Hotel Q

Kurfurstendamm, Berlin, Germany Book from

Reviewed by Will Hide
A fun and stylish design hotel just off Berlin's answer to the Champs Elysées, well-placed for exploring and mixing with the in-crowd
The red and white lobby of Hotel Q!, set just off Berlin’s glittering main drag, the Kurfürstendamm, comes as quite an eye-opener after the low-key, grey-walled façade. The work of the Graft group, who designed Brad Pitt’s Hollywood Studio, it’s undeniably cool: funky tunes play from concealed speakers, backlit walls emit a soft glow, and the young, all-in-black staff seem genuinely pleased to see you. (Want to know the latest clubs and newest boutiques? These guys are the people to ask.) Beyond the curved front desk lie a restaurant and a members-only bar - all red leather, charcoal suede and chrome - plus a lounge where you can recline on sleek chaises-longues and chill out over cocktails. There’s even a patio for alfresco summer drinks.

Slip upstairs and it’s just as striking, with low-level red lighting, vibey music set at just the right volume, and corridors lined with a thick burgundy shag-pile carpet that would look unfashionable anywhere else. The 77 all-white rooms flaunt cocoon-like design, with swooping bath-cum-bed combos and barely a right angle in sight; quirky touches like naked prints and ceiling murals add a spot of humour to break up the minimalism. All in all, it’s sexy, stylish and fun - a great Berlin base for couples seeking a good time.

Highs

  • An excellent location in one of Berlin’s most upmarket areas, with plenty of shops and restaurants nearby - retail junkies can hire a personal shopper to sniff out the city's latest fashion outlets
  • Service is friendly but unpretentious, and the staff know all the hippest places in town
  • Breakfast is one of the best we’ve come across - not normally included in the rates, but worth the extra spend
  • There’s a small basement spa with a sauna, a steam room and a menu of massages
  • Some nice in-room treats: super-soft mattresses, iPod docks, Pure toiletries, complimentary chocolates, water and sweets, even Nintendo Wiis in the Studios and Penthouse Suite

Lows

  • The bold design could date quickly, although it was still looking slick when we last visited in 2013
  • The bath-by-the-bed arrangement looks great, but you’ll need to wash gently or you'll splash your sheets
  • Food in the hotel’s Thai restaurant is nothing special; you’ll need to head out for more exciting dining options
  • We experienced noise from the bar until late, though the hotel assures us this is less of an issue now
  • No twin rooms and bathrooms are open-plan: it’s definitely a hotel for couples rather than friends

Best time to go

Berlin is a year-round destination. Summers are similar to the UK, perhaps a little warmer and more humid. Winters can be bitingly cold, but as long as you're wrapped up well, a crisp, clear January day would be perfect for exploring the city without the crowds. It can get busy during fairs (such as ITB in March) and the Christmas markets (late November and December).

Our top tips

Don't miss the rooftop Kaefer perched alongside Norman Foster's Reichstag dome: not only does it offer bird's eye views and beautifully presented fare, but booking breakfast here allows you to sidestep the often lengthy morning queues into the dome.

Great for...

City Style
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 77
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Over 16s only
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

The 77 rooms share the same flowing, cocoon-like design, with cream-white walls, dark oak floors, slick wardrobes with hidden handles, and grey slate-tiled bathrooms. The comfy beds are also made of oak, with faux ostrich leather on the wall behind. In those with a bath, the tub and bedstead are made from the same piece of wood - you could literally roll from your mattress into the water! It looks ever so sleek, but beware of wetting the bed (as it were). Other rooms have glass-doored showers, and you can choose between smoking and non-smoking. Bear in mind that there are no twin rooms, and bathrooms are open-plan ("guests must love each other", explains the manager with a twinkle in her eye), although the loos are separate.

Most rooms are similar in layout and overlook Knesebeckstrasse, a quiet side-street about halfway down the Kurfürstendamm (Ku'damm), or the rear courtyard. The Studios on the 7th floor are larger than the standard Doubles and Singles, with a separate sitting area and a Nintendo Wii; there’s also a highly desirable Penthouse Suite.

All rooms have air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, minibars and plenty of Pure smellies (including handy bottles of deodorant - an unusual addition). They also come with a few fun touches such as nude prints and subtle murals - only when lying in bed did we realise that the random shapes painted on our ceiling were in fact a young lady smiling down in a coy, Mona Lisa fashion.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

The hotel lays on an excellent breakfast spread , arranged artfully around the bar is a huge array of pastries, artisan breads, smoked fish, meat and cheeses, along with olives, salads, bowls of sweets, and even miso soup. It’s a real feast and filled us up until evening.

The restaurant is a seductive space decked out in reds and blacks, with white floor-to-ceiling drapes and little booths for intimacy. Open for dinner only, the Thai-focused menu is tasty enough but a little uninspiring, with a range of spring rolls, spicy soups, noodle dishes and curries. We were much more impressed with the bar, which is open to members and hotel guests only and serves cocktails, beers and spirits until 3am. In summer you can head outside to the patio or watch the world go by from a table on the pavement out front.

When it comes to eating out, there’s plenty of choice. We recommend avoiding the somewhat dull offerings along the Ku’damm itself and instead heading right out of the hotel towards the small cafés and restaurants around Savignyplatz (a few minutes away). For more atmospheric eateries, explore the neighbourhoods of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte (a tram, U-bahn or train ride away).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Step out of the hotel, turn left and you’re on the Ku’Damm, Berlin’s main retail street. There are shops galore, and it’s a short stroll up to the temple to Western consumerism that is KaDaWe (a kind of Harrods-in-Berlin). The hotel can arrange private shoppers if you want help finding that perfect holiday purchase
  • Also nearby is Savignyplatz - a small park surrounded by a ring of cafés with outdoor seating for people-watching. There are quirky bookshops and design boutiques under the old rail arches around it
  • Walk for 20 minutes or so to the haunting ruins and blue stained glass of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, whose bomb-splintered tower has been left as a reminder of the horrors of war
  • Catch a bus or tram to Mitte, the historical centre of Berlin, where you’ll find many of the city’s must-see attractions, including the Reichstag (free to enter, but you must reserve a time slot in advance), the Holocaust Memorial and the Brandenburg Gate. Hotel staff can organise private guided tours and bicycle hire to help you explore
  • Browse the world-class art and history collections of the "Museum Island", and the churches and concert halls of the Gendarmenmarkt
  • Stroll around Kreuzberg, to the south of Mitte. It’s one of Berlin’s most diverse and off-beat areas, with restaurants covering almost every global cuisine you can think of. It’s also home to Checkpoint Charlie and the striking Jewish Museum, both essential for gaining an understanding of the city’s turbulent past
  • Jump on the U-bahn and head to the Bauhaus museum, a couple of stops away near Nollendorfplatz. It's small but fascinating, showing how this school of arts and crafts pushed the boundaries of design and how its creativity was crushed under Nazi rule
  • You’re also not far from the huge Tiergarten (Berlin's version of Hyde Park) - wonderful in summer for a stroll and a picnic. It’s also pretty in autumn when the leaves change colour
  • Make the most of Berlin’s fantastic nightlife. The scene is constantly evolving, so ask reception to point you in the direction of the latest hotspots
  • Recover from shopping, sightseeing and club-hopping in the hotel’s spa. Yoga and Pilates can also be arranged

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Pilates
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Theatre and music
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are not accepted at Hotel Q! as there is no capacity for extra beds or baby cots.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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