Avantgarde-Style in Berlin.
Contributed by Jens Hoffmann.
Berlin is ready for great food and an appropriate domicile.
A highlight in every sense is the “White Truffle Menu by „Paco Pérez 5-Cinco“ and the stylish 5-star Softel So (Located in the “Tiergarten”).
The restaurant by Catalonian Chef Paco Pérez is his first outside of Spain.
‘Cinco’, means five in Spanish, tickles all five senses, from eyes to tongue, and also represents the five fingers of the hand, symbolizing the handcrafted flavours of Pérez’s culinary art.
Paco Pérez unites two very different approaches in the hotel: in ‘The Casual’ all day dining area high quality ingredients are used to create a Mediterranean cuisine while the fine dining awakens the emotions with avant-garde taste experiences. In both areas, a sense of Pérez home plays a role: the menus are based on the rich products of his country, and a cooperation with Spanish design star Patricia Urquiola for the interior of the dining rooms sets the stage for the tastes of Spain.
Berlin locals like the hotel bar ‘in the Tiergarden. Its cozy-cool cocktail bar, just beyond reception, is styled like a contemporary living room, modern chairs, theatrical lighting and wire animal sculptures, a nod to the neighboring Berlin Zoo.
It offers a fine location, contemporary design and luxurious accomodation. The hotel has 78 contemporary style rooms and suites, one modern and trapezoidal near the street containing the largest suites, the original structure is charming. Let’s say it is a real gem in the Berlin hotel landscape.
I love animals; we had a fantastic balcony and great view over the leafy Tiergarten, formally the city’s royal hunting grounds.
Nearby is the zoo with unexpected views of ostriches and antelope.
The property incorporates a massive stone-clad arc built as the Danish embassy in the 1930s and a strikingly modern, geometric extension. The 80 bedrooms are large, the 23 suites enormous. Public spaces are generous, too: landings on the grand staircase serve as libraries and cosy places to hang out. Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has played with bright colours and animal references, including a giraffe and gorillas sculpted in chicken wire.
Flash point; “Das Stue’s” intimate scale and discreet location, coupled with its generously sized rooms, have instantly put it at the top of the pile. It can be found in the quiet neighborhood of Tiergarten Park and will get probably get an own access to the Berlin Zoo. It belongs to the Design Hotels brand.
Every single room is an experience of its own: some with high ceilings, interconnected doors for families and friends, attached balconies or terraces, others with organically curved bathtubs and quite a few overlooking the wild ponies, ostriches and gazelles of the Berlin Zoo. And if you enjoy sleeping with the open windows, feel free.
You can even hear the animals of the Berlin zoo and especially the kids will like it.
The rooms and suites are all exceptionally quiet, whether you are looking over the inner courtyard, the park or indeed the Berlin Zoo.
It has a certain feeling, this distinguished history is apparent immediately in the entrance with its symmetrical sweeping staircases and spray of hundreds of tiny lights chandelier.
Beneath the spray of lights is an enormous sculpture of a crocodile head, its jaws open, awaiting its next snack. And behind the subdued reception desks and chairs are the lounges. Lounges they are, and lounge, guests do. Spanish-born, Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola has created a striking but cozy mélange of textures and shapes, with quilted,cottony chairs and couches in yellows, rusts and greys. Added as accent pieces are rhinos in leather and painted chicken net sculptures of two gorillas and a zebra. Zoo visitors walking the path to the antelopes can also look through the glass wall on the other side and see the guests having breakfast. A beautiful spanish breakfast buffet with varied and impeccably high quality components is served.
Many luxurious fabrics, dark oak floors and quite a few have elegantly high ceilings, creating an atmosphere of intimacy and generosity.
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Photos: Gregor Schatz, Albert Bertran, Sofitel So, Ben Fuchs & Jens Hoffmann