SO/ Berlin Das Stue is housed in what was once Berlin’s Royal Danish Embassy, and today it serves as one of the city’s most distinctive boutique hotels, full of inspiring contrasts and confident design ideas.
Hotels these days have a few problems in common—among them, all too often, is a distinct lack of grandeur. And if that’s what you’re after, you might be better off converting an existing building into a hotel, rather than building your own bed box from the ground up. And this is exactly what the creators of SO/ Berlin Das Stue did.
This ‘thirties embassy building was built, at least in part, to convey a grand impression—and its atmosphere, after a massive architectural overhaul by Annette Axthelm and an interior renovation by the renowned Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, is about as far as you can get from the boxes-and-boxes sameness of the typical contemporary hotel.
Bold design ideas and art, in particular, set this hotel apart — ideas such as the fun sculptures inspired by the occupants of the Berlin zoo.
The Cinco Restaurant
The designer of the hotel is not the only Spanish accent here. Also Spanish (or Catalan, to be precise) is the chef, Paco Pérez—and it’s a measure of how far we’ve come that the nationality of a hotel’s chef is a topic of interest. In today’s boutique hotels, however, the chef might have nearly as much influence over the guest’s experience as the designer does, and here that influence is certainly a positive one.
Pérez’s work at Cinco, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, has earned a Michelin star along with heaps of acclaim. The spa, however, is German through and through, the architecture crisply modernist and the treatments mixing holistic influences and scientific exactitude.
And the rooms, it must be said, are more than a bit Danish, owing to the building’s history as the Danish embassy—if nothing else, you’re sure to recognize Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chairs.
The views, however, place you squarely in Berlin — if you’re not facing the interior courtyard you’ll look out over the Tiergarten or the Berlin Zoo.
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The main text of the review with contributions by Tablet Hotels.