by Amira Hashish, The Independent, April 21, 2017
Set over eight floors, Soho House Berlin is awash with neon signs, graffiti style artwork and that signature rustic charm. Comprising 65 bedrooms and 20 serviced apartments in a range of sizes, there is something to suit every taste. There are also four vast lofts – a favourite with the regular celebrity clientele. Velvet fabrics create a sumptuous ambience with a navy, green and blue colour scheme running throughout the property.
The retro style of the 50-square-meter Big bedroom is irresistible. A 1920s inspired shell-like headboard on a king-sized bed, vintage armchairs and a trolley stacked with Cowshed products are among sumptuous touches.
There is also a walk-in steam shower, separate freestanding bath and a vanity desk. Steeped in history, the hotel and members' club sits in a fascinating building in the hip Mitte district, close to the coolest restaurants, bars and shops.
The Grade II-listed property has a complex past. Designed in the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) style by architects Georg Bauer and Siegfried Friedlander, it began life in the late 1920s as Jonass & Co, a seven-storey department store with a rooftop restaurant. When the store relocated to Alexanderplatz, the vacant building was sold to the Reich Youth Leadership and served as the organisation’s headquarters under Artur Axmann during the Second World War.
In 1945, the Allies handed control of East Berlin to the Soviet Union and 1 Torstrasse became the seat of the Communist Party’s central committee, home to party top brass such as Walter Ulbricht and Wilhelm Pieck. In the late 1950s, the ruling SED party moved to a more central Berlin location and the building was converted into the Institute of Marxist-Leninism, its cavernous spaces housing the Central Party archive.
With the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the descendants of the original Jewish owners succeeded in having the building returned to them under the reparations act. The building then lay vacant for almost a decade. Soho House Berlin opened in 2010. A stay includes access to the rooftop members' club. Overlooking Berlin, this is the ideal spot for breakfast.
Pop back up in the evening when the restaurant and bar area turns into a cocktail destination. Lunch at Cecconi's on the ground floor is another must.
The lower ground Cowshed spa is home to five comfy manicure and pedicure chairs, private treatment rooms, relaxation pods, a sauna, steam room and a spacious Hamam with basins and a fountain. We suggest booking in for a Cowshed facial.
An enthusiastic therapist will closely examine your skin before deciding on the best treatment. If you are feeling fit, check out Cowshed Active with Technogym equipment and don't forget the rooftop pool.
Visit sohohouseberlin.com to book.