Where do I even start? Thinking about my time at Bikini Berlin presents one of those moments where your mind is so flooded with exceptional words, that nothing comes out quite right. Stunning, unique, colourful, trendy, unforgettable, peaceful, yummy, friendly, spectacular, thoughtful. All these words come to mind. With that introduction, welcome to Bikini Berlin: the hotel experience you need.
I stayed at Bikini Berlin’s 25hours Hotel when I was visiting Berlin for a short few days in between my Copenhagen trip. If you are ever in Copenhagen, Berlin is a mere $50 ticket (purchased early that is) and a 50 minute flight. I for one could not pass that up! When I was searching for hotels in Berlin, I came across Bikini Berlin, which resembled more of a small city than it did a hotel.
As it turns out, Bikini Berlin is a small city and 25hours Hotel operates within this city. Other amenities for use are (great ready): a movie theater, a concept shopping mall (the world’s first), a cafe, a trip to the zoo, a seriously good coffee bar, a terrace restaurant and bar, art exhibits, and guided tours. I am probably leaving a few off this list, but as I stated before, it’s a mini city, literally.
I arrived in Berlin around 7:55 am from the world’s earliest flight. Future me was not impressed with the decisions made by past me. I had been in contact with Katrin, who works the PR and marketing department for Bikini Berlin, prior to my visit. We agreed to meet for a coffee around 9:00 am. When I walked up to Bikini Berlin, it was much bigger than I had imagined and I really had no idea where I was going. Luckily, I heard an “Emily?” in a German accent from behind me, and it was Katrin.
We sat and had breakfast together inside the concept shopping mall, and there was a beautiful exhibit of origami on display. She gave me the grand tour and historical break down of Bikini Berlin. Some amazing facts I learned:
- From concept to creation, Bikini Berlin took about 10 years to complete.
- Bikini Berlin overlooks the Berlin Zoo (I knew that before coming here, but it was nothing compared to seeing it in person).
- The overall goal was to create a nature hideaway to balance out busy and gritty Berlin.
- They work with tons of local designers to sell goods in to their popup shops, which gives them their first ‘big break’, if you will.
- They also work with smaller artists to showcase their work and exhibits.
- There are pieces of the old Alexanderplatz train station (largely destroyed in WW2) incorporated in to Bikini Berlin almost everywhere. Looking up, you can see the old teal train track pieces in the concept mall. Teal subway tiles from the station were also used to create the front desk in the hotel.
- In the Vans store, they have a custom pair of Vans that they only sell at Bikini Berlin.
- You can rent a Mini Cooper, for free. That’s a car guys. A CAR. For free.
One of the things that I thought was particularly interesting, was when Katrin told me that they sponsor the monkeys just outside the hotel. They pay for their food in exchange for Bikini Berlin being able to be in such close proximity to the monkeys (and other animals). I only learned this when I asked Katrin how in the world the zoo agreed to let them overlook the animals. In America, I have a feeling that wouldn’t really fly. Bikini Berlin also agreed to close their bar terrace early (around 9:00 pm) so the monkeys can get some sleep. D’awww.
Once we finished breakfast, I headed up to my room. I was on the 6th floor and I had the most incredible views facing the zoo. You could see the Tiergarten for miles, and even the Victory Column far in the distance. And best of all, you could hear the monkeys! It was at that moment that I truly understood the vision for Bikini Berlin. The peacefulness of the monkeys and nature made me sleepy, and all I wanted to do was plop in to my hammock and watch the views. But, I had a city to see. So off I went.
The Room and Experience
The design was phenomenal, unique, and thoughtful. They thought of everything, with one of my favorite touches being the extra long bar for hanging towels, and other random crap I was excited to hang. Seriously, there is never enough room in hotels to hang your towels, am I right? The room was open concept, but also brilliantly designed with a large curtain to be able to separate the bathroom area. Another large curtain ran across the floor-to-ceiling window, you know, in case you didn’t want to be naked in front of the monkeys (kidding).
The bed was massive, and the sheets were white and soft. There wasn’t any carpet in the whole room. I can’t tell you how much I detest carpet, so this was a nice surprise. The room had a hammock by the window which I mentioned earlier, and everything else was also inspired by nature. Lots of blue and green tones, but still modern and lofty feeling.
When I got back to my room that evening, I was excited to be back. Never have I ever felt such excitement for a hotel. I will 100% say that Bikini Berlin absolutely was the best part of my Berlin experience. I know what you’re thinking, that literally sounds like such a fake promotional line. It’s not. I promise you that I was shocked myself. Reminiscing back I concluded that had I not stayed at Bikini Berlin, I am not sure I would have fallen in love with Berlin as much as I did.
The next morning, I enjoyed a complimentary buffet-style breakfast in their restaurant. It was definitely one of the best European breakfasts I’ve ever had. Maybe I’m staying at the wrong places, but Bikini Berlin had so much food that I actually realized on my last day that I had completely missed the sausage, eggs, and bacon area. I have major FOMO about this still…
Every morning I gorged myself on vanilla quark with granola and strawberry puree, that I still crave to this day. If I ever stay in Berlin again, I will stay at Bikini Berlin and I will down three bowls of vanilla quark every morning. There is no other option.
Before I left, I did a little local shopping in their concept mall, which was actually huge. I was able to find a few gifts, and I can confirm that they all said ‘Made in Germany’. Nothing makes me more disappointed when you buy something in another country and it’s made somewhere else. If you’re looking for local, than Bikini Berlin is your place.
That night I spent a good hour swinging in my hammock, and hanging my legs off the side. The sunset was a gorgeous one, and at that moment I was so grateful to call this place home. My experience with everyone, including Katrin and the staff, was wonderful. The monkeys were very chatty, which made for lots of laughs and fun Instagram Stories. I couldn’t have asked for a better sanctuary from gritty Berlin.
If you’re ever in Berlin, this is the hotel experience you need. Hell, this is the experience you need period. Thank you Bikini Berlin for being stunning, unique, colourful, trendy, unforgettable, peaceful, yummy, friendly, spectacular, and thoughtful. I will always return.
I wanted to take a moment at the end of this to say thank you to Katrin and Bikini Berlin for sponsoring my stay. I am so grateful to have stayed in one of the best hotels in Berlin. It was a phenomenal experience, and I was infinity excited to be ‘home’ every evening. And thank you to the design team behind the 25hours Hotel: Werner Aisslinger, Janis Nachtigall, Tina Bunyaprasit, and Dirk Borchering. You are geniuses.