Check In: Grimms Hotel, Berlin
Grimm’s Potsdamer Platz, Flottwellstrasse 45; grimms-hotel.de
Double rooms from 98 euros ($106)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.