At SO Berlin Das Stue, you can spy on ostriches from the bar, have a nine-course meal in the Michelin-starred restaurant, unwind in the spa, and reach all of Berlin’s best bits with an easy stroll. Whimsical animal motifs come courtesy of Spanish design whizz, Patricia Urquiola, and the hotel has history, too: it was once the Danish Embassy.
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A small bottle of Laurent-Perrier champagne in your room
Noon, but flexible (until 4pm), subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $214.45 (€193), excluding tax at 7 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 5% per room per night on check-out.
Rates usually exclude breakfast (from €10). A two-night minimum stay applies. Stays in the Bel Etage and Penthouse suites include a buffet breakfast of hot dishes, made-to-order eggs and crêpes.
Das Stue's building was built in 1938–1940 by Johann Emil Schaudt, the man behind Berlin's KaDeWe department store – Berlin's answer to Harrods. Be sure to spend some time in the three-storey library, at the front of the original building and next to the staircase. Admire the original parquet flooring and interior designer Urquiola's comfy seating options. If you need a drink, just pick up the telephone and order one from the bar.
At the hotel
Spa with sauna and three treatment rooms, fitness area, library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, CD player, Nespresso coffee machine, minibar, slippers, bathrobes and Diptyque bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The Penthouse Suite is vast and drop-dead gorgeous, sitting on the top floor, overlooking the courtyard and the zoo. You can also gaze over the park from your own terrace in this suite, and there's a bath tub from which you can see the leafy green Tiergarten. Alternatively, opt for a room on the second floor (the Bel Etage), in the refined former reception rooms of the Danish Embassy: suites 220 and 204 are beautiful, and their charms include floor-to-ceiling windows; suite 220 has a free-standing bath.
The bright white Susanne Kaufmann Spa has a 14-metre indoor pool, three treatment rooms and a Finnish sauna. Treatments are influenced by traditional Chinese therapies.
Binoculars and safari gear for appraising your beastly neighbours; threads worthy of a German hipster for the swish little bar.
Lucky little Smiths will love staying here, thanks to the direct zoo access. Cots are free and extra beds (€52.50 a night) can be added to Junior Suites and Suites. Babysitting costs €25 an hour (up to two kids) or €30 for three or more kids.
Sit at one of the cosy corner tables at the Casual; dine under the shiny copper-pan light feature, or at one of the chef-spying tables in Cinco.
What can you comfortably conquer nine courses in? Relaxed threads are fine for the Casual (unsurprisingly); you’ll want to smarten up for Cinco. Add some zebra-print, feathers, faux fur or leopard to honour the local residents.
It's unsurprising that elegant restaurant Cinco earned a Michelin star within a year of opening – master chef Paco Pérez has already racked up four of the accolades. A Catalan by birth, this is Pérez’s first culinary outpost away from Spanish shores; seafood is plucked from the waters of Cap de Creus, near the chef’s Miramar restaurant. Expect to be treated to culinary fireworks: foie-ice powder and the ilk. A nine-course feast showcases the kitchen's full range of culinary knowhow. For those times when foams and jus won’t do, there’s the more low-key Casual, which serves elegant Mediterranean comfort food and tapas.
Das Stue means 'living room' in Danish – nowhere is this more apparent than in the cosy bar, which connects to a petite terrace that happens to back on to the ostrich area of Berlin zoo. On Friday there's live music, and Saturday nights DJs spin a slick selection of tunes.
Food is served in Cinco from 6.30pm until 10pm Wednesday–Saturday. A tapas selection is on offer in the bar until 11pm. Begin the day with breakfast from 6.30am to 11am during the week (until noon on weekends).
Order items from the restaurant menus around the clock, but expect a limited selection from 11pm.
You’re right at the heart of Berlin: Das Stue sits in the peaceful Embassy quarter, a few minutes’ walk from the Tiergarten and the zoo, both of which it overlooks.
Berlin Tegel airport is nine kilometers (a 20-minute drive) from the hotel; Berlin Schönefeld is 40km and a 45-minute car ride away (www.berlin-airport.de).
Services from all over Europe call at Berlin's massive Hauptbahnhof station (+44 8718 80 80 66; www.bahn.de), two kilometres from the hotel.
The nearest town is Potsdam, 45 minutes away. There’s a public car-park a 10-minute stroll from the hotel, with spaces for €18 a night.
Worth getting out of bed for
Ask the concierge about borrowing bikes, getting tickets to the zoo, enjoying a picnic in the park, touring the city on motorbikes, or having a fitness class or yoga session in the Tiergarten. The hotel is within easy reach of the Berlin Philharmonie, Potsdamer Platz and the Neue Nationalgalerie. For shopping thrills, head to Kurfürstendamm Boulevard.
On a sunny day in Berlin, there are few better places to be than Cafe Am Neuen See (+49 (0)30 25449300), a cosy little café in the heart of the Tiergarten, with a prime view of the lake. Locals cram themselves onto the outdoor seating and share pizzas and beers. On colder days, there are wood-burning stoves, flickering candles and big slabs of cake to comfort you. Theodor Tucher (+49 (0)30 22 48 94 64), known affectionately as Tucher am Tor, is an excellent place to try authentic German cuisine: rabbit in garlic, herring and fancy bratwurst. Pillars, vast windows and lashings of gold make for a glamorous setting; the location is a prime patch of Berlin, right by Brandenburg Gate on Pariser Platz. A restaurant beneath a bridge, with just an unmarked steel door as its entrance? Simply arriving at Tausend (+30 27582070) is exciting. Try delicious fusion food – ceviche, tapas, sashimi and so on – at this brilliant restaurant and bar, which also boasts excellent barmen, potent cocktails and serious style credentials (expect an artsy, justifiably smug crowd). Book ahead. Bandol sur Mer at 167 Torstrasse (+49 (0)30 6730 2051) flourishes the French flag with its excellent snails, foie gras and entrecôte steaks. It only has 6 tables though, so make sure you book ahead.Try a modern take on Vietnamese staples at Monsieur Vuong, a stylish spot for lunch or supper at 46 Schönhauser Strasse (+49 (0)30 9929 6924).
Mitte newcomer Neu in the Heckmannhöfen (+49 (0)30 6640 8427) is great for a hearty seasonal brunch or early supper. Sip Asian tisanes at trendy tea room Chén Chè at 13 Rosenthaler (+49 (0)30 2888 4282).
Luchs Bar, adjacent to minimalist Mitte hotel Lux 11, is a popular drinking den – get there for pre-dinner cocktails and then move into its next-door restaurant. Settle down at Soho House Berlin's roof terrace for some serious people-watching. If you fancy a change of scenery, try Week-End, a hip club taking up two floors and the rooftop of a nearby residential block at 5 Alexanderplatz.
There was the usual signage around the pool, albeit a little classier than the traditional ‘no running, no bombing, no heavy petting’ cartoons redolent of the municipal baths of our youth. We moved up to the sauna. ‘No bathing costumes’ suggested the illustration. Ha ha. Those Germans and their zany sense of humour. We pulled open the door and: Oh! Turns out: not a joke. There’s a lady sitting in there completely starkers with full-on nudey bits. Hot. Steamy. Uncomfortable. In shock, these prudish Brits ran and jumped into the pool. No heavy petting though. Not there anyway.
‘Das Stue’ – sounds wonderfully German, doesn’t it? Say it with me: Das Stue. Yeah, it’s Danish and it means ‘living room’. In fact it is so Danish, it’s the Royal Danish Embassy. Or at least this 1930s-built Nordic Classicism beauty was until they gutted the place of flunkies wafting about proffering trays of Ferrero Rocher and turned it into a sizeable hotel of 79 rooms with 22 suites. It’s as achingly hip as a geriatric ward. Monsieur, with this luxury you are really spoiling us.
What the Spanish owners haven’t done is spoil this grand old building. Gold star to the architects and interiors doyenne, Patricia Urquiola. As first impressions go, Das Stue boasts the most impressive entrance since Pippa Middleton sashayed into Westminster Abbey. Marble staircases frame the high-ceilinged hallway. A spectacular light sculpture hangs down over an enormous alligator’s skull, jaws agape lending an idea of how the Natural History Museum might look as a hip hotel. And you can see right the way through to the buzzing bar’s panoramic windows that back onto Berlin Zoo. Yes, here at Das Stue, you’re guaranteed a true bird’s-eye ogle of living-and-breathing beasts that include full-size feathery-flanked ostriches.
‘Sir, you have been upgraded.’ Five of the most beautiful words in the English language. Our room wasn’t a room, it was a loft apartment with so much floor space we could have performed some gymnastics. Mrs Smith was doing cartwheels with glee. We looked out the window and could see some gazelles and a couple of ostriches down below, as you do. Quite literally a room with a zoo.
We’d pre-booked full body massages to have soon after arrival in order to hasten the transition into relaxation mode – a little trick of ours in order to maximise the benefits of a short weekend away. It’s a Susanne Kaufmann Spa at Das Stue. That didn’t mean a great deal to me I confess, but we now know she is a big noise in the quiet world of German pampering. The relaxing effects of her signature massage were, however, somewhat undone by the aforementioned shock in the sauna straight afterwards. Had we been in the mood for more group activity, the spa also hosts yoga classes and group runs in Tiergarten Park.
Giggling, we padded back up to our suite in our robes via a grand staircase with landings that double as libraries. The walls that are not lined with books showcase tasteful vintage black-and-white ’50s and ’60s fashion photography from the likes of Helmut Newton. No Athena posters here; these prints are all part of the owners’ private collection.
Back in the loft apartment. Our bed was so big and comfortable it had its own time zone. I sat on it to play with the pad that controlled the Apple entertainment system while Mrs Smith ordered up two Aperol spritzes and ran a bath. In this sense, it felt very much like home.
The decor is a chill-out mix of muted colours with lots of both dark and blonde wood – but with flashes of colour in the cushions, rugs and artwork. The furniture combines design classics and more modern pieces that somehow work well together. This design fusion continues in the bar downstairs where neon wire sculptures of zoo animals – a giraffe, a couple of chimps – sit among quirky pieces of statement furniture. As for the ear candy, on Friday and Saturday nights, well-known DJs are drafted in to get the party started.
Adjacent to the bar is the main restaurant, one of Berlin’s best, called ‘5 – cinco by Paco Pérez’ which is overseen by the four-times Michelin-starred Catalan chef and protégé of Ferran Adria. His avant-garde 20-course experience menu is a sensation of molecular gastronomy – designed to tickle all five senses – which explains the thinking behind ‘Cinco’, sister to Miramar, in Llançà, Spain.
If foams and spheres are not your bag and you want more everyday fare at more affordable prices, there is The Casual restaurant rustling up mod-Med cuisine with a Catalan flavour. However, we felt like we really ought to venture outside so for lunch on our second day, we ambled all of three minutes’ walk into the leafy, green Tiergarten Park, where the Electors of Brandenburg once went a-hunting – the lungs of Berlin – for a pizza alfresco in the park at an idyllic spot overlooking a lake at Café Am Neuen See. At the next table? Yep, naked sauna woman. This time wearing clothes.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in SO Berlin Das Stue’s Guestbook below.
We booked two rooms from 26 to 30 December. The rooms were great and very quiet. The people working reception were very helpful with booking taxis and restaurants. The only issue we had is one of the rooms was very warm as the A/C didn't work properly. They fixed it after being asked a few times. The breakfast was excellent. Also during this period they extended breakfast to fairly late and that suited our kids. The location is nice and quiet and only a 10/15-minute walk to the main shopping area in Berlin. All in all a good hotel.
Stayed on 26 Dec 2018
This was the second time we have stayed at Das Stue and it was even better than the last. We were celebrating a birthday and wedding anniversary and the hotel upgraded us to a suite which was fantastic. We also ate in the hotel's Michelin-star restaurant, Cinque, which was amazing (although very expensive)! The spa is beautiful, the breakfast delicious and the location next to the Tiergarten is perfect. We live in Berlin, but this is our little bit of luxury! The Tiergarten – you can hire bikes from the hotel – and seeing Berlin.
It is not cheap!
Stayed on 16 Jun 2018
The hotel is gorgeous and the staff were fantastic – they could not have been more helpful throughout our stay. Breakfast was incredible! Little touches, like a birthday dessert left in our room, made it all the more special. Water and cookies at bedtime were also much appreciated after a long day of exploring Berlin! Sightseeing – The Reichstag is amazing, the Holocaust Museum is humbling – both definitely worth seeing. Do a walking tour – you walk a long way but learn a lot! Walk everywhere and see all of Berlin's history, it's a fantastic city. Cafe am Neuen See (just round the corner from the hotel) is a very chilled restaurant by the lake – lovely!
Not to love this hotel!
Stayed on 20 Apr 2018
The staff was friendly and accomodating. The room was really nice. They serve some good cocktails in the bar and the Spa was nice, with a good pool and sauna and excellent massage. Michelberger restaurant on Warschauer Str. 39.
You are not in the middle of all the hussle and bussle and it takes a good walk to get to public transportation.