Central Berlin, Germany
We've hand-picked the very best boutique and luxury hotels in Central Berlin to bring you our collection of stylish romantic retreats. Find your perfect hotel and get the low-down on holidays in Central Berlin – just choose your destination from the list below…
Born in Orviedo, Patricia Urquiola is one of the most versatile and prolific designers in Europe today, with a roster of clients that many of her contemporaries would kill for: Dior, Louis Vuitton, B&B Italia, Salvatore Ferragamo, BMW and dozens more. Over her career, her unconventional eye and warm aesthetic approach has turned from furniture to interiors to architecture, and have won her so many ‘Designer of the Year’ awards, it’s very possible she has had to design a cabinet to keep them in. Smith hotel aficionados will spot her hand in the innovative and colourful look of Das Stue in Berlin, and Urquiola’s credentials as an architectural designer are on resplendent display in the lacework- and origami-inspired interiors of the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona.
German street food may conjure up stodgy Christmas Market mainstays, but Berlin's perennial hipness has influenced its gastro scene, bringing sophisticated snackage to the city's coolest corners, which means you're more likely to bite into Beijing Jiaozi dumplings and fresh ceviche than clutching a solitary wurst.
What's cooking? Nigerian Fufu (cassava balls with soup), Korean buns, British pies – anything goes, as long as it's washed down with something frosty and foam-topped.
• German's foodie fests are a frequent affair: Street Food Thursday (Thursdays, from 5pm–10pm) and Asian-night-market-aping Bite Club (every Friday and Staurday) bring the city's finest on-the-go chefs to the fore: we love Taco Kween's plump gorditas, Sababa's Isreali mezze and Brot and Zeit's hearty platters.
• For a little taste of weimar-era dining, time travel to vintage deli Rogacki on Wilmersdorfer Straße. Primly uniformed staff, dressed-to-the-nines lobsters and hams and dainty canapé platters make this a unique souvenir-hunting experience.
• Since the German Beer Purity Law slackened, Berliners have merrily knocked back steins of Ale Mania’s 19th-century Prussian-recipe beer (brewed with coriander seeds) and BrauKunstKeller’s smoky-citrus and malty-caramel ales. Sip them both at Oktoberfest's cooler cousin, Licht zum Bier festival in May.
Stay Das Stue's elegant restaurant Cinco earned a Michelin star within a year of opening – master chef Paco Pérez has already racked up four of the accolades.
Discerning foodies will admire the skilfully slivered truffes and cleaved meats served up at Cinco (Das Stue boutique hotel's divine restaurant). If you already know your Saji from your Tojiro Senkou (Heston’s fave) the next step is a hand-forged blade. For €200 (including materials) you can take a two-day metalsmithing course at Holzapfel, in association with the Berlin smithy. You might get a bit Thor, hammering your blade into sirloin-slicing submission, but when finished you’ll be carré-ing on with pride. Contact Holzapfel for details.
Stay at Das Stue. There’s not a whiff of curry wurst on Cinco’s à la carte; however, its chef Paco Pérez’s all-truffle and 25-course tasting menus that keep punters tongues wagging.