I’m going to let you in on a little secret; just 10 minutes from Berlin’s buzzing city center (by car), a very special place awaits. On the border of the famous Grünewald forest, you’ll find a 100-year-old residence with an intriguing past. Schlosshotel Berlin is the name, and in 2014, the German designer Patrick Hellmann took over and re-designed its interiors completely. If you’ve been looking for a luxurious getaway off the beaten path and practically located in the backyard of Europe’s most vibrant capital, this is it. Join me inside for a tour of the premises.
From the Emperor to the Rolling Stones
It was my second visit. About 5 years ago, I had the pleasure of checking in to Schlosshotel Berlin by Patrick Hellmann for the first time, so I sort of knew what to expect when I was picked up by the hotel transfer on a chilly autumn afternoon not long ago. However, I didn’t know that the hotel had changed its management and staff completely since then. The first sign of this was a very heart-felt welcome as I entered the fashionable lobby.
15 minutes by car from Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm and 5 minutes from the train station Halensee – that’s how close Schlosshotel Berlin is to the city. Still, an entirely different world awaits you here. A world of peace and tranquility, but also style and comfort. Grünewald has long been associated with the capital’s nobility (the forest is named after Elector Joachim the 2nd of Brandenburg’s hunting castle, which was erected in 1542), and there are still many old, prominent villas in the area.
This is, in fact, the perfect place for the hotel, which also bears a wonderful history. Originally built for the lawyer Walter von Pannwitz and his wife, Catalina Roth, in 1912, the Renaissance-inspired residence isn’t directly associated with royalty, but that doesn’t make its stories and anecdotes less intriguing. The guests of the original owners included Emperor Wilhelm II who was even said to have an affair with the lady of the house, Mrs. Roth. In the following decades, the residence would welcome stellar guests such as John F. Kennedy, Josephine Baker, Romy Schneider and, in 1965, the Rolling Stones. True to style, they trashed some valuable vases and porcelain figures during their stay, but all that only makes up for a good story today.
As you make your way to the lobby area – a big open space also including the bar – you feel the history of the place in the air. The high ceilings, chandeliers and gold-embellished walls promise you a different hotel experience. One that resembles staying with a stylish friend in his lavish mansion more than checking in to an ordinary property. And so, as you make your way towards you room, followed by the porter carrying your luggage, you feel at home. So did I as I was checked in to my cream-coloured Premium Junior Suite adorned with unique pieces of art and a king size bed. This particular room is 60 m2, the mini-bar is complimentary and there are cotton bathrobes and slippers waiting for you in the closet (rates from €429 per night).
In the early 90’s, Karl Lagerfeld himself decorated the residence and one room has been left unchanged; the Karl Lagerfeld suite. Everything else has been completely re-designed by the Berlin-based designer Patrick Hellmann who took over the property in 2014. Through pieces of art, photos, furniture and textures, he would instil the world of fashion in every corner of the hotel. The lavish and opulent style is unique to Hellmann who has chosen to decorate all 43 rooms with fabrics from his own collections. Although each room is unique they have one thing in common; more is more. Expect opulence rather than minimalism, and let yourself immerse in the grandeur of the surroundings.
Other facilities include a gourmet restaurant, a champagne lounge and the newly opened PHC Bar. The Schlosshotel also accommodates a wonderful spa area with a large heated pool, a Finnish sauna, a gym and direct access to the park. It’s also possible to book a massage or a personal trainer. But no matter what you decide to spend your time on, don’t forget to go outside. The fresh air of Grünewald – and the lovely park – is invigorating and restorative for body, mind and soul.
If you’re looking for a stay out of the ordinary, an escape from everyday life, I recommend visiting Schlosshotel Berlin by Patrick Hellmann. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know Berlin from a different side, and to immerse yourself in both style and history.
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