by Shawn Thomson
Centrally located on Torstraße in Berlin's hotspot Mitte district, Soho House'a recently-opened branch of their private members club and hotel joins the handful of other boutique hotels in the area, introducing new cosmopolitan heights to the formerly Bohemian town. Like their other outposts, the House teems with their standard amenities, as well as highlights that include a rooftop pool, a 30-seat cinema that hosts nightly screenings and events, and (taking a cue from the Ace) vintage record players occupying most rooms—complete with vinyl LPs.
The 40 rooms, on four floors of the eight-story building, range from spacious 118 square-meter layouts with free-standing baths, dining tables and seating areas to smaller attic rooms that have a dormitory feel with wooden beds and steel cabinets. All the interiors benefit from the 1928 architecture provided by the listed late-Bauhaus building (a former department store turned Communist Party archive, see the striking symmetrical façade above), outfitted by Susie Atkinson. Her design reinvents the space, mixing English charm with industrial chic.
The library, stocked with art and design books for purchasing or loan, features original shelving imported from the revered London Library. Three event spaces on the second floor (with a central balcony overlooking Torstraße) play off its communist roots—once the home of the Politisches Buro, it's aptly dubbed Politbüro and has its original wood paneling.
For pure unwinding, the heated pool, stunningly tiled with green Pyrolave volcanic stone and surrounded by timber decking, striped sun loungers and umbrellas, makes a picturesque place to lounge. Also available to guests and members, the Cowshed Relax spa offers facials, massages, and body treatments, along with sauna and steam room, while the Cowshed Active gym has yoga and pilates classes.
Later this year will see not only the introduction of a Cecconi’s restaurant to the ground floor of the Berlin House (the brand's largest to date) in Autumn, but the next city to get their own club. Look out for Miami's Soho Beach House, projected to open late 2010. For more images of the Soho House Berlin see the gallery below.
To book (rates start at €75 for members and €100 for non-members), visit Mr. and Mrs. Smith