When you hear the name ‘25h Bikini Hotel’, I can only imagine the type of images which come to mind. Probably a Vegas style pool party at a trashy hotel, rather than a sleek, design hotel in a converted office block in the west of Berlin.
The name Bikinihaus, actually comes from a nickname the Berliners had for the building when it opened in 1950; mainly because it was separated into two parts with a gap in the middle…. I suppose it was the 1950’s, and bikinis were new back then.
The surrounding area has undergone some extensive development over the last twenty years, and the final stage was the opening of the Bikini Berlin ‘concept mall’. The mall is located next door to the hotel, and are both owned by the ultra cool 25 hours’ group which have a collection of ‘design hotels’. FYI this mall is a shopper’s paradise, so make sure you check it out. Plus, you can get a great view of the monkey enclosure from inside.
And voila… now you know why its called 25h Bikini hotel!
The hotel inside is sleek, modern, quirky, and even a little bit novelty. The perfect combination for us design types. Each room comes equipped with its own soft toy monkey. Well the hotel does over look the Berlin zoo I suppose! The roof top bar is also aptly named ‘The monkey bar’, but I’ll come back to that later.
Its what you would expect from a ‘Design hotel’. Werner Aisslinger designed the urban jungle interiors, reflecting the area and its surrounding greenery and animal inhabitants next door. There’s plenty of hanging wicker planters, and foliage walls in the communal spaces. The bedrooms come with their own house plants too- just check out the leafy aspidistra which greeted me when I arrived in my room.
Speaking about the rooms, a favourite feature was the copper sheet head board behind the bed. It certainly looked like it had some stories to tell!
The rooms are hipster, minimal chic. When you check in you have the choice of a jungle or an urban room (the jungle rooms are more £££). The jungle rooms over look the zoo enclosures, and the urban rooms are located at the front which over looks the war damaged spire of the Kaiser Wilhem memorial church and the cities skyline.
I had an urban room which had plenty of exposed concrete, sleek matt black tiles with black grout in the bathroom/ toilet, all sat against teal blue walls with pops of coloured electrical cords and a brightly coloured blanket. The use of colour had been cleverly considered with lots of zingy pops of bright yellow and green, while the bathroom is all matt black.
The bedrooms have a studio layout, with the bathroom sink located in the middle of the room with dual mirrors and heated flooring. Mine even had a lime green corner futon with hanging retro binoculars to enjoy the view from the front of the hotel which was a unique feature.
The bed was large, comfortable and clean. There’s minimal hanging space, but it doesn’t seem to matter as I only had two nights there anyway.
The hallways are adorned with white neon lights for the room numbers, which pop against the dark walls in the corridors and have a slight shining resemblance… in a cool chic way of course.
The staff are young and friendly, and on the 3rd floor reception/area you can book the use of the free bicycles, or just enjoy the communal spaces/ computers. There’s an in-house bakery and a couple of fur lined hammocks and rope swings to have fun on too . You can even buy a beer at the bakery if you don’t want to tackle the bar of an evening.
Aside from the bakery, there’s the Neni restaurant upstairs on the top floor which also doubles up as the breakfast room (rooms can have breakfast included). Dinner is Mediterranean cuisine, and a booking is pretty essential as it’s a popular choice for the locals and hipsters visiting Berlin. On the same top floor is the infamous ‘Monkey bar’ that has colourful lounge furniture and a wrap around roof terrace. It serve’s plenty of cocktails, mixers and there’s always a DJ playing some tunes to keep it lively.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to experience the rooms at the back which look out over the zoo…. But I suppose I’ll just have to come back another time.