Berlin hotels boast classic mien, modern tech

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BERLIN -- In the early and mid-1990s, a spate of hotel openings in Berlin helped prepare that city for its new role as the capital of Germany. Among the more notable properties:

  • The Four Seasons, Berlin, Charlottenstrasse 49, has 162 rooms and 42 suites. Rooms are available for the handicapped.
  • Although it has been open only a few years, the Four Seasons has captured a number of awards from leading travel publications. In 1999, Conde Nast Traveler cited it as the best hotel in Germany.

    The hotel sits at the northwest corner of the Gendarmenmarkt, in the heart of the newly fashionable Mitte district, within walking distance of the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and Museum Island.

    Accommodations are spacious and elegantly furnished and have huge marble bathrooms.

    Some suites have small balconies.

    The Four Seasons captured a number of awards from leading travel publications. In 1999, Conde Nast Traveler cited the Four Seasons as the best hotel in Germany. Above, a one-bedroom suite. Service is impeccable. The Four Seasons has a gourmet restaurant, Seasons, that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner; it also has a health club with workout equipment, saunas and massage rooms, and meetings space for groups of up to 120. Rates start around $260, double, including VAT.

    For information and reservations, call (800) 332-3442 or log on at www.fourseasons.com. The hotel is in all CRSs.

  • The Grand Hyatt Berlin, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 2, has 342 rooms and suites, including 52 Regency Club rooms. Handicap rooms are available.
  • The first European property in the upscale Grand Hyatt brand, this hotel sits at the base of the new Potsdamer Platz development, in the midst of abundant shopping and entertainment possibilities. Close by are the performing arts facilities and museums of the KulturForum.

    Rooms are equipped with modern communications technology, including interactive TV, data ports and Internet access.

    The Grand Hyatt offers its own garage and valet parking, a concierge, 24-hour room service, a business center and three restaurants. Its Vox Restaurant has been hailed as one of the city's best.

    The hotel has a rooftop fitness center and nine meeting rooms for groups of up to 850. Rates start at around $240 a night, double, including VAT.

    For information and reservations, call (800) 233-1234 or log on at www.hyatt.com. The hotel is in all CRSs.

  • Adlon Hotel Kempinski Berlin, Unter den Linden 77, offers 256 rooms and 81 suites, including nonsmoking, handicapped-accessible and nonallergy rooms. It is located east of the Brandenburg Gate, close to the Russian, British and French embassies and the site of the planned new U.S. embassy.
  • Many consider the hotel to be the anchor of the newly revived Mitte section of the city.

    In the first third of the 20th century, the Hotel Adlon was Berlin's place to see and be seen, and Kempinski has rebuilt a classic property on the same site as the old one, with many of the same design elements, like the traditional wintergardens, but with 21st century technology behind the walls.

    It offers all the services and amenities of a world class luxury hotel, including a gourmet restaurant facing the Pariser Platz and Brandenburg Gate. It is a sister property to the older Kempinski Hotel Bristol on the Kurfurstendamm.

    A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Adlon is Berlin's most expensive place to stay, with rates for a double room starting at more than $300 a night, including VAT.

    For information and reservations, call (800) 426-3135 or log on at www.kempinski.com. The hotel is in all CRSs.

  • Dorint am Gendarmenmarkt, Charlottenstrasse 50-52, features 70 rooms and 22 suites, including nonsmoking and handicapped-accessible. It is located on the western side of Gendarmenmarkt, across from the Four Seasons, in the heart of Berlin-Mitte.
  • Germany's fast-growing Dorint chain has preserved the exterior of this historic building, but it transformed the interior into an avant-garde, ultra-modern boutique hotel reminiscent of Ian Schrager's New York properties.

    Although it's a five-star hotel with rates starting at around $220 a night, double, including VAT, the clientele is relatively young, with corporate customers from media, publishing and advertising.

    Its largest meeting room has lighting that comes up through opaque panels in the floor; its fitness center has a color therapy room.

    The Dorint am Gendarmenmarkt has a lavish breakfast buffet spread in its atrium cafe and a highly regarded Austrian restaurant, Aigner.

    For information and reservations call Dorint at (800) 650-8018 or visit www.dorint.de. The hotel is in all CRSs.

  • Dorint Schweizerhof, Budapester Strasse 25, has 359 rooms and 25 suites, including nonsmoking and handicapped-accessible rooms.
  • A four-star, air-conditioned business property located north of the Europa Center and east of Berlin's zoo, the Dorint Schweizerhof opened two years ago on the site of the previous Schweizerhof Hotel, retaining only the older property's basement-level indoor swimming pool, the largest indoor hotel pool in the city.

    Its guest accommodations include 53 business class rooms equipped with large desks.

    The hotel has a functional design, including original works of art in every room and all public areas, painted by the contemporary Berlin artist TerHell.

    Besides the pool, it has a fitness center with workout equipment, a sauna, a steam bath and a massage and beauty center as well as a bistro restaurant, a pub and 18 meeting rooms that can handle groups of up to 1,000.

    Rates start at about $220, double, including VAT.

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