Since opening 14 years ago, the Michelberger has built a community of both locals and tourists who flock to this historic factory turned modern boutique hotel. Nestled between Berlin’s most lively districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, its 140 rooms, aimed at catering for all budgets, attract an eclectic, artistic clientele. Transport links can take you across town 24/7, not that you’ll be travelling far. In-house courtyard concerts, yoga classes, ice baths and saunas are on offer; there are plenty of bars and restaurants in every direction, while Berghain – the city’s most famous nightclub – is only a short stroll away, if you fancy your luck getting in.
Rooms from £79, michelbergerhotel.com
Laid-back luxury sums up Orania’s atmosphere, a corner of calm in the heart of vibrant Kreuzberg’s hectic streets. With only 41 rooms, a stay here is an intimate experience: there’s live music in the open-plan lobby, bar and restaurant from Tuesday to Saturday, with an ever-changing lineup of Berlin-based artists taking the stage. The chef’s duck four ways is famous, but if you’re feeling frugal, just pop over to Doyum for a kebab or to Goldies for Michelin-quality fast food. Any Tuesday or Saturday, potter along the river to Maybachufer’s sprawling Turkish market.
Rooms from £158, orania.berlin
25hours Hotel Bikini
Housed in a 1950s high-rise, on top of the Bikini Berlin concept shopping mall, the Berlin offering from the growing 25hours chain has a real buzz. “Urban” rooms look out over the city skyline – the jungle option offers floor-to-ceiling windows with views across the sprawling Tiergarten, with the enclosures of Berlin’s famous zoo directly below. In every room you’ll find a free minibar, portable speaker and backpack to borrow: grab your gear, pick up a bicycle from reception and explore. Or else head upstairs to the bustling rooftop bar and a middle-eastern meal at NENIen, or unwind in the ninth-floor sauna and watch the elephants and monkeys while sipping complimentary beers from the fridge.
Rooms from £158, 25hours-hotels.com
Occupying the site of a 19th-century public bathhouse, this 70-room boutique Prenzlauer Berg hotel opened back in February 2016 after exhaustive renovations, bringing the impressive abandoned building back to life. Many original details were preserved, the 20m indoor pool with vaulted ceiling being the most impressive. You might have to stand in line with locals to take a dip, but it’s worth the wait. It’s only a 10-minute stroll to Mauerpark past cafés and restaurants, where on Sundays the famous flea market is well worth a trip.
Rooms from £122, hotel-oderberger.berlin
Over in the western district of Charlottenburg, Wilmina may have only opened in April 2022, but the 11 years the team spent converting this former courthouse and prison into a tranquil oasis was time well spent. Original details – cell doors, window bars – are tastefully incorporated into its light, modern and airy design. With a rooftop pool, attic sauna, spacious guest lounges and secret courtyards, stay here for a retreat of rest and relaxation, ideal after a day spent exploring the city’s finest shopping streets and restaurants right outside the gate.
Rooms from £163, wilmina.com
With 93 rooms on five floors, this striking upmarket boutique hotel sits parallel to the famous Unter den Linden boulevard, just a few minutes’ walk from the Brandenburg Gate. Once a Stasi spy hub, left to rot for 30 years, its doors reopened last September. Now 1850s architecture meets modern design here, with early 20th-century materials – colourful marble, oak parquet flooring, nickel and handmade craquelé tiles – giving Berlin Bohemia a chic, contemporary twist. But it’s the art which truly takes centre stage here. With the work of over 100 leading artists to be found in guest rooms, bar, restaurant and public spaces, the hotel might be a stone’s throw from some of the city’s finest museums, but is also a gallery in and of itself.
Rooms from £170, chateauroyalberlin.com
With hotel, hostel and apartment accommodation, Circus offers a stylish and central place to stay at every price point. The team here curate events and activities to entertain those staying, not that you’ll need much guidance: located on the buzzing Rosenthaler Platz, you’re in prime position to shop, eat, drink, dance and consume culture to your heart’s content.
Rooms from £17 (hostel) and £87 (hotel) circus-berlin.de
Hotel the Yard
Don’t let the quiet street outside fool you: this Kreuzberg hotel is in a perfect position to explore Berlin on foot. Inspired by a Milanese courtyard, interiors here are sleek and minimal, with a contemporary and compact feel to the smaller of the 55 rooms. Both the Jewish Museum and Berlinische Galerie are a 10-minute walk away, while it’s five minutes more to Checkpoint Charlie. Wind down with a swim in the indoor pool, and a Finnish sauna.
Rooms from £109, hotel-theyard.berlin
For something a little different, try checking into one of Hüttenpalast’s huts or vintage caravans, parked in a former factory complex in the trendy area of Neukölln. Urban glamping might be 3unconventional – and require some bathroom sharing – but the flea market finds that deck out the communal spaces have a real charm. There are six loft-style rooms available, too, for those who prefer a little more privacy.
From £61, huettenpalast.de
Soho House Berlin
All corners of the city are within easy reach of Soho House, an 85-room Berlin outpost located between the districts of Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg. Its industrial chic aesthetics might feel modern, but this hotel is steeped in history. Back in the 1920s, the eight-storey Bauhaus building was a Jewish-owned department store. Over the decades that followed it first became the HQ for the Hitler Youth, then later home of the Communist party’s Central Committee once the city was split in two. If the rooftop pool, cinema, gym, basement spa and three onsite restaurants aren’t enough to entertain you, there’s plenty to see on the doorstep – the iconic Volksbühne theatre and famous TV tower are just around the corner; the 24-hour concierge team know exactly which bars, shops, clubs and restaurants are on trend.
Rooms from £170, sohohouse.com.