25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin – an urban jungle hotel that breaks the boundary between the concrete streets of West Berlin and the lush green zoological park. For lovers of both city streets and the green outdoors like me, the 25hours Hotel is an impressive mix.
From the streets, we were stunned by the stark office-like building towering in front of us when we arrived. A former sewing and textiles factory, the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is another example of the constant redevelopment and reinventing of space that goes on in Berlin.
Inside 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin
Inside, plants hang from the ceiling, intertwined with the industrial steel beams stretching across the ceiling. This is the first taste we had of the hotel’s “urban jungle” theme. The concept was designed by Werner Aisslinger, who wanted Berlin’s 25hours Hotel to be a reflection of the city itself.
Once you take the lift up from the reception, you’ll be amused by funky animations which spiral across the sides of the lift. Exit onto your floor and you’ll find a grungy dark lit corridor with neon signs – a homage to Berlin’s nightlife – to lead you to your room.
Urban & Jungle Rooms
The coolest thing about the urban jungle concept at Bikini Berlin is the bedrooms. On one side of the hotel are the urban rooms, with muted colours, steel headboards and views of the cityscape.
On the other side of the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin are the jungle rooms, painted with a green palette and looking out over the miles of trees in the park below.
There are a couple of little touches that I loved in the rooms: the sweet little reminders to turn off the water on the shower gel bottles, the feet warming tiles in the bathroom, and the complimentary bikes you can cycle around the city on – if you have a higher end room, the bikes it already mounted on the wall for you.
A Unique Concept
The urban jungle concept is one of a kind. Each hotel in the 25hours group has it’s own concept, design and story to tell. Inside 25hours Bikini Berlin, you’ll find furniture sourced from local flea markets – just as you would inside a Berliners home.
Though 25hours Bikini Berlin collaborates with local start ups, designers and artists, not everything in the hotel is locally sourced. The walls are covered in artwork by Japanese artist Yoshi Sisling, while the food is Mediterranean influenced.
Breakfast in the Neni Restaurant
After a sound night’s sleep, it was breakfast time. The breakfast room, known as the Neni restaurant, is a magnificent giant greenhouse with beautiful dark green plants sweeping overhead and a wall of clear glass looking out over Berlin’s Zoo. Sitting there, it felt like the indoors and outdoors had somehow merged together.
The hotel pride themselves on their Balagan – which translates to positive chaos – style of food and eating. At breakfast, there was a hodge podge of coloured pots with different seeds, nuts, fruits and grains, and we stuffed ourselves with bowls of bircher oats, muesli, quork, yoghurt and honeycomb. We followed that up by devouring shakshuka with toasted rye bread. If you ask us, it was definitely the best breakfast in Berlin.
Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can turn up for breakfast and so long as it’s quiet you’ll be able to enjoy this crazy delicious amazing buffet. Make sure you go ravenously hungry though!
In true Berlin style, a clothes swap event was also going on in the foyer of the hotel when we were there. The swap encouraged people to stop and think about where their clothes came from and who made them. The event organisers asked everyone to turn their clothes inside out (to expose the labels) and pose for photos – I guess Luke and I weren’t quite stylish enough as our photo never turned up online.
The hotel has regular events on every third Thursday of the month where two different artists such as poetry slammers, hip hop artists, authors and so on come together to experiment with different ways of producing art. These events are free and open to the public, so check one out if you happen to be in the city.
More About Berlin
Travelling in Berlin? Don’t miss my Green Berlin Travel Guide, where you can find out about all of the coolest green urban spaces, the local lifestyle of health and sustainability and other green projects going on around Berlin.