Looking for somewhere to stay in Berlin that’s a bit quirkier than your standard hotel? On my recent visit, I spent a night in 25hours Bikini Berlin; a stylish, comfortable resting place with a seriously hip vibe. And monkeys…
I’d heard a little about the 25hours hotel group before, and actually specifically the Berlin hotel – although in all honestly, my knowledge stopped at ‘it’s super cool and looks out over Berlin Zoo’. There are a total of nine hotels – as well as this one, you can find ’em in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Zurich and Vienna. Considering three of those are places I’d like to visit, and how much I loved the Berlin location, it’s safe to say I’m likely to be finding myself in another of their properties during my future travels…
Basically, staying at this 25hours hotel made me feel really cool. Cool is a bit of a nerdy word to use, I know, but it’s the best way to describe the whole feeling of the place. So very cool. Stopping just before the verge of pretentiousness, everything in the hotel seems perfectly executed to create a vibrant, fresh attitude. Somewhere you’d imagine hipsters to hang out, if being a hipster was something to be proud of rather than to mock.
I actually arrived when I was already running behind schedule (German trains, delays, language barriers and tears – read more about my Berlin adventures here), so I only had a limited amount of time to take in the lobby. But it made a damn good first impression. Subtle neon signage, industrial ceilings, a busy feature wall and bare floorboards all come together, an unexpected perfect fit. Right down to the exposed light bulbs, soft furnishings and ‘log’ tables with miniature flower vases, it’s just ‘hodge-podge’ enough to give it an edge, but sleek enough to feel like quality.
As well as a small cafe corner, they also sell all kinds of cool merchandise, including the toiletries the hotel uses, postcards, notebooks, and anything that might come in handy (apart from a travel adaptor, which I needed but they’d unfortunately sold out of). There’s plenty of space for guests to sit if they want to lap up the vibe, including hammocks as well as a dedicated working space for those on business. I know which one I’d rather be in my laptop on though…
I basically toyed with the idea of sacking off the entire trip and spending the whole weekend in my room. Because it was something pretty special. The exposed ceiling, dark green island-style bathroom counter and a well placed pot plant created the sense of ‘urban jungle’ perfectly, while managing to avoid even the remotest feeling of a cheesy over-themed space.
Everything just seemed so well thought out – from the clean packaging of the toiletries encouraging eco-friendliness, to the stuffed monkey that greeted me upon arrival. The bathroom space had a powerful shower, set in an open-plan style bathroom area, and a HEATED FLOOR for when you stepped out of it. Seriously, the best. Curtains partition off the room, and I drew them across both the window and bathroom area to create a peaceful, dedicated space as I fell into the comfortable bed. Okay, so I stumbled upon the seemingly common European thing of having single duvets on a double bed, but I felt too blissfully exhausted to care.
And by the window, as you can see from the picture above, an ACTUAL HAMMOCK. The ‘jungle’ rooms directly overlook Berlin Zoo, and in particular, the monkey enclosure. Peering down from my hammock, I could watch the primates play – and opening my window, could hear the sounds of the zoo below. It’s also worth noting that when the window was shut, I couldn’t really hear any of it, if that’s a worry.
In terms of size, the rooms in 25hours hotels come in medium, large and extra large. I was staying by myself, and found the medium to be a perfect balance of cosy and spacious – and I think it would have felt much the same even with two of us staying. For those who do like to spread out a lot, it could be worth trying a large. But for me? It was perfect.
The Monkey Bar
After we’d been out and about for the day, we decided to check out the aptly named ‘Monkey Bar’ for a nightcap. Situated at the top of the hotel, it boasts pretty impressive views of the surrounding cityscape, and more of the subtly quirky decor I was quickly becoming accustomed to. We grabbed some drinks (quite pricey, but you’re paying for more than the booze, I guess) and took a seat on the terrace, wrapping ourselves up in the blankets provided.
The bar was pretty lively, despite it being a Sunday evening, and the drink selection is good. Definitely worth a drink if you stay in the hotel – just make sure you head up from your room rather than the main bar entrance, as they tried to make us queue with the non-residents to begin with.
Okay, so I have quite a lot of pictures of breakfast. That’s probably because it was great – both the food AND the location it was served in.
Waking up early, I made my way to the top floor bar area where we’d been the previous night, and this time took a right, through to the hotel’s restaurant. The views from the floor-to-ceiling windows were even more impressive than they’d been on first sight. Stepping out onto the terrace, I looked down into the grounds of the zoo, and taking my seat, I was able to spy the monkeys playing floors below us. Everything about the whole restaurant space was just perfectly in keeping with the hotel’s overall vibe, even down to the quirky cutlery holders
25hours Bikini Berlin Hotel
Budapester Str. 40, 10787 Berlin
*My stay was complimentary as part of a press trip organised by Berlin’s Chamaelon Theatre. Monkeyin’ around, all for reals.
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