Hotel de Rome is located in a former bank. // © 2017 Hotel de Rome
Feature image (above): Berlin’s Mitte district is home to the Brandenburg Gate. // © 2017 Getty Images
With its checkered past gone but not forgotten, Berlin has claimed its spot as a modern and cosmopolitan city — all while flaunting its artsy personality.
In particular, the lively and colorful Mitte district lends itself to wandering and exploring. Along with historical reminders of where East once met West, creativity and inspiration can be found across the district, from street walls doubling as canvases and restaurants featuring artfully crafted dishes to luxurious and sophisticated hotel lobbies.
From the food and custom cocktails on the table to the cozy and comfortable decor, everything at Katz Orange evokes a smile. Exposed brick walls, colorful throw pillows, fresh-cut flowers and a light fixture made with ping-pong balls draws many diners away from their table for a better look. Menus change with the season, but whether it’s a cocktail, entree or dessert, clients will find decorative, edible garnishes that make every dish intriguing and loaded with texture.
Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, be sure to also see Rausch Schokoladenhaus (a 10-minute drive from Katz Orange). Berlin’s unique artistic flair shines in sugary form here, where chocolate is used to create small-scale replicas of local landmarks.
At the historic Bebelplatz plaza in central Mitte, Hotel de Rome sits on the site of the former headquarters of Dresdner bank. Carefully restored, the hotel is the result of a striking combination of historical architecture and contemporary design. Space that was once the bank’s executive offices are now suites, and the jewel vault still sparkles, only in the form of an indoor swimming pool. In true Rocce Forte fashion, the hotel makes it clear from the moment guests walk in the door that it is not shy with color, and it takes pride in being unique. All lobby furnishings are black and accented with bright flowers. A birdcage hanging from the ceiling is outlined with red neon lights, and other fun red accents continue throughout the property’s 145 guestrooms and suites. Hotel de Rome’s location is also within walking distance to other architecturally renowned sights such as Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag.
Along with shopping, the Hackescher Markt area in central Mitte is known for its labyrinth of courtyards filled with shops, cafes and restaurants. Located to the right of the main entrance, off Rosenthaler Strasse, is an alley affectionately referred to as Graffiti Alley. The area is a colorful and ever-changing dedication to the city’s talented street artists. The mix of colors, themes and techniques vary from one end of the alley to the other, so be sure to allow yourself time to stroll to the end and back.
Graffiti Alley is also where you’ll find the entrance to Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind. You can see the 1940s factory and a secret room where Weidt hid several Jews to protect them from persecution during World War II.