Das Stue Berlin
The hotel is, in fact, a rethink of Berlin’s former Royal Danish embassy, a landmarked 1930's structure with its own story and great bones. A stately, slightly curved grey stone facade greets guests outdoors. Inside, an overhead wave of hundreds of tiny lights draws them into a grand entrance hall flanked by two sweeping staircases. Under the lights, a jaw-dropping sculpture of a crocodile’s head prompts visitors to decelerate, marvel, and transition into an environment that brilliantly melds the contemporary and traditional.
Consisting of an historical portion and a new addition by Potsdam-based Axthelm Architects, the 78-room hotel is located in a traditional diplomatic neighbourhood. The area’s past is laden with historical importance, influence, and power. The many grand embassy buildings surrounding the hotel are a testament to the district’s longstanding international orientation.
The virtuoso of interior design, Patricia Urquiola, created the look of all the hotel’s public areas. In the lounge, whimsical shapes and experimental use of colour, texture, and high-quality materials like copper abound. Many of the furnishings are her own designs; she curated other objects, like leather animals in the shape of rhinos, hippos and buffalo that humorously refer to the zoo (revellers in the bar might be surprised to see one of the ostriches looking right back at them). Behind the seating area, a trapezoidal bar has already become one of Berlin’s most elegant meeting points.
Back in the rooms and suites, guests can retreat to the spatial clarity and muted palette of spaces conceived by the Spanish architectural office LVG Arquitectura. All furnishings are bespoke; splashes of colour show up on textile accessories and photographs on the walls (selected by the owners); many of the rooms feature sliding walls for extra privacy or, conversely, a more expansive atmosphere.
The love and appreciation for art of the owners of Das Stue is constantly visible throughout the whole property. All public areas display a curated selection of their private collection, boasting an impressive range of early fashion photography and portraits. Guests can marvel at black-and-white works from the likes of Horvat, Steichen or Newton, commissioned from magazines like Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue from the 50s and 60s as well as distinctly private shots of movie stars like Dorian Leigh, Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich, captured by Penn, Avedon or Bohrmann. Catalogues about the works on display are available at the concierge.
Sculptures like the crocodile’s head of French artist Quentin Garel or Benedetta Mori’s meshwire animals act as a reminiscence to the adjacent zoo and were acquired exclusively for the hotel.