V’s Ultimate Guide to Berlin

V’s Ultimate Guide to Berlin

V’s Ultimate Guide to Berlin

Take a walk through the East Side Gallery, eat doner kebabs, and sip champagne at Hotel Luc, Autograph Collection.

Take a walk through the East Side Gallery, eat doner kebabs, and sip champagne at Hotel Luc, Autograph Collection.

Text: Kala Herh

Berlin has long been the world capital of the underground. Historically, it’s a city where artists, musicians, and writers have flourished and thrived. But these days, Berlin is gaining recognition for more than its avant-garde art scene, staking a claim in technology, food and hospitality. Eager to explore this cultural hub for ourselves, we took a quick trip to the German capital and are bringing you along for the ride. Read below for some of our favorite spots in Berlin. 

After deplaning from the nine-hour flight from Newark, we started our trip off at one of Berlin’s most renowned coffee roasters: Bonanza Coffee. Coined as “one of the best independent coffee shops in the world” by the Financial Times, Bonanza specializes in serving ethically brewed coffee, sourcing beans from small farms across Africa, Indonesia and Latin America. Heeding the recommendation from the barista, I opted for the flat white and it was seriously good. If you’re ever in Berlin, make sure to try it out for yourself. 

Once we got our coffee, we made our way to the Hotel Luc, Autograph Collection in Berlin’s central Mitte district. Once there, we were greeted by the hotel concierge and a bubbly glass of champagne. Situated opposite to the French Dom cathedral, the neighborhood’s rich Prussian-era history infiltrated the hotel interiors. Inside, guests are greeted by dark, velvet couches, gold-trimmed light fixtures and marble countertops. And while the hotel boasts an elegant and elevated interior design, it also hints at the city’s infamous clubbing and underground scene as soft techno music plays in the lobby. 

“Autograph Collection Hotels” for the Hotel Luc images.

The Hotel Luc, Autograph Collection also offers guests access to Marriott Bonvoy’s Tour & Activities program, which allows them to book exclusive experiences in the cities they are visiting. During these tours, travelers can engage with the city on a more digestible level–learning about its history while they walk amongst its most important sites. I opted for the “Berlin in a Day” tour, which brought me around the city’s most popular sites: The Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie, Alexanderplatz, and more. And after six hours of walking around the city, I was in awe of Berlin’s spirit and resilience. At sites like the Holocaust Memorial and Topography of Terror, Berlin proves that it’s not a city that shies from its past, but instead displays its scars and lessons with pride, for the whole world to see. 

When the tour ended, we stopped for some lunch at the Markthalle Neun, a food hall situated in the heart of Kreuzberg. The food hall attracts thousands of visitors weekly and has vendors serving up dishes from all over the world. If you end up going, be sure to check out Mogg’s pastrami sandwich and Sironi’s slices of pizza–and if you’re looking for something sweet might we suggest, Aunt Benny Cake’s. After lunch, we took the tram across town to visit the Hamburger Bahnhof, at the recommendation of V’s Art Director. Home to Berlin’s largest collection of contemporary art, the museum has an outstanding selection of works by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Beuys and more. 

“Autograph Collection Hotels” for the Hotel Luc images.
“Autograph Collection Hotels” for the Hotel Luc images.

And finally, after a full day of exploring, we made our way back to the hotel for our dinner reservation at the HERITAGE Berlin. As of late, the restaurant has been drawing in a stylish crowd with its creative takes on farm-to-table dishes. And while we’re not usually huge fans of hotel restaurants, the HERITAGE Berlin features a selection of thoughtful dishes and craft cocktails. My favorite was the “Tuna Heritage,” which featured crispy, seared tuna on a bed of kimchi. I also couldn’t help but try their rendition of truffle fries, which were also really good. And for those with dietary restrictions, the restaurant features a great selection of gluten-free and vegan options. Although I was too full for dessert, the waitress was kind enough to bring out a small selection of house-made chocolates, which were just as delectable as they sound. 

While the Hotel Luc, Autograph Collection is great for travelers looking to soak up the central neighborhood of Berlin and its attractions, the Marriott also has another option in Berlin. Just off the Potsdamer Platz, an area that’s been recently developed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, The Ritz Carlton, Berlin is conveniently placed for shopping, museums, and key attractions like the Brandenburg Gate, which is in walking distance (less than 10 minutes). The hotel’s decor is classic of Old Europe, complete with baroque chandeliers, marble staircases and Art Deco-inspired furnishings. Aside from the French-themed brasserie and bar, there’s also a comprehensive wellness area (pool, whirlpool tub, sauna and fitness center) on the lower floor. 

Copyright 2019 Matthew Shaw. See licence supplied with this image for full terms & conditions. Copy available at: www.matthewshaw.co.uk/copyright.html Not for use by architects, interior designers or other hotel suppliers without permission from Matthew Shaw.
Copyright 2019 Matthew Shaw. See licence supplied with this image for full terms & conditions. Copy available at: www.matthewshaw.co.uk/copyright.html Not for use by architects, interior designers or other hotel suppliers without permission from Matthew Shaw.

Both hotels, The Ritz Carlton, Berlin and Hotel Luc, Autograph Collection, are participating in Marriott Bonvoy’s new global campaign. #30stays300days celebrates this return to travel and focuses on the transformative power of travel. With their new campaign, Marriott invited people from all over the world to connect on social media and share their best travel memories. And out of thousands of submissions, three lucky travelers were selected to head out on a global adventure of a lifetime. Over the span of 300 days, these guests will be visiting 30 different Marriott hotels across the globe. Mariott Bonvoy pays for airfare, hotel stays, and on-property activities like spa services and destination experiences. And for those itching to get out there and start traveling again, consider this your sign to start planning your next adventure. 

Copyright 2018 Matthew Shaw. See licence supplied with this image for full terms & conditions. Copy available at: www.matthewshaw.co.uk/copyright.html Not for use by architects, interior designers or other hotel suppliers without permission from Matthew Shaw.

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