The four-star 25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin offers a fascinating peek into the Berlin Zoo along with the unpolished and edgy artistic ethos characteristic of the 25 Hours hotels. This review is definitely partial to the cuddly toy monkeys as well as great apes beyond the hotel walls!
The official check-in time for 25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is 3 PM, which left us with nearly three hours to while away. So, we decided to walk the 3.5 km from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to the hotel on the other side of the famed Tiergarten, a huge park complex littered with lakes, bridges and exotic trees and birds.
We love long walks, because it means you can pause wherever you like. And on this route, we found much to explore; including the President’s Palace, Victory Monument, and a partly ruined church. But more about that in another post. Let’s fast forward to 2 PM, when we finally made it to 25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin and were delighted to find that our room was ready!
Finding the hotel wasn’t as straightforward as we’d hoped though. We made it to Bikini Berlin, which is a huge mall, and imagined that the hotel might be inside the mall complex. After 10 minutes of aimless wandering, we realised we might be wrong. Indeed, the hotel entrance was tucked away into a corner on the right side of the mall.
Enter, and you’ll find a vintage car to pose beside.
25 Hours hotels have so much character, and they all share a penchant for vintage elements and edgy art. We opened the door, to be confronted by a huge artwork depicting a boy clicking a photograph. Below, an off-white vintage car enhanced the feeling of standing in a garage. And let’s not forget the bicycle hanging from the ceiling – a common motif in the 25 Hours hotel decor.
We had to take the lift to the third level to reach the reception, which was a mild departure from entering a hotel and looking straight into the eyes of check-in staff! After collecting our keys and media kit, we let our eyes (and camera) wander.
The lobby holds many treasures
Monkeys abound at the lobby, inviting you to cuddle them, buy them, or take a cue by finding a tree to climb yourself (just kidding). What else you can expect:
There’s ample space to put your feet up and relax, or hold a brainstorming session with your friends. Those colours will probably help you think better!
The work stations
Forgot your laptop at home? It’s not a problem, you can check emails and do whatever you need to do at the cute work stations outside the lounge.
The books and bakery
The bakery at the lobby serves delicious snacks, coffee and juice; so just find a seat (or hammock) and browse through the books and magazines.
The hammocks and monkeys
There are loads of hammocks to swing on, and tons of soft, furry monkeys to grab. If you’d rather have the real thing, just stick your nose to the wall-to-ceiling glass windows and you might see an ape lounging around in its enclosure. Yes, 25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is right next to Berlin Zoo, and you enjoy panoramic views of the jungle from the rooms, the reception and the top-floor bar and restaurant.
The bakery lets you grab a cup of coffee and say, a croissant, to go with your favourite novel as you cuddle up on one of the cosy chairs nearby. But you could even step outside to soak up the sun on the terrace. And yes, food and drinks are served outside as well. Beyond, there’s the performance stage belonging to the Bikini Berlin mall.
Rooms perch on the precipice of wilderness.
Our sixth floor Jungle M room had a heavenly view of the ape and elephant enclosure at Berlin Zoo, best enjoyed on the comfy hammock beside the transparent glass wall. Though not a balcony, we could open the middle window and stick our heads out for a breath of fresh air. The bathroom had no door, though it was adequately hidden; and while showering, we could enjoy a view of the room and beyond. A canvas messenger bag and bluetooth speakers were ours for the duration of the stay, as was a cuddly toy monkey.
In our media kit, we found that the hotel had gifted us a bottle of Pijökel, a herbal liqueur with an interesting history. Translating to ‘our little thing’, Pijokel refers to an oddly shaped hunk of wood that a bunch of boys discovered near Bremen in 1955. They began visiting it each year, and eventually crafted a drink to pay homage to the ritual. Pharmacist Kuno Grote used a secret formula but the ingredients do include flavourful spices like cloves and cardamom. We had the 40ml bottle after dinner and found its sweet, vanilla notes to be uniquely invigorating.
Not all rooms at the hotel overlook the jungle. Some have a view of the city’s famous landmarks, including the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. The larger rooms come with a free Schindelhauer bike as well.
The sauna comes stocked with all things delicious.
The sauna on the ninth floor (just one level below the bar and restaurant) overlooks the zoo and is stocked with all the herbal teas, soft drinks and beer that you’ll ever want after a steaming hot therapy.
Little things we loved
Flavoured water and candy at the reception
Feel free to slake your thirst with the jugs of cucumber and lemon water available at the lobby. Children would enjoy the gummy bear vending machine.
Armchair at every level.
We like taking the stairs sometimes, and what a good thing, for we’d never have discovered these little sitting spaces otherwise.
An elevator that mimicked an aquarium
You end up wishing that your elevator rides would last a bit longer, because the moment you swoop up, glittering fishes swoop up on the walls in the all-pervading darkness. Few experiences are quite so magical!
A noir-esque corridor leading to the rooms
We were quite taken aback by this corridor leading to our room but what’s life without a dash of mystery, eh?
Sipping and supping at Monkey Bar and Neni Berlin
Neni Berlin and Monkey Bar are among the most coveted dining destinations in Berlin and you’d do well to reserve a table in advance. By day, the restaurant is filled with light, letting you enjoy sweeping views of the jungle or Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, depending on where you’re seated. And by night, the bar transforms into a dimly-lit den of revelry, with diners spilling out onto the terrace for mesmerising views of Berlin.
In a nutshell…
With a world-class restaurant and bar, the hotel is worth a visit even if you only have time for an evening rendezvous. Book your stay at 25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin.
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