Berlin is in the midst of a shift. The city is stepping away from the ultra-cool post-East hipness it has become so famous for and toward an effortless modern grandeur in the new, old West. Reflecting this shift is recently opened boutique hotel Das Stue.
The hotel’s name is Danish for ‘living room’ – a space where people relax, socialize, entertain, and discuss.
“Berlin is, at last, ready for this kind of hotel,” says General Manager Jean-Paul Dantil.
“Das Stue offers an atmosphere in which people can meet socially, formally, or intimately. It’s a place that combines Berlin’s old spirit with an international sophistication – a stage that Cary Grant would have loved.”
The 80-room hotel captures a modern ease and confidence as it hearkens back to an old-fashioned elegance in the traditional, diplomatic Tiergarten district, just off of Tiergarten Park and tucked into a section of the vast Berlin Zoo.
The area’s past is laden with historical importance, influence, and power. Grand embassy buildings surround the hotel, a testament to the district’s longstanding international orientation.
In fact, the hotel is a rethink of Berlin’s former Danish embassy, a landmarked 1930s structure with a stately, grey stone façade and a grand entrance hall flanked by two sweeping staircases and, interestingly enough, a crocodile head sculpture.
The hotel’s two restaurants feature the creative cuisine of Michelin-starred Spanish chef Paco Perez, of the acclaimed Restaurant Miramar on Spain’s Costa Brava.
Just off the open kitchen, an installation of Tom Dixon’s copper hanging lamps and copper kettles creates an eye-catching centerpiece in the fine diner Cinco, which showcases Perez’s avant-garde, molecular-leaning Mediterranean cuisine.
In a second, sharply triangular space, slatted walls and skylights frame a more casual, all-day dining experience with a soft glow. Here, Perez presents his own inventive take on tapas.
The contemporary kitchen is complimented by, in my opinion, the best part of the hotel: the lounge, bar and outdoor terrace, with private access to the Berlin Zoo.
In the lounge, whimsical shapes and an experimental use of colour and texture, together with leather animals in the shape of rhinos, hippos and buffalos, add a fresh vibe.
The hotel’s library spans across three levels of the building, with high ceilings, historical hardware and a selection of Taschen books and the private collection of vintage fashion photography on display is especially intriguing.
“This hotel is luxurious, but it’s not just luxe,” says architecture and design guru Patricia Urquiola, curated the hotel’s public areas.
“It simply has something you don’t see at first look. It runs deeper. I like to call it augmented reality.”