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

Family-friendly Christmas in Chattanooga: Elves, fairies and Santa!
Family-friendly Christmas in Chattanooga: Elves, fairies and Santa!

Chattanooga, less than two hours away from Atlanta, offers a great Christmas getaway for ATL residents, especially those with kids. The little ones will be all a'shiver with sheer Christmas spirit when they see the Sugar Plum Fairy Village, the Enchanted Garden of Lights, ride the Polar Express or do any of the other great Chattanooga...
A warm winter welcome amid the snowy mountains of Wyoming
A warm winter welcome amid the snowy mountains of Wyoming

It was dark by the time we made the short drive from the city of Casper, Wyoming, up the winding switchback road to the top of Casper Mountain. The moon the only light. The wind the only sound in the chill night. With snow piled several feet high from November until mid-May, the only way in to the cabin where we'd be staying on Crooked Pine Trail was...
Travelers love airline flash sales but the ultra-cheap fares are becoming less common

The Twitter ad seemed too good to be true: fares starting at $20 on JetBlue Airways.  A few hours after the ad appeared last week on the social media site, it was gone, leaving would-be travelers frustrated that they missed the remarkable deal.   Those who clicked too late ended up on a page advising: “This promotion has ended...
Talk Travel: Is Puerto Rico ready for visitors?

Q: Do you have any idea when resorts in Puerto Rico will be open and local attractions ready for visitors? I'd like a warm weather vacation, and support the island.  A: According to the most recent status report from the Caribbean Tourism Organization, 72 percent of Puerto Rico's hotels are now open, with many of those located in the San Juan...
How to help a stricken island called home
How to help a stricken island called home

For two weeks after the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September, Frances Westerman, a retiree from Kent in northwestern Connecticut, got information from Puerto Rico only in dribs and drabs, she said. Power and cellular towers were down, and she couldn’t connect with anyone at the condo complex in the island’s southwest where she spends...
More Stories