25hours bikini berlin hotel wins the prize for the most oddly named hotel I’ve ever stayed it, but I loved it. When I first checked in, I was immediately entranced by the lobby, with its colorful Scandinavian-style décor and hammocks overlooking the zoo.
There is no trace of old Berlin here. Guests stay on either the zoo or city side, where I was in a loft-like room with urban touches like a mattress on the floor, a bicycle mounted on the wall and a black-tiled bathroom. It’s exactly the kind of place I’d want to live in if I was a young bohemian moving to a large city for the first time — none of which applies to me. But isn’t that part of the fun of travel? We can try on different personas and in this case, I was an unencumbered artsy type.
A stuffed monkey provided to keep me company patiently awaited my return each day, and a handcrafted piece of jewelry was laid on the floor, available for me to wear during my stay. It was a bit of an adjustment to put on make-up in the low lighting of an all-black bathroom, so I just swiped it on and hoped for the best. And yes, that mattress placed directly on the floor, while easy to collapse into, was a bit more challenging to spring out of in the morning. But the bohemian lifestyle requires a few small sacrifices, right?
I had my first Hugo, the signature drink of Berlin, at the hotel’s uber hip Monkey Bar, located on the top floor of the hotel with views of the monkey cage at the tree-filled zoo. This refreshing combination of Prosecco, mint, lime and elderflower syrup cocktail was the perfect prelude to our dinner at Neni Berlin, just across from the bar, where we shared everything from falafel to tuna sashimi to grilled lamb shank and hangar steak.
Adjacent to the hotel is the Bikini Berlin, which bills itself as a “concept mall,” a combination of boutiques, flagship stores and Bikini Berlin Boxes, small wooden modular structures housing short-term tenants. I strolled through and took the stairs to check out the new green rooftop terrace. Now about that name: the hotel and mall were built in the Bikinihaus, a name Berliners gave it when it was built in the 1950s. It had one upper and one lower area, which reminded them of the exotic new swimwear, the bikini.
If you’re looking for an historic property go elsewhere. But if you want new, hip and fun in a great location, try the 25hours bikini berlin. And don’t forget the Hugo.