Today: Review of SO/ Berlin Das Stue, Germany
- Hotel website: SO/ Berlin Das Stue, Germany
- Location: Google maps
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso
Located in the former Danish embassy building, tucked at the edge of leafy Tiergarten and neighboring the Berlin Zoo, SO/ Berlin Das Stue is the city’s first luxury boutique hotel. The name refers to the Danish world “Stue”, which means “livingroom”. The 78 rooms & suites welcome guests with an invigorating yet harmonious ambiance. The Spanish design icon Patricia Urquiola created the interior that blends funky art with traditional and contemporary design, while animal motifs give a tip of the hat to the Berlin Zoo, next door. Susanne Kaufmann’s eponymous spa is an organic oasis. At The Casual Restaurant, every meal carries the artful signature of head chef Rico Kägebein, who combines regional products of high quality with spices from the entire Mediterranean, blended to simple but expressive modern dishes.
SO/ Berlin Das Stue features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Berlin.
Have you ever stayed at SO/ Berlin Das Stue? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more info and photos below my YouTube video):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- SO/ Berlin Das Stue is centrally located in the embassy district, between East and West Berlin. Berlin’s largest park, Tiergarten, is just across the street which means that guests have immediate access to a vast green oasis. Right next to the hotel is the historic Berlin Zoo, the largest zoo of Europe which hosts one of the widest varieties of species in the world. Although the hotels enjoys a quiet location in a residential area, several of Berlin’s top attractions are within walking distance. For example, guests can easily stroll through to the Brandenburg Gate or the Ku’damm shopping area and visit the numerous parks and museums of the city. Berlin airport (BER) is 40 minutes by car and the Central Station can be reached in 10 minutes.
- SO/ Berlin Das Stue is housed in the heritage-protected building of the former Royal Danish Embassy, which was built in the late 1930s by KaDeWe architect Johann Emil Schaudt. The building, designed in the style of Danish Classicism, is distinguished by its representative appearance. Clad with shell limestone panels, the round street-front facade recalls the commercial building architecture of the 1920s and 1930s. The design of the entrance area of the building is unusual. Schaudt formed a large entrance hall covered with travertine and granite, which is flanked by lateral staircases. At the end of the second World War, the embassy building was badly affected, along with many other buildings in the diplomatic quarter. A comprehensive overhaul took place in 1947.
- In 1978 Denmark sold the building to the housing company Neue Heimat and moved into a smaller domicile. Neue Heimat planned new residential buildings on the site; however, the building remained unused and was abandoned. At the end of 1983 the state of Berlin took over the building and finally in 1986 the German Federal Post Office established a training center for managers in the building. From 2005 till 2009, the building was abandoned and only used occasionally for events. Under the impulse of three families from Spain, Andorra and Panama, the building was renovated and opened in 2012 as the luxury hotel ‘Das Stue’. In 2018, the hotel was relaunched as SO/ Das Stue and is managed by Accor since then under the SO/ brand.
- The SO/ Berlin Das Stue Hotel features a lovely design created by famed Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola. The star designer conceived the design of public spaces and works with natural wood materials, muted colors, and copper. She used selected furniture from Molteni, B&B Italia & Floss Lights, among others. The entrance hallway, which features a showpiece crocodile sculpture, an impressive light installation, and a majestic lateral staircase, leads through to the reception area, lounge and bar, and restaurant. In the historical part of the hotel, each floor has a special atmosphere, with the decorations conveying the long history of the building. Elegant original parquet floors, French doors, restored wooden inlays and the enormous brightness create a contrast to the immediately captivating, comfortable seating by Patricia Urquiola.
The SO/ Berlin Das Stue Hotel has 78 guest rooms and suites in seven categories. The Spanish architects LVG Arquitectura finalised the room and suite design. Each of the rooms has a discreet, modern furnishing made of exclusive materials. The furnishings vary from room to room, some have Hay bedside tables or unique furnishings such as an inviting chaise longue. The rooms have a view of the Berlin Zoo or the close Tiergarten – 13 rooms have a terrace or a balcony. Each room has dark oak parquet flooring and a rain shower, some have an extra-large bathtub. The amenities in the bathroom are by GEZA SCHÖN. The photographs on the rooms’ walls are from the private collection of the hotel owner (the artist is André Rival).
- At the heart of the hotel is The Casual, a restaurant offering a laid-back ambiance for socializing over breakfast, lunch or dinner. The culinary philosophy for the all-day dining restaurant combines regional products of high quality with spices from the entire Mediterranean, blended to simple but delicious modern dishes. Next to the restaurant is a funky bar which has a unique view into the enclosures of the Berlin zoo, creating a unique atmosphere especially at night. The interior of the bar is made up of the creations of various designers, including pieces such as the “Bohemian armchair” designed by Patricia Urquiola for the Italian design company Moroso and the bizarre leather animals of the Omersa Company, which are handmade in Great Britain.
- The SO/ Berlin Das Stue Hotel has an intimate spa facility, which houses an exclusive wellness area with three massage rooms, a Finnish sauna, and a 14 m (46 ft) indoor pool. The various care products in the spa come from Susanne Kaufmann. The product line Organic Treats is a purely natural active ingredient cosmetic manufactured according to the strictest ecological principles. Susanne Kaufmann also runs her own spa in Bezau in Vorarlberg, Austria, where guests can experience the organic treatments. The hotel also features a training area with cutting-edge gym equipment from Technogym, which is free of charge for hotel guests to use. Carefully selected personal trainers also offer a wide range of workouts, whether in the gym, pool, or amidst the beautiful surroundings of Berlin’s Tiergarten Park.
The SO/ Berlin Das Stue Hotel has several art works on display, which range from historical to completely bizarre. The first object that guests encounter is an oversized crocodile sculpture by the Parisian artist Quentin Garel. Numerous breathtaking black and white photographs and portraits by artist André Rival can be seen on the surrounding walls and in the entrance area. Sculptures and paintings are distributed in all other public areas, playfully reminding guests that the SO/ Berlin Das Stue Hotel is adjacent to the zoo. This theme applies to the huge giraffe and gorillas of Milan artist Benedetta Mori in the entrance area as well as to the small leather animals of Omersa. These serve throughout the house either as cushions, footrests or mere decoration.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
- SO/ Berlin Das Stue Hotel touts on its website that its rooms & suites “rank among the largest hotel rooms in Berlin”. Unfortunately, that was not the case for my room (an Embassy room). Although my room did come with an outdoor terrace and had a stylish look, it felt small & compact and lacked place to store my luggage. I assume you need to book a higher room category for more space.
- SO/ Berlin Das Stue Hotel used to have a Michelin star restaurant – Cinco by Paco Pérez – which offered avant-garde cuisine and delectable Mediterranean meals crafted by the world-renowned chef Paco Pérez. Sadly, this restaurant has permanently closed its doors since the pandemic. Only one dining venue remains within the hotel – The Casual, which offers a laidback but rather uninspiring dining experience. IMHO, the closure of its Michelin star restaurants has somewhat affected the fame of the hotel and I can only hope that a new fine dining venue will soon reopen in the former Cinco restaurant, putting SO/ Berlin Das Stue again on the foodie map.
- SO/ Berlin Das Stue Hotel is located in the German capital’s embassy district and is a bit far from most of Berlin’s tourist attractions (although several of them are still within walking distance). The neighborhood feels quite residential and is not very lively at night, although there are some restaurants, bars and shops nearby.
- As mentioned above, the decor of SO/ Berlin Das Stue Hotel is a visual treat that invites guests to explore and discover. Although the interior will appeal to design-savvy travelers, the quirky and often bizarre decor will not appeal to all guests.
- The hotel’s breakfast buffet isn’t as lavish and outrageously decadent as the likes of the Adlon Kempinksi Berlin Hotel, but it still offers a decent selection of dishes and every element is of a very high quality.
- Location: 8/10
- Design: 8/10
- Pool: 7/10
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: 8/10
- Breakfast: 7/10
- Spa: 7/10
- Service: 9/10
- Wow factor: 8/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good 8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: get complimentary VIP perks at SO/ Berlin Das Stue when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
- Save money: read here my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like SO/ Berlin Das Stue (and/or receive many free perks).
- Save money: Accor Hotels has a loyalty program which I reviewed here and which allows you to collect points and exchange them for discounted stays at Accor properties, such as SO/ Berlin Das Stue.
- Room tip: book a higher room category for more space and better views.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Berlin is best visited between April and May (spring) or September through November (autumn), right before or directly after the summertime high tourist season. You’ll contend with fewer tourists, enjoy somewhat mild temperatures (the city’s weather is notoriously finicky), and also experience Berlin as the locals do, at its laid-back best.
HOW TO GET THERE
SO/ Berlin Das Stue is located in the heart of Berlin’s city center. By taxi and public transport from Berlin Airport, the trip to the hotel takes about 30 minutes and costs approximately EUR 55 by taxi and EUR 4 by public transport.
Below is a selection of my photos of SO/ Berlin Das Stue . To view more photos (including breakfast as well as dinner), click here.
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