Flying High in Berlin
The brasserie is called Le Faubourg, the bar is Lutece, breakfast is at Saint Germain, and the executive floor and suite elite are cosseted at the Club Etoile, so you’d be forgiven if you think you’re in the heart of Paris. Actually, the Hotel Concorde—would that be the Place or the late beloved aircraft?—is in the heart of Berlin. And, as a member of the Concorde Hotel group whose first hostelry opened in Paris over 150 years ago, it comes by its French associations honestly.
The Concorde Berlin has a lot more than pedigree going for it.
First, there’s location, location, location: A block off the Kurfurstendamm, the city’s broad boulevard popularly called the Ku’damm, and a few steps from the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the famous Zoo in what was formerly West Berlin.
As for the hotel itself, it was designed inside and out by the well-known Berlin architect, Jan Kleihus. His vision is of a piece: understated, elegant, with spare subtle details. The 17-storey limestone building, with rounded corners and a facade pierced by identical rectangular windows, rises in numerous setbacks to a graceful pinnacle. Inside square columns define a spacious two-story lobby with a dramatic silver-leaf ceiling, deep red carpet, and modern linear seating around a figure sitting on a white circular base. Translucent columns with interior neon strips complement the rectilinear theme. Red, white, and silver. Very dramatic.
Flanking the lobby is a handsome reception area with a long dark wood counter and a pair of sweeping staircases leading to a wide gallery with large paintings that overlooks the lobby.
Upstairs the hotel boasts the largest guest rooms in Berlin: 267 superior and deluxe rooms at 430 to 538 sq. feet, and 44 junior suites from 645 to 1076 sq. feet. The individually designed suites have varying delightful features; one all-white suite has a glass partition separating the living room from the bathtub that changes from opaque to clear at the touch of a button. In many rooms a free-standing closet functions brilliantly as a room divider between the sleeping and dressing areas, creating a walk-in closet in front of the bathroom. What makes the hotel so distinctive are the numerous elements, such as armchairs, lamps, doorknobs, and even carpets, that were exclusively designed for the hotel.
All rooms are decorated with exclusive prints by German modern artists, have free wifi, and the other customary amenities of a 5-star hotel, like flat screen TV, safes, and minibar. The hotel also offers a fully-equipped business center, and a spa and fitness center with a sauna, steam bath, and cold plunge pool.
As for dining, the main restaurant is a modern interpretation of a traditional brasserie; the cuisine is French with a Mediterranean spin. No surprise that its signature dishes are foie gras terrine, bouillabaisse, steak and frites, and tarte tatin. It’s open for lunch and dinner, plus Sunday brunch, and in good weather, you can dine al fresco on the terrace.
Hotel Concorde Berlin, Augsburger Str. 41, 10789 Berlin, Tel.: 800 888 4747; 011-49-30-800- 9990, www.berlin.concorde-hotels.com.