Ku' Damm 101 Hotel

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Berlin, Germany Book from

Reviewed by Will Hide
A former office block? You’d never guess. Playful, spacious, well-priced und uber cool
It’s always good to have expectations surpassed. From the outside, Ku’damm 101 (at one end of the Kurfürstendamm, West Berlin’s main shopping street) looks nondescript, housed inside a grey building that nearly became a car park. Above the door, an oversized apostrophe (the hotel’s symbol) is a clue that inside it’s a different story. Slipping between a curving reception desk and oversize Chinese light-columns, we found ourselves at a lime-green-lit circular bar in the high-ceilinged lobby, staring at what we thought were two stuffed pandas (turns out, they’re horses.) Beyond lies a small library with a retro TV cabinet; in summer, you can sip a beer in the decked courtyard with clipped box trees.

The common areas have a rare feeling of space: the lobby, the wellbeing area on the first floor, the wide corridors. Many of the 170 rooms do too: ours, an 'Upper Class' on the sixth floor, has great views of the city, all the way to the former communist Fernsehturm (TV tower) in Alexanderplatz, in the east. This is perfect for couples or friends who are after a stylish base in Germany's trendy capital.

Highs

  • Trendy, modern design with contributions from all over Europe
  • Spa and massages are available to recover from over-shopping
  • Very cool retro TVs and portable minibars on request
  • Value for money (except during fairs)
  • Great views from the seventh floor breakfast room, with a buffet spread that should fill you up beyond lunch

Lows

  • It's at the far end of the Ku'Damm, but metro and buses are close by to whisk you into the centre; and it's very near the ICC
  • If you’re a carpets and wallpaper kinda gal or guy, the clean euro-aesthetic and clinical, lino-clad corridors won’t be to your taste
  • At 170 rooms, it's one of the largest hotels on i-escape, but that does mean availability is less of a problem
  • As you're on a busy road, some front-facing rooms may experience some noise

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 are wrapped up well, a crisp, clear January day would be perfect to explore the city without the crowds. It can get busy during fairs (such as ITB in March) and the Christmas markets (late November to end December).

Our top tips

Savignyplatz- a small park surrounded by a ring of cafés with outdoor seating for people-watching - is close by. There are quirky bookshops and design boutiques under the old rail arches around it.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 170
  • Breakfast + bar (open daily for drinks and snacks)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 170 rooms come in 3 categories - Standard, Comfort and Upper Class. All are similarly furnished and designed with plain linoleum-type floors (less austere than it sounds) and neutral or light pastel walls, with good sized windows allowing plenty of light. Some rooms face out over the Kurfürstendamm or a side street, others over the courtyard at the rear. It’s extra space you’re buying as you go up the price scale, and only the Upper Class rooms have air conditioning.

Beds, with chunky, comfy mattresses, have plump white duvets and thick pillows. We certainly had a great night’s sleep. As to bathrooms, Standards have shower only while Comforts may have a shower or bath, and Upper Class have both, all in the same stocky, white-tiled pattern. The hotel has its own-brand shampoo and shower gel, and a rubber hippo for the tub! There’s decent cupboard storage, and a safe in which you can easily fit a laptop. Perhaps the quirkiest feature, in an era when flat-screen seems to be all the rage, is the retro, zebrano-wood TV cabinet on wheels, an homage to 60s German actor Heinz Erhardt.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer (on request)
  • Minibar (on request from reception)
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The seventh floor dining room, with great views down the Kurfürstendamm, serves only breakfast, but it’s a great spread with tasty, fresh breads, yoghurts, cereals, fruit, cheeses, meats, pastries and jams. There’s a coffee pot and milk on each table and if you want tea, you'll find a "tea-bar" where you can fill your pot with a choice from 9 different bowls of loose leaf.

The lobby bar downstairs serves a limited range of snacks, such as sandwiches and the ubiquitous Berlin treat, the currywurst - a sausage sprinkled with curry powder and ketchup. The bar looked stylish, with an impressive selection of bottles and reasonably-priced cocktails; on our Thursday-night visit we were the only people there, but other guests assured us that it is usually livelier.

There are plenty of restaurants nearby, including Reinhard's, the proud-to-be-old-fashioned Lubitsch on Bleibtreustrasse and a wider choice around Savignyplatz (10 minutes). For café culture, explore the neighbourhoods of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte (an underground or train ride away).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurants nearby
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)
  • 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
  • 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

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Children under 12 can stay in their parents' room free of charge. Over 12's are charged at adult rates.
The hotel has no particular arrangements for children, but it’s certainly not child-unfriendly either. Baby-sitting can be arranged.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
10/
Value
9/
Overall

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