Luxury knows no bounds when it comes to the Hotel Adlon Kempinski. The original Hotel Adlon built in 1907, was one of the most famous luxury hotel across Europe. Despite large portions of the hotel being destroyed in 1945, the Hotel Adlon has remained strong through its redevelopment and reopening as the Hotel Adlon Kempinski, in 1997. Situated just two minutes’ walk from Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, the hotel offers its guests elegance and glamour.
Welcome to the Hotel Adlon Kempinski
I roll up to the entrance of the Hotel Adlon Kempinski, my heart skipping a beat. Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson and the Queen of England have all been guests of this historic hotel. The doorman gracefully handles my heavy and oversized suitcase. I apologise and remind myself not to over pack next time.
Walking through the revolving doors, the lobby is revealed and I’m speechless (a rarity for me). My eyes dart from the indoor elephant fountain to the turquoise and silver upholstered lobby chairs to the golden- dome ceiling. I suddenly feel under dressed in my khaki-coloured slacks, white t-shirt and well-loved Superga canvas shoes. But the feeling fades when I approach the check-in desk full of warm smiles from the staff.
While checking in, I start thinking about the clothes in my suitcase. In a Cher (from Clueless) moment, I mentally swipe through each item of clothing until I settle on the perfect outfit. With my check-in complete, I’m guided toward the gloriously old-school elevators to be shown to my suite.
A Suite with a View
I watch the dial of the elevator move across the floor numbers in a semi-circular fashion, until we arrive at level six. I’m staying on the top floor, room 610. Stepping through the heavy door, I enter the most luxurious suite I’ve ever stayed in.
The first room is round with various cupboards and closets. But I don’t linger. In front of me, in the next room I notice two sets of large windows with an incredible view of Brandenburg Gate. I make a beeline for them, almost missing the gorgeous welcome gift of champagne, a chocolate Brandenburg Gate, and the most delicious fruit platter – whole pineapple and all! I collect an apricot from the platter and continue to the windows. Keen for a better look, I turn the window handle and watch in horror as the window starts to fall toward me. Have I just broken a window at Hotel Adlon Kempinski? Apparently in Germany, windows can open out or they can tip down. The panic subsides and my heart beats regularly again.
With the window surprise out of the way, I explore the rest of the suite. There’s a stunning canopy bed in front of me, with a desk at its foot. Next to the bed, a door opens on to a bathroom. In the centre, is a bathtub (my favourite place for relaxation, wine and reading a good book), and a shower to the side. There are two vanities in a ‘his and hers’ fashion; I end up using both.
Channelling Audrey, I change into a crisp white shirt and a pair of soft high-waisted shorts with a matching belt. It’s too hot to wear my boots so I put my Superga canvas shoes back on. I sweep my hair in a ponytail and my fringe slightly to the side. Equipped with rounded tortoiseshell sunglasses, I’m ready.
I’m lucky enough to have a friend living in Berlin. He takes me on a historical tour of the area. From the hotel, we walk toward Brandenburg Gate. He tells me about its history and that of the glass-domed parliament building nearby. From the glass-domed parliament building, you can see Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial, with its two thousand, seven hundred and eleven grey concrete slabs. The Holocaust Memorial was emotional. From there, we visited The Wall and Check Point Charlie. Berlin is a remarkable city with an incredible amount of history.
Guests at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski can organise a private historical tour through the hotel or simply exit the front doors and approach someone with a flag or sign saying, “walking tour”.
Champagne, Music and Saunas
Pop. The cork almost flies from my hands as I open the bottle of bubbles. With a glass of bubbles in one hand, and pieces of the chocolate Brandenburg Gate in the other, I sit on the bench in front of the open windows of my suite. I can’t imagine a better place to watch the sunset. Music swells from below and the sky is painted with the most vivid oranges and yellows.
When the sun goes down, Berlin comes to life. In the distance, a stage has been set up behind Brandenburg Gate for a street party playing classical music. I notice a tall cherry picker, and I’m told people bungee jump off it. I opt to jump into the pool instead.
Bathrobe on, I make my way to the pool and saunas for a late-night steam and swim. The pool has a Roman or Grecian feel to it. At the far end of the pool, in the centre, is a stone lions head. On either side, two artworks with a ‘Birth of Venus’ vibe. The water is divine.
Mahala Wallace stayed as a guest of Hotel Adlon Kempinski.
Unter den Linden 77, 10117 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 22610
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