Why did you pick Berlin?
I’ve always wanted to visit the hippest capital in Europe and thought the upcoming Early May Bank Holiday seemed like the perfect time for a trip over. And also a great opportunity to hone my (slightly dodgy) German language skills…
Why did you pick Hotel Zoo?
Great location, charming staff, beautiful interiors, relaxed vibe, striking design… You walk through the grand doors of Hotel Zoo and immediately know you have landed somewhere special. Follow the tiger-filled carpet along to the lobby, marvel at the intricate lights hanging from the ceiling and bright, plush furniture… Meticulous attention to detail is evident throughout – every little element of the design has been thoughtfully considered and the result is breathtaking. Look closer and you’ll notice, true to its name, the decorative animals dotted about the hotel. From elephant lamps to paintings of lions – it almost feels as if you’ve entered an exotic wonderland. Our room was no exception to the beautiful design – light and spacious with a good splash of colour, it was the perfect place to relax after a hard day’s exploring.
What was your favourite place in Hotel Zoo?
I actually really loved the bar where we sat and enjoyed a really fantastic pot of tea (sounds typically British, I know). People may think we’re crazy, but for the tea-obsessed Brits finding a ‘good cuppa’ when on holiday is the ultimate treat. The bar itself is really cool – darkly lit with lovely, green leather armchairs, shelves of books and little tables laden with fresh flowers. Your tea (in a giant teapot) comes accompanied by a little bag of popcorn made behind the bar and we sat back, relaxed and chatted the evening away – heaven. There’s also a little courtyard next to the bar which would be a lovely spot to bask in the afternoon sun with a good book.
What was your favourite part of the trip?
I think it’s a close toss up between the weather and the Weißbier. The weather was absolutely glorious the whole time – sunny, not a cloud in sight. It was just the perfect temperature to explore the parks and, of course, numerous biergartens. Berlin has such a carefree, vibrant atmosphere and the sunshine really emphasised this.
What was the best discovery you made?
Monkey Bar rooftop bar, very near the hotel, which overlooks the Berlin Zoo. This was recommended to us by the lovely bartender at the hotel because Hotel Zoo’s own stunning terrace bar was closed at the time (due to open the second week of May). The bar was uber cool with great drinks and even greater views. We spent a lovely afternoon overlooking the animals in the zoo whilst sipping on quirky cocktail creations – including a popcorn, rum and passionfruit number (my absolute new favourite).
What was your favourite meal on the trip?
The food throughout our trip was just divine. As a family we used to spend our summer holidays in Bavaria so I relished the opportunity to revisit my favourite childhood dishes. Especially Käsespätzle, which is the German version of macaroni cheese, although even more delicious. Unfortunately the restaurant GRACE, at Hotel Zoo, is only open Tuesday – Sunday so we didn’t get the chance to visit but, if the delicious breakfast is anything to go by, then I imagine it would have been phenomenal. Breakfast is also served in the Grace restaurant – an elegantly designed space featuring the most gorgeous plush green velvet chairs. The spread was absolutely fantastic: everything you could dream of from smoked salmon, fresh fruits and cereals, a variety of breads, cheese and cold meats and omelettes to order. We left well fuelled to start a day of exploring, albeit feeling slightly heavier.
What souvenir will you be bringing home with you?
Plenty of snacks. I absolutely love German supermarkets – they have got it so right. Peanut crisps, salty pretzels, plenty of great chocolate… Rest assured I’ll be fitting as many goodies into my suitcase as I possibly can.
Where are you headed to next?
I’ve just booked my trip to pretty, sun-kissed Puglia. I’m already dreaming of more great food and weather.
Planning a trip to Europe’s hippest capital? Check rates and availability for Hotel Zoo here.