It's an understatement to say that this one's different.
25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is built on the concept of nature and culture, so it sits close to Berlin Zoo with half the rooms overlooking the ape house and elephant enclosure, and the other half overlooking the city.
Part of the Kleines Hochhaus high-rise, the ground floor, first and second storeys are merged to create a single, light-flooded atrium. Wire trees filled with plants soar towards the ceiling and foliage winds its way across the walls.
Take the lift to the third floor and the reception area. This is more a buzzing lounge than a traditional hotel lobby. The desk is covered with original turquoise tiles from the underground station Alexanderplatz. Guests are served at the front of the counter, while the back serves as a laid-back seating area or the perfect lookout – the full-length windows here command a view of the green park. It's a place to peruse, with areas like the kiosk (stocked with items both functional and frivolous).
Then comes the concierge service, in collaboration with the network Freunde von Freunden. These Berlin insiders are a fount of knowledge, whether it’s art, food and drink, or nightlife you’re interested in.
When the tempting smell of fresh bread from the adjacent in-house bakery proves impossible to resist, you know it’s time to move on. The wood-burning oven is used to bake a range of delicacies throughout the day – from sourdough rolls to patisserie treats and other bread specialties.
The adjacent area with its fireplace, comfy seats and magazines on the wall blurs the distinction between inside and out. Here, you can sit right by the window and watch the goings-on out on the Bikini Berlin terrace or become part of them yourself.
The hotel is linked with the Bikini House and the Zoo Palast cinema. Take a flight of steps leading to the boulevard. This is also home to Burger de Ville, which adds to the culinary concept at 25hours Bikini, serving the city’s coolest burgers from its hottest Airstream.
The fourth to ninth floors house 149 guest rooms in six different categories. All rooms are designed for people who don’t just want to get a taste of the capital when they are out and about – they want it to be reflected in their accommodation.
The rooms boast all the features urban nomads love: ultra comfortable beds, air-conditioning, sustainable toiletries, a flat-screen TV, a minibar, an iPod docking station and free Wi-Fi. The corridors on the individual floors are conspicuously dark and mysterious with just the white neon room numbers providing guidance.
References to Berlin’s club scene are no coincidence. After all, the Bikini building was home to the popular Linientreu for 26 years – almost certainly the last original 80’s disco in the divided city. Prince and Boy George spent nights here. High-profile regulars included the musicians Nick Cave, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.
Half of the hotel's rooms overlook the ape house and elephant enclosure at Berlin Zoo. Floor-to-ceiling windows guarantee a direct view of the rock in the ape enclosure. Many of the rooms have a hammock spanned in front of the large windows, creating an exclusive feel-good space reminiscent of a small, private conservatory.
The remaining rooms are Urban rooms offering a spectacular view of the city. The design has a more unfinished feel, inspired by Berlin’s edgier, creative side. Concrete walls exude a rough charm and the ceiling reveals the original 50’s structure.
On the ninth floor, the Jungle Sauna is perfect for a spot of R & R with its dry sauna and rest areas. Would you prefer to flex your muscles and work out? Either way, the well-being area is divided into smaller units and features a natural look with lots of larch wood. It centres on the sauna. Spa features include a wash fountain, hose, cascade and bucket showers.
The tenth storey is home to a restaurant, NENI Berlin, and the Monkey Bar. There is no doubt that the star of the show up here is the breathtaking view of City West and the leafy canopy of Tiergarten Park.
Huge glass façades with six-metre-high, full-length windows offer a 360-degree view from throughout this area. The spectacular rooftop terrace runs around three sides of the building.
The restaurant is in a striking greenhouse where guests can watch the cooks at work and see what’s bubbling away – transparency is the name of the game with the glass-fronted kitchen.