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Hotel Brandenburger Hof Berlin

Added on November 28, 2013
The Brandenburger Hof, one of my favorite German hotels, will change hands. After 22 years, Daniel Sauter sold her enchanting City Palais to the Wöhrl family. The handover will take place at the beginning of 2014. Let's hope that the Wöhrl family will keep up the good work of Daniela Sauter and her longtime General Manager Markus Otto Graf!

Article added on October 4, 2004
Hotel review, history, design of Hotel Brandenburger Hof Berlin
 
One of Berlin's best, Hotel Brandenburger Hof, is situated a few minutes' walk from Kurfürstendamm, Berlin's Champs Elysées, and the Memorial Church (Gedächtniskirche), which reminds visitors of the horrors of the Second World War. The hotel stands in the heart of the city, but enjoys the peace of a side street.

The architects Peter Sauter and Kenji Tsuchiya transformed the Wilhelminian mansion into a private hotel that opened on October 1, 1991. They managed to harmoniously combine the historic elements such as the stucco with the functionality and clean esthetic of New Realism (Neue Sachlichkeit).

The interior in the public spaces, rooms and suites is dominated by works of Bauhaus architects and designers and other icons of New Realism, e.g. Le Corbusier (cube chairs and leather sofas), Frank Lloyd Wright (cherrywood chairs), Marcel Breuer (lounge chairs and tables), Eileen Gray (tables), Wilhelm Wagenfeld (lamps) and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (chairs and coffee tables). Most of the hotel furniture has made design history and been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Incidentally, you don't have to travel as far as New York City, Berlin offers a lot of New Realism, such as the Bauhaus Archiv and Museum of Design (Klingelhöferstr. 14) or the much lesser known Mies van der Rohe Haus on lake Obersee in Berlin Lichtenberg, the last house the architect built in Germany before he emigrated to the US in 1938.

The architects of Hotel Brandenburger Hof Berlin, by their deliberately restrained approach, have succeeded in creating a convincing mix of old and new, a harmony of contrasting elements.

From the lobby a sandstone portal decorated with the Brandenburg coat of arms leads to the Wintergarten. This conservatory with its innovative marriage of a Japanese garden and an Italian monastery courtyard is the centerpiece of the hotel. Here you can enjoy breakfast, lunch as well as an aperitif, tea and dinner. Mondays to Fridays from 7pm, discrete jazz and classical piano music played by music students gently accompanies the guest.



On the culinary level, the hotel's highlight is the gourmet restaurant Die Quadriga. Under the direction of chef Wolfgang Nagler since 1998, it was awarded one star by Michelin and seventeen points by Gault Millau. He returned to Munich and, in April 2004, Bobby Bräuer took over. Bräuer is a chef who, at his previous restaurant Victorian in Düsseldorf, also held one star with the Michelin guide and seventeen points with Gault Millau and, therefore, guarantees continuity at the hotel's two restaurants, Quadriga and Wintergarten; by the way the latter was awarded fifteen points by Gault Millau under chef Nagler.

At Hotel Brandenburger Hof, all rooms and suites are equipped with comfortable floor heating instead of heavy air conditioning. In addition to the Bauhaus style furniture, natural oak, single-color carpets and white walls create a luxurious but relaxed atmosphere. The bathrooms with their combination of granite, chrome and light terracotta tiles are designed in the same calming spirit. Some 500 signed, limited-edition prints by artists such as Ernst Fuchs, Bruno Bruni and Claude Gaveau decorate the rooms.

The four suites are named after four operas; when the guest enters the suite, the corresponding opera is played on a CD. Furthermore, in all rooms you find tasteful Ikebana arrangements. Another Japanese feature is less obvious: above all main doors you can find a simple board which is supposed to keep evil spirits away.

Thaleia is not only one of the nine muses, but also the name of the hotel's massage and beauty suite. The qualified masseuse and beautician Ellen Brüder offers custom face and body treatments based on products by Kanebo (specialty: Japanese facial massage) and Thalgo as well as Balinese body massages with original body oils, exclusively and directly imported from Southeast Asia. A steam bath, sun tub/solarium and a sunny relaxing area round up the hotel's offers in this regard.

Hotel prices are significantly lower in Berlin than in London or Paris. The price-quality ratio at Hotel Brandenburger Hof is outstanding. If you are used to five-star luxury hotels, you may find a De luxe double room - the category I tested - a real bargain.

Since 1994 Brandenburger Hof is a member of the distinguished hotel association Relais & Châteaux. The hotel owner, Mrs. Daniela Sauter, is the president of the German section. Hotel Brandenburger Hof in Berlin fully lives up to the association's quality standards based on the founding values defined by the 5Cs: courtesy, charm, character, calm and cuisine. [added on July 13, 2005: Hotel Brandenburger Hof Berlin is no longer a member of Relais & Châteux. Instead, it has joined the Small Leading Hotels, SLH, but still respects the 5Cs].

Added on March 1, 2010: Since January/February 2010, the Quadriga Restaurant has a new chef, Sauli Kemppainen. I may test the restaurant in 2010 and give you my impressions about the new creative cuisine.



The Wintergarten (conservatory). Photos © Hotel Brandenburger Hof Berlin.




The hotel entrance. Photo © Hotel Brandenburger Hof Berlin.


View of a double room with two "Barcelona" chairs by Mies van der Rohe and a lamp by Wilhelm Wagenfeld on the desk. Photos © Hotel Brandenburger Hof Berlin.


View of a junior suite. Photos © Hotel Brandenburger Hof Berlin.


The reading room with a table by Marcel Breuer, a lamp by Wilhelm Wagenfeld and a leather sofa by Le Corbusier. Photos © Hotel Brandenburger Hof Berlin.

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