A little bit of Britain in Berlin. Soho House is ostensibly a private member’s club, though anybody can stay at their hotels – providing there are vacancies of course. The concept of the Soho House group is an appealing one, reasonably priced rooms and great communal spaces for working and socialising in a high design and creative environment. The ‘club’ ethos lends the group an edge of in-the-know exclusivity while the generous communal spaces ensure a convivial atmos that anyone can enjoy.
The hotel is comprised of 65 bedrooms and 20 apartments, set over eight floors of a restored Bauhaus building in the Mitte district. Originally a department store, the building has had a typically East German ‘checkered history’ – it was confiscated by the government during WWII before doing time as a Communist Archive… fun times…. So, it’s great to see it kitted out with winsome furnishings, retro baby-foot tables and finally put to positive use.
By Berlin standards the hotel isn’t necessarily cheap, but it’s extremely reasonably priced compared to other European capitals and excellent value for the level of facilities – which includes a wonderful roof-top terrace, pool and gym. Even the smallest category hotel rooms- are extremely generous in size so, if you’re on a budget and don’t care if you have a bath, it’s a great way to go.
For some Soho House epitomises the gentrified transformation that has taken place in Mitte post Berlin Wall – the kind of change that has transformed a grassroots and alternative scene into something rather more glossy, expensive and safe. Mitte is the heart of fashionable Berlin: galleries, restaurants, cafes, cute and kooky little design-stores – as a visitor, you can’t go wrong? If you want underground, well, you can try Neukölln – but you’ll have to be quick!
What We Love
Even people who detest the concept of Soho House tend to love the roof top bar. Even if you’re not planning to stay we recommend stopping in to take in the view over apero at sunset or a sun drenched brunch on the weekend. (Be warned that Sunday brunch errs on the family friendly – so if you’re feeling particularly delicate, you’re hang-over may be best nurtured somewhere less exhuberant!) Communal spaces are pivotol to the Soho House experience – loads of places for eating, drinking, working, networking…if you’re feeling lucky, romancing.
Room to Improve
Despite the ample potential for pretension, there are remarkably few gripes about Soho House, our advice would be that if you’re planning a quiet night in just confirm that there isn’t some crazy members event going on in the bars etc.
Don’t hesitate: book here if you you’re in town on business and are looking to cement your cred at the glossy end of the advertising/music/digital industry. Rules: Instagramm tragics will be disappointed by the plethora of ‘No Photography’ signs – bring a sketchbook. Family types: note that hours to the pool and restaurant are restricted to children – leave the kids at home? And finally, no waving around that bad-vibe mobile phone. Got it? Now we can relax.
Soho House Berlin
Torstraße 1 10119 Berlin Germany
Tel: +49 30 40 50 44
A little bit of Britain in Berlin goes full circle…Berliner Andrea Schroeder covers David Bowie’s Helden (Heroes) the title track to David Bowie’s cult album of the same name recorded during the Cold War and inspired by Bowie’s time living in Berlin. (Here Bowie’s original British clip dubbed into German, on Youtube.)