Travel Europe (Review): 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin

Should you think Germany is all grey buildings and serious facades, prepare to be relieved of that notion if you check-in to what I now know is West Berlin’s funkiest outpost – 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin.

Among the substantial, glitzy list of global hotel chains, Germany’s charming contribution is both a welcome outlier and one perfectly suited to cosmopolitan travellers not wanting the cookie-cutter tame stay.

Welcome to one of the best smart hotels you’ve never heard of…

The Franchise

25Hours Hotels is a hotel chain built up in 2005, and is now carefully threaded into the DNA of 12 different destinations in Europe and Asia (including Dubai, Paris, Copenhagen, and Florence), and founded with the mission to serve “experiences and places with soul!”

As part of the global collective known as Ennismore (a hospitality company also a 2021 joint venture with Accor), 25Hours Hotels stays true to the company’s priorities in cultural immersion and creativity.

It’s bold, smart, and each hotel has an individualism which carefully considers its locale, the locals, its impact, and ultimately just creates a great experience for a visitor popping in, or a guest staying overnight at any one of their hotels.

Trendy. Upscale. Fun, and Unstuffy!

With extensive and well-trained young teams in each hotel, and a growing development portfolio, visitors and hotel guests are treated to singular hospitality, design, atmosphere, and gastronomic concepts.

It’s heady, before you even step foot onto the premises, that you’re about to walk into a whirlwind of uniqueness and crazy good fun.

The Hotel

The 149-roomed 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is home in a now-renovated 1950s high-rise building parked in West Berlin, and in an area that was just aching for some youthful fresh energy. This hotel came through for the area, and can be seen teeming with some of the trendiest crowds and experiential concepts now – also, in part, due to its ideal proximity to a concept mall, Bikini Berlin, full of local and international boutiques (which is great if you forgot to pack something essential too!).

One of the most ideal aspects of this hotel’s locale, is how its positioned with a view of the war-damaged Kaiser Wilhelm Church on one side, while the lush green  Zoologischer Garten stretches out on its other side.

This makes 25Hours Hotel choice for travellers, as it means easy access to some amazing West Berlin’centric experiences fit for families, solo travellers and couples alike:

  • Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is 2.8km away
  • Tiergarten is 15-minutes on foot
  • Ku’damm is a 2-minute walk from the hotel
  • and Helmet Newton’s Museum für Fotografie is 8 minutes from 25 Hours.

The Design

A Berlin trip isn’t complete without spotting a Trabant Car (nickname “Trabi”), and so 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin covers its tourist-satisfaction quota with a vintage one parked right at their Ground Floor foyer, while Europe’s love of cycling is never more prominent than with the Schindelhaur bikes hanging above like Christmas garlands.

“This is the car that gave Communism a bad name…A virtual antique when it was designed in the 1950s, the Trabant was East Germany’s answer to the VW Beetle — a “people’s car,”…often lacked even the most basic of amenities…Thousands of East Germans drove their Trabants over the border when the Wall fell, which made it a kind of automotive liberator.”

Dan Neil. (2007). TIME Magazine

It only gets better and more eclectic from there.

Look out for large swaths of wallpaper splashed with the German city’s cityscape and locals abound, illustrations by Japanese artist Yoshi Sislay, and take in the pop culture & real-world photography medley framed on the walls of the more bustling public areas of the hotel.

Playful interiors by German designer Werner Aisslinger introduce guests to new and old-world Berlin, with the likes of exposed concrete adding the rustic old-world charm.

Guests get to laze about on a Vitra swing sofa or the fur-lined hammocks facing the Zoo’s birdcage, and Digital Nomads can catch up on work at the complimentary computer station available in the tropical-planted, jungle-themed reception area.

Have you spotted the playful, on-theme decor favourite? Look out for stuffed Monkeys all around the hotel!

In the private spaces, the designer goes further with their funky exuberance, but tempers it to fit the vistas – but first: you’ll have to strut through the dark corridors with lit-up room numbers that reveal nothing of the brightness beyond the doors.

Depending on which specific room you’ve booked, you’ll enjoy either the greenery of the zoo ( and spot the Ape and Elephant enclosures) or the concrete jungle of West Berlin, in an open-space space designed to be both peaceful and steadily energising.

By design, the hotel provides good access for guests who are differently abled, with adapted rooms, as well as accessible bathrooms.

Room sizes range from the standard size, to suites with plenty of space to stretch out in (M, L, and XL sizes). Guests are welcomed to the edgier options, with an exposed ceiling (it’s safe – just a design choice), concrete peeking through, custom wood built-ins, and abstract wall illustrations designed to tie in lighting fixtures and the interconnectivity of the city and the hotel.

The larger suites, with their platform beds, are decorated with greenery, free-use bikes for guests, a colourful and portable JBL Speaker & charging cable, along with a Tote with a story.

There is no other way to describe the bathrooms in this hotel’s rooms, other than sexy.

Black tile creates a cavernous corner of the room that houses a walk-in Grohe rain shower, and the larger suites have a freestanding smart bath near the bed, which I took for a whirl.

*NOTE: The bath water only goes up to about 41 degrees Celsius so don’t expect a piping hot bubble bath session.

The custom-made furnishings in the suites, are a testament to European tastes, and are sturdy, chic and comfortable enough to warm the room to anyone from anywhere.

I felt comfortable unpacking and stowing away my entire luggage haul, which went a long way to settling me in.

You’re invited to make Bikini Berlin your home – whether by using the complimentary amenities (packed and printed with some of the best Copy I’ve ever seen in hospitality!) in your room, or the facilities beyond it.

It’s comfortable, and shrugs off any sense of real hotel propriety.

Is it sounding like your vibe?

The Facilities & Essentials

You’ll lack for none of your hotel essentials here at 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin. They’re equipped with a fitness centre, large flat-screen TVs, parking, in-house restaurant (in a space previously a Greenhouse), uncapped Wi-Fi, plenty of plug outlets, a lauded cocktail bar, and blessedly: A Spa!

Self-care with a session in the 9th floor Sauna – the hotel adds its own twist with beer or water at the ready for guests.

For folks travelling with young ones, feel free to request baby cribs which are free of charge. And rest easy knowing that kids of any age can sleep free of charge in the same bed, at 25Hours Hotels.

The Experience

To start: the quality of sleep is really exceptional.

25Hours Hotels beds are as comfortable as pictures reveal – with plush bedding, crisp white bed linen, and blackout curtains. There’s also a perfectly functioning air conditioner to warm or cool your room to your tastes, a throw blanket to snuggle into, and various lighting options to ensure your optimal comfort.

If sleep isn’t the priority, be entertained easily by spinning vinyl on a turntable hooked to a tower of speakers, or play a bit of old-school pinball, on the 3rd floor.

Toiletries are always touch-and-go at hotels. The quality of the bath soap and other toiletries at 25Hours, offer pleasant smells, suds, and a feeling of being clean & moisturized simultaneously, by the time you head to bed or out. Kudos to the hotel for emphasizing their commitment to the environment, by bringing in toiletries by  Hamburg-based “Stop the Water While Using Me!“.

Message received!

Service is one of the cornerstones of good hospitality, and not even language barriers would keep the friendly 25Hours Hotel team from delivering some of the most impeccable service as you check-in. The Monkey Bar team’s attentiveness may leave much to be desired, but any request eventually comes as it should, and guests are unlikely to bring up any additional complaints.

BUDGET TIP:

Want to spend less?

Fetching your food or beverage from NENI restaurant, rather than getting it delivered with a service charge. It shaves off a few euros, as is hotel policy.

Food is a forever traveller priority, and so 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin levels up their restaurant game with several choices that bring both the budget-conscious and ballers, and anyone else just seeking a good time.

Shop for a quick snack, coffee, panini’s, or a soft drink, at Bikini Island, the in-house bakery on the third floor, or buy yourself some travel necessities and souvenirs in the shop area selling wares like boutique spirits and books.

TRAVEL TIP:
Be sure to get reception to secure you a booking at the buzzy NENI restaurant (serving quality Israeli tapas-style plates and East Mediterranean cuisine) or the incredible Monkey rooftop bar (there are DJs playing on most nights)

….because they are popular, with visitors streaming in at all hours and from far and wide.

I enjoyed the comprehensive breakfast buffet at NENI, complete with German favourites and European-style continental basics.

I enjoyed tasting even the things I didn’t like as much, because warm dishes like sausages, bacon and mushrooms were set in colourful La Crueset-style crockery pots, while cold dishes were laid out cooly on ice.

Beverages available include bubbly, a tea station fit for someone with my discerning tea tastes, lassi and kombucha, along with coffee and juices.

Diners truly get hearty, healthy and authentic cuisine from sun up to sundown, dished to be enjoyed amid a picturesque scene of warm natural light and greenery from above and beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows.

I’m told everyone from office workers to CEOs find the time to pop in for drinks and nibbles between NENI and the Monkey Bar, as the views and interiors (think colourful loungers, plenty seating, well-stocked bar preparing drinks with fresh fruit & herbs, and panoramic vistas) offer a relaxed and authentic experience from high above Berlin’s streets.

VERDICT?

The 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is one of the most value-for-money stays in Berlin!

It meets, matches, and surpasses some of the most renowned hotel chains out there – taking the cosmopolitan traveller’s hospitality needs, anticipating their wants too, and repackaging them into a memorable, comfortable, and wholly Berlin experience.

If booking here is not for you, treat yourself to strong drinks (Vodka is trending again so give the vodka-based Bini’s Monkey Ponkey a try) with a view, at Monkey Bar’s wrap-around rooftop terrace at least.

*NOTE: Guests get direct access to the restaurant and bar – important because the Monkey Bar in particular brings queues of people on weekends!

Getting there & around

With one of the more advanced public transportation systems in the world, travellers can easily buy a ticket from clearly marked (in German & English) station ticket points in the city, and make their way to the hotel.

Thee Zoologischer Garten S Bahn is your station, and Berlin Stadtbahn is the train line to take to easily connect you to the rest of the city, and deliver you near the hotel – a five-minute stroll from the station stop.

If you’re like me and packed too much, simply head to your Uber App and notice how you’re also able to order a regular taxi through the app.

Arrived at the main Berlin train station (a.k.a Berlin Hauptbahnhof)?

Walk to the clearly demarcated taxi pick-up point outside and order your Uber or taxi, hop in, and be at the hotel in under 30 minutes, for less than €60.

Want to drive around yourself?

Turns out 25Hours Hotel has a Mini Cooper at the ready or its guests to use!

By my Recommendation: 25HOURS HOTEL BIKINI BERLIN

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