Hotel 25hours Berlin Bikini: Stylish City West
I love the 25hours brand. Each one is unique, stylish and incorporates some aspect of the city in their design. Their new location at the renovated Bikini Haus with rooms overlooking the zoo is helping to reinvigorate Berlin's City West after two decades of (understandable) focus on the former East Berlin.
Now, Berlin has no shortage of great places to stay for all types of budgets, from the famous luxury Hotel Adlon (site of Michael Jackson's baby dangling episode) to a pension in the former home of a silent film star. I've twice stayed in private apartments so I could, at least temporarily, live like a Berliner. So, why here and why 25hours?
You're just steps away from Zoo Station, once the city's main hub before the new Hauptbahnhof was built, smack in the heart of West Berlin. This was the glitzy showcase of capitalism during the Cold War. While Mitte and Prenzlauerberg took the post-reunification spotlight, this district has quietly been putting itself back in the limelight. From the rooftop there are great views of Berlin, including the Kaiser Wilhelm church right in front.
Its NENI restaurant is a concept by Haya Molcho from Vienna, and is a fresh culinary blend with flavors that extend from Germany to Russia to Persia to Morocco. Breakfast here is fresh and flavorful, though you can also pick up freshly made rolls and brioches with hand-made jams at the bakery. (Though the onsite ovens didn't quite work out, so they're actually just for show - at least for now.)
You can get free bicycle and even Mini Cooper rental.There's a DJ area that's become quite popular among locals and guests, and a sauna overlooking the zoo. But, what about the rooms?
149 rooms in six categories reflect Berlin's sleek style. Half are so-called "Jungle rooms" because they offer views of the Apes and Elephants in the Berlin Zoo next door. Inside you'll find unique decor, such as vintage globes and stereos. Shower stalls are small, but sleek, and the bath products smell wonderful. My room was a fairly open concept, with only the toilet having it's own private space. While I seem to barely sleep when I'm in the city, it's nice to come back to a plush pillow in the 25hours jungle.
Budapester Strasse 40