BERLIN: IN PURSUIT OF LUXURY

Berlin’s opulent offerings have established it as a haven for discerning visitors the world over. This exciting cosmopolitan city boasts a wide range of amenities; cultural, architectural, culinary and (of course!) luxury goods are all abundantly represented. With even more enticing products and services being slated for 2015, here is a sampling of some of the finest:

Cuisine

Celebrated Michelin star chef Tim Raue leads the culinary pack with his minimalist La Soupe Populaire restaurant located in the 19th century brewery-turned-arts center Bötzow Brewery. Nearby, in what was once the main machinery building, Gregor Scholl can be found preparing decadent cocktails at Le Croco Bleu Bar.

Recent additions to the cooking scene include Roland Mary’s Café Grosz and the stylish Kudamm N° 195 while high-end favorites including Pauly Saal , Les Solistes and VAU were each rewarded with their first Michelin star last year.

Lunch at Pauly Saal

The newest hipster hangout is Monkey Bar at the 25hours hotel, a decadent venue serving excellent cocktails, wines and features exceptional views of the Berlin Zoo (didn’t see that one coming did you?).

Accommodations

The number of well-to-do international visitors has been steadily increasing in recent years, especially those from the Arab Gulf States, Russia and China.

In my humble opinion, that’s probably due to the exceptional services available at Berlin’s 27 ultra-luxe hotels. For the epitome of style and elegance, standouts include the Ritz-Carlton Berlin and the Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin .Incredible massage on offer; imagine a mixture of caviar, champagne and diamond dust! The Adlon Kempinski was once the playground for European royals turned hotspot for celebrity heavyweights such as Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson and Marlene Dietrich. Truth be told, charming boutique hotels are my preference when traveling; In Berlin, love the inviting elegance of the Schlosshotel & Das Stue.

Activities

Berlin boasts a rich and historic culture accessible to all wants and tastes. Discerning sophisticates will appreciate the city’s traditional grand theatres: the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the Komische Oper and the Deutsche Oper Berlin all offer diverse entertainment including opera, orchestras and classical concerts.

If art is closer to your idea of entertainment, Berlin has 440 galleries to keep you busy. Can’t decide? Try the latest trend: private collection viewing.

Visit the Bunker of Christian Boros, a former shelter space turned fabulous exhibition venue. Socialite Erika Hoffmann invites art aficionados to a private showing in the former factory buildings of the Sophie-Gips-Höfe. Or try the Me Collectors Room by Thomas Olbricht, a tiny selection of Berlin’s largest art collection.

On the river Spree, a unique way to experience the city is via yacht. A 4-hour tour includes views of the Märkisches Ufer, the Kottbusser Bridge Charlottenburg and the Bellevue Palace.

Shopping

Berlin offers a nice selection of high-end shopping centers with endless displays of luxury merchandise. The 100 year-old KaDeWe Berlin, Europe’s largest department store, is arguably the best example. Bikini Berlin, slated the first concept mall in the city, is located opposite the city zoo (popular place) and features three levels of young designer pop-up stores.

For one-of-a-kind fashions, specialty boutiques abound. The Corner is a sleek celebrity favorite where the likes of Jude Law and Claudia Schiffer have been spotted eying the unique merchandise. Quartier 206 has mirrored displays featuring local labels right alongside designer classics like Yves Saint Laurent. Sports car fanatics will appreciate Lamborghini’s luxury fashion store, the first from the power brand in Europe.

And for the visitor that has everything, Frau Tonis offers clients the opportunity to produce their own personal fragrance. A wonderful memento of an unforgettable metropolis.

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