Tag Archives: Design Hotels

The Scene – 5 Cool Hotels in 2017

Hotels love Berlin. With close to 30 million stays every year, there’s about 150.000 hotel beds to house guests from all over the world, coming to taste the bitter sweet nectar of our beloved capital. In a race for the title of best hotel in Berlin, owners come up with exciting new concepts as they go. We compiled a list of 5 new thrilling hotels to look out for in 2017.

Provocateur
The name’s resemblance with the popular lingerie designer is no coincidence. Newly opened Provocateur is Berlin’s first burlesque hotel. It’s a refuge for prosperous travellers who like to stay in a sexy atmosphere. When you hit the “Provocateur mode” button in your room, the light is dimmed and erotic pictures are projected on the walls. Unfortunately we weren’t asked to be models, but it’s still quite enjoyable. Another highlight is the 1912 elevator, transporting guests not only upwards but also into a different time and space.

Orania.Berlin
Located in the dodgy center of trendy Kreuzberg, Orania embodies the melting pot of influences of the district it resides in – but with glamour & fuzz. Timeless elegance meets oriental influences to create an oasis with 41 spacious rooms, complimented by classic concerts, poetry slams and electronic nights. The creative cuisine transforms the surrounding influences into a mouth-watering menu. The huge loft-style space on the top floor will be Orania’s true jewel. Wait and see.

Schloss Fleesensee
Berlin is a great place to be, but sometimes it’s nice to get some distance between you and the city. Schloss Fleesensee is just a 1 1/2 hour drive and has been named “Newcomer of the Year” by travel magazine Hideaways at Berlin international tourism fair. The investors just completed a restoration for no less than 10 million Euro, so expect all the luxury you can think of with all the facilities your heart and soul needs to relax.If you still need convincing, check out their lovely image video here:

Sir Savigny
Yet another star in West Berlin’s meteoric rise to glory, Sir Savigny is part of the Design Hotels collection and resides just a 10min walk from bustling Ku’Damm. The highlights are their Art Deco inspired interior, which blends in perfectly with modern influences, as well as their in-house burger bar “The Butcher”, which serves prime beef and spare ribs at reasonable prices. It’s the perfect getaway if you prefer a cozy design hotel over a pompous money burner like nearby Waldorf Astoria.

Max Brown Ku’damm
The ideal hotel for young creatives, globetrotters and night owls. Brown Hotel is an oasis for urban living, their rooms feeling like your own living room rather than an overstylized space ship. The perfect blend of discreet comfort and high quality furnishing is only topped by the social space on the ground floor. Its black marble floor and jungle wallpapers create the feeling of an urban jungle, rounded off by the amazing Benedict breakfast – a 24h breakfast restaurant.

Global Hotspot – Lovely Sofia

Bucharest, Odessa, Zagreb, Tirana, Prague, Warschau, Bratislava, we’ve delighted in exploring the former East Europe. Last month, we finally made it to Sofia, which had been flickering brightly on our radar recently. But be warned, this is a destination that won’t stay untouched for long. Sofia has been called the Paris of Eastern Europe and it lives up to expectation. With an amazing historic architecture that contrasts between old buildings á la Vienna, and the soviet monolithic style constructed during the Soviet era, fused very much with Balkan chic.

Locals tell us would that just five years ago, you wouldn’t see many trendy places, but now it´s booming. Think Berlin 15 years ago, when the cool bars were hidden behind secret doors, hip restaurants in old villas and fancy clubs in palaces. It is the fusion of retro, unpretentiousness, raw, underground, trendy, stylish and ultra-luxury, which means there are many worlds to explore in one night! Plus it’s one of the cheapest capitals in Europe, so visit now!

While the city is already an Eastern pearl full of relics from the communist era, there’s a definitely a shift towards fashionable western style places – with restaurants, cafes, bars, fashion stores and art galleries opening up. But don’t expect Parisian luxury! This city that creating its own vibe. The future is best explored along the semi-pedestrianised Vitosha Boulevard and its side streets. Vitosha cuts through the centre of Sofia and here you’ll find Sofia’s nicest buildings and many upmarket stores, restaurants and bars.

Best hotel

Our top pick is the Sense Hotel, which is a member of the Design Hotels group. We stayed in a magnificent corner suite with a stunning view, overlooking the rooftops and top attractions of the historic heart of the city. The hotel boasts a spa with pool and a sky bar with a divine 360 degree view.

Best bars:

1.     The Roof Top bar at Sense. With a cool DJ, the trendy crowd drink or cosy up on the cosy sofas taking in the atmosphere and the view.

2.    OneMoreBar is situated in an old villa. It’s probably the best cocktail bar in town! It’s a very busy with sexy staff offering great service.

3.    The Black Label Whisky Bar is one of the coolest bars of Sofia. It’s tucked away inside the former Central Military Club, a beautiful Neo-renaissance building from the 19th century.

Where to eat?

The food scene is becoming trendier with western oriented concept restaurants popping up all over town. Many restaurants have an Americanized bistro menu with burgers, steaks, Caesar salads and pasta dishes, but there also lots of creativeness. Don’t miss the Shopska salad, which was voted as the most popular dish of Europe in 2014!

The best restaurant scene is found in the neighborhood of Sredets. It is full of trendy cafes and restaurants in the beautiful old buildings.

 Our top picks:

1. Opened for 10 years, Checkpoint Charly is a local favourite. It offers delicious Bulgarian cuisine and has live jazz every Friday night.

2.   Spaghetti Kitchen  is a reflection of the cool new Sophia. They specialize in an American style smoke grill offering yummy meat and seafood.

3.   The cosy tucked away Lavanda Restaurant is hard to find but worth it as it offers delicious comfort foods like risotto and roast chicken. Sit in the pretty garden in summer.

Where to party!

Sofia has a bonafide nightlife. There is an energetic scene where party hungry citizens, dance the night away to international DJ´s. Like Berlin, the smaller cooler bars are harder to find, meanwhile the hip and bigger venues are easy to locate. The best place to start looking is Vitosha Boulevard and its side streets.

 Our top picks:

1.     Club Yalta was voted one of the 25 best clubs in the world by DJ Mag this year. It’s got a pedigree, opening in 1959, it started playing electronic music in 1989 with big names Tiesto, Boy George, Armin Van Buuren, Laurent Garnier and Roger Sanchez spinning there lately.

Summer time, the crew behind Yalta goes Cacao Beach/Sunny Beach for the Solar summer festival.

2. With its super arty interior, Culture Beat Club doubles up as a bar and club offering live music, as well as DJ’s. It’s right on the backside of the National Palace of Culture.

3. The Mascara Club is where the super cool, super rich of Sophia meet for some serious posing. It’s about looking good, feeling great, drinking lots in a classy location beneath the National Sofia Opera and Ballet building.

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On the red carpet … Henrik’s world

March saw ITB – The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show in Berlin, which brought 114.000 trade visitors from every corner of the planet to the city. That means a couple of things. Lots of networking and the most amazing parties! The travel industry knows how put on the most spectacular, creative events. Naturally Berlinagenten was hogging the limelight on the red carpet and creating a scene.

Travel & Leisure: The IT List Cocktail event

Everyone wanted to be on the guest list for this party, hosted by Travel and Leisure. It was held at the luxurious high-end boutique hotel Das Stue in Tiergarten, which is listed in the prestigious Design Hotels catalogue. The party was to launch Travel & Leisure’s roundup of the 70 best new hotels in the world! It was red carpet all the way – as hotel owners & managers, marketing/media people, top journalists, creatives, high-end travel agencies, international networkers, glitterati people from the US and partners of Design Hotels drank Das Stue’s superb cocktails and feasted on a buffet created by Catalan superstar chef Paco Pérez, whose restaurant Cinco resides in the hotel.

LGBT’s Party

Berlin is one of the most gay friendly cities in the world, which means it’s a haven for LGBT tourists. We love our gays, as they make this city the creative metropolis that it is today. The city loves gays as well, and the pink Euro is especially welcomed in Berlin. Berlinagenten also offers a fabulous Queer Tour, which plugs you directly into the scene.

Over invited 350 guests were to celebrate the success of the LGBT Travel Pavilion at the ITB. Sponsored by Visit Florida, this year party was held on the roof top of Golden Tulip Hotel, which has a fabulous panoramic view over Berlin! Guests included travel industry professional, travel partners, tour operators, LGBT related companies, and sponsors Tomontour, who offer tips and advice for the Gay & Lesbian scene.

The famous Dj SuperZandy was on the decks playing bouncy house music. There were half naked go-go dancers, muscle men, and hysterical drag queens. One of the drag queen idols was glamorous blonde sex bomb Mataina, who represents the Vienna Gay travel scene. She was offering personalized photo sessions. Naturally Berlinagenten couldn’t resist getting in on the act. After such a riotous night, It came as no surprise to learn that this party was voted TOP ITB Party 2014 by Germany’s industry magazine FVW!

For further pictures check out - www.facebook.com/tomontour

Wyndham Berlin Excelsior

The Wyndham Berlin Excelsior has become the legendary party of ITB because it’s where French champagne flows like the Spree. Last year, we were the last at the party and the champagne never ran out! Owned by an Israeli company, this a no expense spared party. This year, there was a whole room dedicated to Veuve Clicquot and at the Oyster Bar, oysters were consumed as if they were candy. The theme was cabaret and featured the rock’n’roll freak burlesque girls of the TeaserettesBerlinagenten who emptied one bottle of champagne too many, couldn’t resist getting on stage to perform with the girls in front of the entire travel industry! You could never say we shun the limelight!

Big thanks to Shachar Elkanati, food and beverage manager of Grand City Hotels who really knows how to throw a glamorous party!

Andles Hotel

Berlinagenten never misses the red carpet of the biggest ITB party hosted by Andel´s hotel. This year celebration was for a triple package! It was the fitfth anniversary Andel´s Hotel Berlin, the 25th year anniversary of VI Hotels & Resorts, plus its fifth legendary ITB-Party .

And what a party it was! Thousands of guests representing the entire spectrum of ITB. It was definitely an industry event, not overly glamorous but incredibly fun. That could be done to the fact that the staff were walking around with trays full of pure vodka shots. However, luckily there was lots of wonderful food as well. The food stations serving everything from meat and fish to sashimi and dessert. Germany’s favourite cover band JCB - who’ve been around for a decade – made the audience dance their socks off before two sexy women DJ’s spun tunes late into the night. The birthday cake was simply enormous, we probably missed the part when Samantha Fox jumped out of it!

 

Australia & New Zealand party.

It maybe at the other end of the planet but the Australian and New Zealand tourism industry were well represented at ITB. This party showcased the delicious food and wine from both countries. Berlinagenten is receiving an influx of Aussies as clients and therefore, it was the perfect place to  introduce myself over a glass of delicious white wine. Oh, and one of our top guides Lollie Barr is an Aussie. Looks like Berlin is set for an Aussie invasion!