A Berlin hotel inspiring Grimm’s fairy tale dreams


Check In: Grimms Hotel, Berlin

Grimm’s Potsdamer Platz, Flottwellstrasse 45; grimms-hotel.de

Rates

Double rooms from 98 euros ($106)

Basics

Welcome to the fun house. Opened last year, the second Grimm’s Hotel in the German capital is bigger, bolder and more tranquil than its little brother, thanks to an eye-catching wedge-shaped building and nearby green spaces. The design is inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales, infusing the flamboyant lobby and 110 rooms and suites with bright colors and strange characters. Outfitted with a wall of wooden shingles and a fireplace crackling with digitally generated flames, the faux-lodge lobby is a kaleidoscope of hues and textures. Trippy, color-soaked forest scenes — maidens, wolves, giant mushrooms — cover the wall over the reception desk, while the lounge is inhabited by a sculptural wild boar (propping up an end table) and a lamp shaped like a rabbit. Chairs and couches in a mishmash of forms, colors and patterns (calfskin, plaid, orange, turquoise) complete the hallucinogenic atmosphere.

Location

No breadcrumb trail is necessary to find your way to the hotel, which is tucked in a niche alongside a tranquil park and canal near the bright lights and crowds of Potsdamer Platz, the Times Square of Berlin. A 10-minute walk brings you to its shopping malls, multiplex cinemas, restaurants and casino. The Berlin Philharmonic and Gemaldegalerie museum, known for European art, are also nearby.

The Room

Angular and white, the uncluttered room was suffused with light from large windows and featured a small balcony. Fabrics and surfaces in autumnal colors — brown, beige, gray — enhanced the relaxed vibe. Silvery contemporary

lamps, a flat-screen TV and a sliding wall panel that hid a spacious lighted closet all provided reasonable functionality, although certain standard features of contemporary hotel rooms (docking station, coffee maker, minibar) were conspicuously absent. One wall had a colorful fairy-tale mural rendered in pixilated, geometric forms. Its repeating, futuristic c images — a blond princess beckoning to a frog in a golden crown — appeared to allude to the story of the Frog Prince.

The Bathroom

More than a kiss from a fairy-tale princess would be required to transform the rather pedestrian bathroom into something special. Though clean, the narrow, minimalist space had no tub and lacked standard extras: robes and toiletries (there was a wall-mounted tube of dual shampoo-shower gel).

Amenities

The small, efficient gym houses a Technogym treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike and more — as well as views of the green spaces nearby — while the adjacent park has an outdoor jogging track. When it’s warm, guests can use the top-floor sun deck.

Dining

The Wishing Table proved surprisingly mainstream in décor and menu. The specialties are burgers and tart flambé (an Alsatian dish suggesting a rectangular thin-crust pizza), and changing German seasonal dishes (many named for fairy tales). The magic, alas, was wanting: No burgers were available. So we ended up with a solid tart flambé with ham and a serviceable salad with pumpkin and mushrooms.

The Bottom Line

With its contemporary architecture, a funky lobby, spotless rooms and easy access to Potsdamer Platz, the hotel is visually enchanting, comfortable and practical. Yet spotty service, skimpy in-room amenities and a half-baked restaurant experience spoiled the fairy tale ending.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Indoor velodrome expected to draw cyclists to Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — An indoor cycling track in Detroit is expected to draw bike riders from other cold-weather states and across the U.S. while giving inner-city youth the opportunity to participate for free in the fast-moving and growing sport.  The Lexus Velodrome, which will have its grand opening Monday, is in an inflatable, climate-controlled...
Exploring the archaeological wonders of Jordan
Exploring the archaeological wonders of Jordan

In Jordan’s extraordinary rose-red “Lost City” of Petra, I have just huffed up 700 zigzagging stone-carved steps to the ancient mountaintop High Place of Sacrifice with its sacred altar and goat blood drain. And now, along a dirt trail, I rest in a rug-draped souvenir stall while an octogenarian Bedouin woman — who is traditionally...
How to make sure you travel with medication legally

Travelers often pack medications when they go abroad, but some popular prescription and over-the-counter ones Americans use for things like pain relief, better sleep, allergies and even the common cold are illegal in some countries.  The United Arab Emirates and Japan, for example, are among the most restrictive nations, but many ban or restrict...
Travel deals: Discounted lodging at 18 ski resorts and a houseboat rental special

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   --Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina in Florida is offering a free fifth night plus a resort credit. The Escape to Paradise package costs about $1,200 for five nights, including taxes; the free night is worth about $300. Guests also receive a $100 resort credit per stay...
U.S. travel industry unites to fight decline in foreign tourism

As more international travelers decide to skip America, 10 business associations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association have created a travel industry group aimed at reversing the growing unpopularity of the U.S. as a vacation destination.  Historically, America had only to sit back and let foreign tourists...
More Stories