By Jeremy Atiyah
24 May 2003
The Swissôtel is just one of the new buildings that have sprung up in the Zoo area of
West Berlin, designed to replace the tawdry city-centre blocks considered so
glamorous in the 1960s. In common with certain other hotels in
the five-star category, it is trying to promote itself as Swiss (efficient to a
fault), trendy (full of modern art) and classy (Anton Mosiman runs the
restaurant). It doesn't throb: don't expect crowds of flashy people. Instead
the lobby is a silent, almost modest haven, four floors up from the street.
Spaces throughout the hotel are sprinkled with paintings and sculptures from
the German artist Markus Lüpertz said to be worth €20m. Berlin
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Augsburger Strasse 44, 10789
Transport: there is little to see within walking distance of the hotel, apart from the zoo and lots of shops. But
Time to international airport: while From
ARE YOU LYING COMFORTABLY?
Your room is likely to have a soothing colour scheme of milk chocolate and butterscotch. The space at your disposal is not colossal, though the soft leather armchairs, potted orchids and original art on the walls will certainly suggest colossal expense. The bathrooms feature free loofer-mits and extra large tubs with space for two.
Keeping in touch: You can access the internet via your TV, though it will cost you a minimum of £5 every time you check your e-mails. Every room has modem sockets.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Double rooms cost from €120 (£86). You can book direct or through Leading Hotels of the World (00800 2888 8882; www.lhw.com).
I'm not paying that: Just round the corner is the Jugendgästhaus am Zoo (00 49 3129410) at Hardenbergstrasse 9a. A bed in a four-bed dormitory costs about £13.