On the corner of a busy junction in Berlin's happening Mitte district stands an imposing late-Bauhaus building that has had several incarnations. It was a department store, the headquarters of the Hitler Youth and a repository for the archives of the former East Germany's ruling Socialist Unity Party. It was also the home of a historical institute run by the Marxist state. These days, though, it's home to the fabulous and well-heeled: the 82-year-old building has been acquired by the London-based Soho House Group for use as a private club but with guest rooms that can be booked by nonmembers.
The air-hockey table and hopscotch area in Soho House Berlin's vast concrete and steel reception convey the kind of playful, informal welcome expected of a group that has long attracted members from the creative and media professions. But there's also plenty of grownup amusement, from the Cowshed Relax Spa and a private cinema to the slick Club Floor, where hours are easily lost sipping cocktails in the embrace of the bar's Bauhaus-era velvet sofas, or reclining by the rooftop pool on stylish loungers.
The 40 guest rooms come in six sizes, the largest at 118 sq m. Textured, unfinished walls are offset with vintage-look furniture and unexpected amenities (the vinyl-record players and LPs are a delight). There are hints of Britishness here and there tea and biscuits in the bedrooms, for example, and toiletries from Babington House, an affiliated property in the Somerset countryside but by and large, designer Susie Atkinson's vision remains true to period and place.
Rooms for nonmembers start from around $130 per night. See sohohouseberlin.com for more.