You could be forgiven if, upon waking up at the Orania, you find it hard to believe you’re in Berlin.
One of the newest luxury hotels in Europe’s nightlife capital, Orania.Berlin occupies a muscular historic building constructed in 1913, and it is the latest selection for our series on exciting new hotels, The New Room with a View.
The dissonance comes from the alpine aesthetic found throughout the rooms and hotel, which seems odd for a hotel in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood. But when you wake up at midday incredibly hungover after a night out doing God knows what, there is something particularly comforting about being in the soft, warm environs of an alpine bedroom.
The hotel has 41 rooms in total, and mine looked out on the Oranienplatz through humongous arched windows that bathed the room in light. The accents, from the blanket to the upholstery, are crimson, and often decorated with elephants (a signature of the sister hotel in Bavaria, Schloss Elmau). The rooms, quite simply, were beautiful. The walls painted in a light goldenrod color amplified the large amounts of natural light. Rounding out the room decor are wood floors and wood paneling on the radiators. (My sole critique of the hotel, however, is the choice to have lime green waffle bathrobes.) The service was friendly without being intrusive, a balance that hotels often find harder that one might assume. Best of all, because of being on the square, it was largely quiet. Same goes for hallway noise, a big pet peeve of mine. Sleeping here was easy. Plus, the hotel is conveniently located near visitor favorites like Voo Store and my favorite post-apocalyptic bakery on the river, Die Backpfeife.
But perhaps it’s greatest highlight is its culinary calling card—the whole duck dinner. Served in the restaurant run by Managing Director & Chef Philipp Vogel where the old Oranienpalast Café resided, the meal (called Xberg Duck) is a four-course dismantling of a duck. Months later, I can still see the server carving it in front of us, and recall just how insanely good the crispy duck skin served in a sort of crepe tacos was.
I always leave Berlin exhausted, worn down by the relentless nightlife that I do not typically indulge in when home or even while traveling. But this time, I left a little less rough. I finally had a room where I felt content lounging about all day recovering.