The last stop on my recent European trip was Berlin, where I had booked a room at Soho House, one of the hottest hotels in the city. Soho House is a private club, originally founded in London (hence the name) and draws most members from the arts, media and fashion. In the US, clubs include New York City, Miami and Los Angeles in the US. I’m a member of the Miami Beach House and as a member I get 25% off hotel stays at any of the hotel properties. Nonmembers can also stay here, just as long as they agree to abide by the house rules (see below!).
Right off the bat, I will say that I had an awesome stay. Soho House Berlin is located in the central Mitte district, but close to the bustling Prenzlauer Berg neighbohood. It is housed in an old Bauhaus building that was built in 1928, restored in the 2000′s and reopened as the Soho House in 2010. Originally the building was a department store until it was seized and occupied by the Communist Regime in 1956 – so it has a pretty interesting history, which I always find to be a plus in hotels – makes for more interesting conversation!
In this Soho House, there are 65 bedrooms that can be booked as hotel stays. Hotel rooms are classified in the following amusingly honest size categories: Tiny, Small, Medium, Big, Large and Extra Large. I booked a Big Room that was comparable to Junior Suite at most hotels and paid 195 EUR ($260) the first night and 225 EUR ($300) for each of the remaining two nights, which were weekend nights. Members receive a 25% discount so if a nonmember had booked the same room they would be looking at 260 EUR ($345) the first night and 300 EUR ($400) for the following nights.
Check out this video I made for a quick virtual tour of my room:
My Big Room was pretty spacious and had a living area with a love seat sofa and single armchair along with a small coffee table and a flatscreen TV on a long dresser.
I found the lighting to be difficult to figure out (witness the above photo) since the lights all stay dim when you flip the switch and in order to make them brighter you have to keep holding it down for a few seconds.
There also wasn’t an iron and there were only a few hangers in the room which is a pet peeve of mine, but overall those were my biggest complaints. One thing the room did have which was pretty surprising to see was an old record player with records to listen to. I loved the quirky little touches like that that made the property feel really unique.
Unlike many European hotels where the bed sizes can be a bit confusing (and usually smaller than their American counterparts), the king bed in my room was actually a huge California king. The one downside is that the bed pretty much took up the whole bedroom area, so it was nice to have the living area to relax in.
The bathroom was also pretty large for European hotel standards and was equipped with a couple nice touches like heated floors and towel racks. There was a standalone tub on one side of the bathroom, and a vanity and sink on the opposite side.
Behind a narrow door with privacy glass was an oversized rainfall shower. The bathroom was stocked with upscale Cowshed products (a signature of Soho House, which I love) from the in-house spa, and included shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion and a facial cleanser. The Cowshed Spa always delivers with great service, but I was told they fill up quickly so if you want to make a reservation be sure to do it prior to your stay.
Aside from regular hotel rooms at the Soho House Berlin, there are also 20 apartment spaces that are available to rent for short- or long-term stays. Apartment sizes vary from studios to 2 bedrooms and are meant to feel as though they are are a home-away-from-home with amenities like a dishwasher, Nespresso coffee machine and washing machine as well as complimentary tea, coffee and homemade biscuits. George Clooney actually made a home for himself at Soho House Berlin while he filmed The Monuments Men a few months ago.
Soho House properties have Club Floors that are private areas for members or hotel guests and have some strict rules like no talking on cellphones, no taking pictures, and you cannot be wearing a suit in the interest of keeping these areas non-corporate and more relaxing – they’re fairly strict about the rules, but honestly, when you’re in the club relaxing, having a drink or a meal with friends, the ambiance is really relaxed and lovely, and abiding by the rules doesn’t feel like a big deal at all. Soho House members can bring in up to 3 guests while non-members who are staying at the hotel can only bring one guest along with them.
Above the Club Floor is the The Rooftop, which has a gorgeous heated pool and several chaise lounges surrounding it as well as a little bar and restaurant area serving a casual menu that gets packed during nice weather.
While it’s a nice place to hang out during the day, the chairs get snagged pretty quickly, so if you want to spend your day sunning, better head up early and plan on camping out. This spot is also open until 3am so it can be a great place to either start or end your night.
On the first night of my stay I ate on The Rooftop with three friends and had a really fantastic alfresco meal and got to take in views of the Berlin TV Tower. The beef tartare and veal schnitzel were standouts. For the remaining two nights of my stay, the staff were really helpful in getting us reservations at two popular restaurants – Katz Orange and Volt (which is located in an old power station) – I have reviews on both of those to come.
Overall I really enjoyed my stay and found the Soho House Berlin to be a truly unique property with some great amenities. It was also a nice break for me to stay in a non-chain hotel (although it’s hard foregoing elite night/stay credit as I shoot for elite status requalification!). Although I also really appreciated the 25% discount I got as a Soho House member, I would also consider staying here if I weren’t a member thanks to the awesome location, the trendy rooms, and just the general, understatedly cool vibe of the property and the staff. It’s like having your own social club and apartment in one of Europe’s coolest cities…which only makes your stay that much better.
For more information on Berlin hotels (there are a bunch of points options) check out of Destination of the Week.