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Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin

The nostalgic luxury of Berlin's Hotel Adlon Kempinski doesn't skimp on anything and Sherelle Jacobs enjoys a spa 'not to be missed'

The Credentials:

Two words: nostalgic luxury. Hotel Adlon Kempinski is a tribute to the palatial Hotel Adlon. The latter, opened by the Kaiser in 1907, was intended to rival the grand hotels of Europe that started springing up from the late 19th century, such as The Ritz in London and Hotel Imperial in Vienna. Hotel Adlon was a magnet for Germany’s social elite, and welcomed guests like Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Henry Ford, but it was utterly destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski, built in 1997, is an attempt to recreate the first Adlon’s turn-of-the-century magnificence. Think marble floors, mahogany and cherry furnishings embellished in gold leaf, and four poster beds with brocade sheets woven using delicate silks. Add a two-Michelin-star restaurant, a slick modern Asian diner and a sprawling spa into the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for five star luxury that skimps on nothing.


For elaborate fine dining, book a table at Hendrik Otto’s two-Michelin-star Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer. Expect complex and highly embellished European cuisine around the theme of “tradition eats modern”.

If you are looking for something more laid back, Sra Bua by Tim Raue serves up spicy, energetic and raucously colorful Thai-Japanese dishes. Eel with kumquat and Massaman curry, anyone?


Splash out on one of the suites, which are huge, with a separate lounge area, hallway, desk area and guest toilet. My room had had some nice, unexpected touches. I always appreciate a four poster bed, but when I discovered that a television would emerge from the footboard at the flip of a remote control switch, I could not help squealing with childish delight.

The marble his and hers sinks, deep tub, separate rain shower and dressing table with vanity mirror and chair made bathtime a delight.

But perhaps the best thing about my room was the magnificent view. From my windows I had an unbeatable view of the Brandenburg Gate. It is quite a feeling to appreciate the 18th century triumphal arch at both sunrise and sunset without even having to leave your bed.

Who Goes There?

Visiting dignitaries and jetsetters with a taste for bygone luxury. Or people who want a room in a prime Berlin location and are willing to pay for the privilege.

Out & About:

Which major sites aren’t in easy walking distance of this hotel, which is bang in the middle of Potsdamer Platz?

With the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe just a stroll away, there is little excuse not to schedule in a brief crack-of-dawn visit so you can appreciate this moving and evocative monument without rubbing shoulders with lots of crowds.

The Worst Thing:

The lobby and breakfast can get pretty hectic at the weekends.

The Best Thing:

The spa here is not to be missed. I didn’t book any treatments but I still spent a fantastic restorative couple of hours here. I did some weights and a cardio session in the large gym, equipped with Technorati machines, and was pleased to see it was well stocked with plenty of towels and water.

I then headed to the separate women’s sauna and plunge pool, and did a few laps in the pool before enjoying the wonderful Jacuzzi. Even though it was a Saturday morning, I had the gym completely to myself and only saw one other person in the spa the whole time I was there. Evidently one of the hotel’s underappreciated gems.

The Details:

Rooms from 270 euros per night
Suites from 450 euros per night

Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Unter den Linden 77, 10117 Berlin; +49 30 2261 0; www.kempinski.com/en/berlin