it will come as no surprise that the Monkey Bar has a very solid cocktail list worthy of the great drinking holes of Havana.
Quirky concierge service will set you up with not just bike but Mini Cooper rental. The hotel has its own in-house bakery and cafeteria as well as a boutique selling drinks and photography books. On the ninth floor here is a sauna with direct views over the monkey and elephant enclosures of Berlin Zoo.
We had a choice of Jungle Rooms overlooking the zoo or Urban Rooms. We chose the latter and our room overlooked Breitscheidplatz and the famous Kaiser Wilhelm Church that was partly destroyed during World War II and left, minus its spire, as a haunting memorial.
The room was accessed through a dark corridor where room numbers appeared suspended in the air. Inside the room, there was plenty of space and a wall to ceiling window with striking views over the square and the church outside. The room featured an exposed concrete ceiling and illustration paintings on the wall. The bed was huge and very comfortable while the washing area, while perhaps a little too industrial chic for some, was effective.
The room´s heated flooring was perfect for the cold December Berlin weather. The Blade-runneresque large black tiled shower area was a real standout and the power shower itself was a treat. There is a minibar and room service is through the hotel´s rooftop NENI restaurant, which is situated opposite the Monkey Bar. All rooms feature air conditioning, free WiFi and an UE Boom Bluetooth speakers.
NENI dishes up Mediterranean cuisine and is also where we had breakfast, a delicious large, continental buffet affair. All tastes are catered for and we particularly enjoyed the salmon and tasty fresh wurst. The hotel´s bakery serves warm, fresh bread with gluten free options available.
The menu has a Lebanese twist and popular dishes include starters of spicy pumpkin, orange and ginger soup with toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil and mains of beef-lamb kebab with tzatziki, sumac onions, herb salad and Israeli pickled cucumber and Sabich, a fried eggplant with humous, soft-boiled organic eggs, tomato salsa and Har Bracha tahina with amba.
Afterwards we relaxed in the Monkey Bar, which was packed every night we were there with guests and non guests alike. The bar is open late with DJs performing most evenings. There is a very popular terrace area with spectacular views of Berlin. A memorable stay.
Double rooms from €140. Breakfast not included
25hours Hotel Bikini, Budapester Str. 40, Berlin, 10787, Germany
Phone: +49 30 1202210
Photography courtesy of Stephan Lemke