Sir Savigny – An urban crash pad elevated by plush furnishings and excellent service.
Dutch hotel brand Sir chooses the most interesting cities for its hotels: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Ibiza Town, Hamburg, and Berlin. And, as one would expect from a Design Hotels member, it does the best with the space available (which is often limited in these European hotspots). So, while Sir Savigny’s forty-four rooms are not big, and there is no space for some of the luxury hotel extras (there’s no pool or gym), its exquisite interiors do the thing that a good hotel should do – make you feel at home while making you feel special. Whether it’s the friendly staff taking time to sit with you in The Library to plan your day, sitting with your feet up in the courtyard beside the fire pit and the enormous “Drift Away” mural, or pressing the “dial-a-burger” button on the antique phone in your room while making yourself a cocktail from your minibar in an old writing desk, your experience at Sir Savigny will be anything but basic.
Sir Savigny – Location
- Address: Kantstrasse 144, Berlin.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: Savignyplatz S-Bahn station is a 2-minute walk (150m) from the hotel. The overground lines from there go directly into the center.
- Area: The hotel is in the upmarket former West Berlin “literary quarter” Charlottenburg. Kantstrasse is a major thoroughfare and Savignyplatz (75m) is one of the prettiest squares around. Nearby is the chicest end of the famous Kurfürstendamm boulevard (known as Ku’damm), where you’ll find all the international luxury brands as well as plenty of independent stores and galleries on side streets. It’s not the best area for nightlife (for that you’ll need to head east), but it’s very pleasant, with lots of good shopping, food, and attractions, and there are excellent public transport options, should you want to go elsewhere.
- How to Get There: From Berlin Central Station, it’s 10 minutes on the S-Bahn. From Tegel Airport, it’s 30 minutes (4 miles) by bus or 20 minutes by taxi. From Schönefeld Airport, it’s 30-40 minutes (15 miles) by taxi or 1 hour by public transport.
- Private Transfer: We use and recommend Welcome Pickups car service. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more than a taxi – about €49 from Brandenburg Airport – but can be worth it to avoid the long taxi queue and for the convenience of paying ahead.
- Handy To: Kurfürstendamm, Schloss Charlottenburg.
Sir Savigny – The Basics
- Ages: While the hotel is not adults only, most guests tend to be couples and travelers on a city break. Families can be accommodated.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: Same-day/next-day laundry services available (additional charge).
- Parking: The hotel does not have parking. There is a nearby public garage at design megastore Stilwerk (€15/day, 0.2 mile).
- Extras: Peaceful courtyard, bikes for hire, firepit, pillow menu, in-room dial-a-burger button.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- When to Book: There is often limited last-minute availability, but best to book at least 1-2 months ahead to get the room you prefer (the hotel is busiest in September and October).
- Phone: +49 30 2178 2638
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: sirhotels.com
Sir Savigny – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center.
- For Disabled Guests: There is an elevator but there are no barrier-free rooms. Also, the rooms are too small for wheelchair users.
- For Families: The rooms are on the compact side, with no room for extra beds or cribs. Under-12s stay free.
- Activities: Sir hotels offer their own tours and activities with passionate locals, e.g. craft beer tours/culture tours/yoga. Check the ‘Sir Explore’ section of the website for current partnerships. Activities must be booked well in advance.
Sir Savigny – Food and Drink
- Restaurant/Bar: The Butcher is the Sir hotel group’s mini-chain. This branch has a street entrance leading to an industrial-style open kitchen with a bar and stainless steel booths as well as plenty of seating in the cozier Library/lounge areas on the hotel’s ground floor and courtyard. It focuses on what it calls the “four B’s” – burgers, booze, beer, and breakfast – featuring high-quality ingredients and gourmet burgers (presumably to mop up the effects of excellent cocktails). It’s open daily from 7am until midnight (Sunday-Thursday)/2am (Friday-Saturday). $-$$.
- Breakfast: There’s a cold buffet breakfast (€12, 7-10:30am/11am on weekends), or guests can order from The Butcher, which offers pancakes, smoothies, eggs, granola, etc. $.
- Room Service: Room service is available during The Butcher’s open hours, offering the same menu (plus service charge).
Sir Savigny – Rooms
- Room Types: Petit ● Boutique ● Deluxe ● Suite • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: Rooms at Sir Savigny are 100% smoke-free but smoking is permitted in the courtyard.
- Best Room: In addition to the features that all rooms share (Nespresso machines, tea setup, rain showers, Sir bedding collection, pillow menu, air conditioning, Marshall bluetooth speakers, extravagant minibars, hairdryers, dial-a-burger button, books and custom art, bespoke furniture), the Sir Suite is larger (minimum 290 sqft) and features a king-sized bed, free-standing bathtub, and complimentary mineral water.
- Family Rooms: There are interconnecting rooms but no family rooms per se.
Sir Savigny – Local Transport
- Walking: The southwestern edge of the Tiergarten, next to the Bikini Berlin mall, is 1 mile from the hotel (it takes an hour to walk the 3 miles from the hotel right through the enormous Tiergarten to the Brandenburg Gate). It’s a 35-minute walk (2 miles) to Schloss Charlottenburg.
- Tram/Bus: Both buses that stop in Savignyplatz go east to the Tiergarten, from where the #100 bus route can be caught (which passes just about every major tourist attraction). From Ernst-Reuter-Platz (0.5 mile), there’s a bus directly to Schloss Charlottenburg.
- Subway: Savignyplatz S-Bahn station is a 2-minute walk (150m) away, from where you can catch the S3, S5, S7, and S9 lines.
- Taxis, Uber, Lyft: All taxis charge the same amount in Berlin, even Uber, but the company’s growth has been limited by local taxi firms, which have rallied to compete with apps of their own: TaxiApp and taxi.eu app represent a large number of local companies, including Taxi Berlin (+49 30 202020) and FunkTaxi Berlin (+49 30 261026).
Sir Savigny – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Insider Tour – This company offers a wide range of extremely well-reviewed tours (including Jewish Berlin, Third Reich Berlin, Cold War Berlin, and more) and their meeting point in East Berlin is conveniently outside the Zoologischer Garten Train Station, a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) from the hotel.
- Trabi Safari – One of the quirkier options and a must for any motorheads is to drive around the city in a Trabant, the car of the Soviet Union. You’ll see the multicolored little vehicles around and about, and navigating Berlin’s streets in one will give you more of a sense of real life in the GDR than just about anything else. Tour starts from Zimmerstrasse (opposite the Topographie des Terrors), 30 minutes via public transport.
Best Nearby Restaurants
Many German restaurants are still cash only, so don’t expect to be able to pay by card.
- 12 Apostoli – Relaxed pizzeria in the railway arches around the corner. $. (100m).
- Kuchi – From the same team as Funky Fisch, this place does a huge variety of sushi, sashimi, and Japenese curries. $-$$. (0.1 mile).
- Funky Fisch – Simply one of the best fish restaurants in the city, where you go up to the counter to choose your fish. $$. (0.2 mile).
- Buddha Republic – Well-presented Indian cuisine in a lantern-laden dining room. $$. (0.2 mile).
- Ottenthal – Michelin-recommended Austrian cuisine with plate-sized Wiener schnitzels. $$-$$$. (0.3 mile).
- La Tia Rica – Typical Chilean: think empanadas. Well-seasoned seafood or meat with rice or quinoa, and sides of corn, avocados, and homemade bread. And, of course, great wine. (0.3 mile).
- La Caleta – Casual and authentic Spanish restaurant that’s consistently rated as one of the best in the city. Specializes in paella and seafood. Reservations recommended. $$-$$$. (0.6 mile).
Best Nearby Bars & Cafes
- Der Kuchenladen – This place gets backed with people clamoring for its massive selection of delectable cakes. The perfect afternoon stop after sightseeing. (0.1 mile).
- Diener Tattersall – An old-school tavern, named after the 1950s boxer Franz Diener, and an old stable (Tattersall), which stood on this spot in the 1800s, this oddity now calls itself the “artist pub” thanks to the number of German celebrities who have graced its bar stools over the years. Basic but good German food and a wonderfully atmospheric watering hole. (0.2 mile).
- Schwarzes Cafe – 24-hour genteel cafe-bar with a punk soul (Iggy Pop and David Bowie used to come here in the 1970s). Serves inventive Italian-inspired meals that change weekly and all-day (and night) breakfasts, as well as the full gamut of bar drinks and cocktails. (0.2 mile).
- Coffee Drink Your Monkey – Funky, quirky cafe on Savignyplatz focusing on dozens of drink options (hot drinks, fresh juices, smoothies, milkshakes…) and simple muesli and sandwich options to eat (100m). Same owners run the nearby What do you Fancy Love? (0.3 mile).
- Bar am Steinplatz – Classy 1920s style hotel bar that has won awards for its avant-garde mixology. It currently only serves clear concoctions. (0.3 mile).
- Philomenis – Homey Greek cafe with delicious homemade deli lunch options like quiches, pastas, and great cakes. (0.3 mile).
- Giro Coffee Bar – Hipster coffee joint that serves up some of the best coffees and cakes in Charlottenburg. (0.4 mile).
- Monkey Bar – Located on the 10th floor of the 25hours Hotel, this hip bar has one of (if not the) best views in the city, overlooking the Tiergarten and (yes) the Zoo. Open daily noon-late. (0.8 mile).
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Kurfürstendamm – For luxury stores and international chains, head straight to “Ku’damm,” the biggest shopping street in the city, where you can hit all the world’s major brands at once. Don’t miss the side streets, which have several quirky and cute independent stores and art galleries, and if you’re a fan of Christmas (or pure kitsch), visit the year-round festive paradise Käthe Wohlfahrt. (0.3 mile).
- Bikini Berlin – A modern concept mall featuring a mix of cult and independent brands, with some artisan stalls in the middle and a great food hall. If nothing else, go for the great view of the monkeys at play in the zoo next door. (0.7 mile).
- In Mitte – Head for Alexanderplatz (20-minutes via public transport) for big department stores like GALERIA Karstadt Kaufhof, international fast food outlets, and a huge C&A and Primark (cheap fashion). In Scheunenviertel, the Hackescher Markt refers to the shopping area encompassing the eponymous S-Bahn station (15 minutes via public transport), Dircksenstraße in the south, Torstrasse in the north (25 minutes by public transport), Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in the east, and Oranienburger Strasse in the west. It’s most famous for its concentration of independent stores scattered in various courtyards, or Höfe, especially the Hackesche Höfe, which has a warren of yards set amid vine-covered buildings and Jugendstil architecture (17 minutes by public transport from the hotel).
- In Prenzlauer Berg – Try Prenzlauer Strasse, Kastanienallee, Rykestrasse, Oderberger Strasse, and Kollwitzplatz. All are great streets to wander down, packed with cute stores, restaurants, and cafes. Kastanienallee is a particularly trendy place to see and be seen, and to achieve that full Berlin look. The Mauerpark Flohmarkt (flea market, 35 minutes by public transport), from 8am onward on Sundays, is a favorite Berlin pastime. Especially fun is the afternoon outdoor karaoke in the amphitheater.
- Schloss Charlottenburg – There are many sights worthy of a trip outside central Berlin, but Charlottenburg Palace might be one of the best. It was the plush Prussian dream of Queen Sophie Charlotte, whose golden Rococo ballroom and Porcelain Cabinet are jaw-droppingly lavish. It has beautiful gardens for strolling or picnicking, and opposite are 3 excellent museums, the Bröhan-Museum (arts and crafts), Museum Berggruen (a modern art collection featuring Picasso, Klee, Braque, Cézanne, and Giacometti, among others), and the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg (French Impressionists, the complete print works of Toulouse Lautrec, Dalí, Magritte, Ernst, and Klee, among others). 20 minutes via public transport.
- Tiergarten & Unter den Linden: The Tiergarten is central Berlin’s lung, with the Spree running through it, along with the Zoologischer Garten (Berlin Zoo), manicured gardens and woodlands, and massive monuments like the dramatic Siegessäule (Victory Monument). It stretches all the way to the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) and the Bundestag (aka Reichstag aka parliament; free to visit but book well ahead or risk hours in line) in the east. Once you cross through the Brandenburg Gate, which used to mark the crossing point into East Germany, you get to the massive Unter den Linden, a grand boulevard with some of the city’s major sights along it, including the Staatsoper, Humboldt University, the soon-to-be-opened Humboldt Forum, the Deutsches Historisches Museum, and Museumsinsel (see below). The #100 bus from the Zoo (0.5 mile from the hotel), goes past all of the above sights and more.
- Museums – There can be few cities as great for museum-goers as Berlin, mostly because they’re all packed into a compact area, the so-called Museumsinsel, 30 minutes by public transport from the hotel. The island in the Spree features some of the nation’s finest museums: the Alte Nationalgalerie (19th-century art), the Altes Museum (Greeks, Etruscans, Romans), the Bode-Museum (sculpture, coins, medals, and Byzantine art), the Neues Museum (Ancient Egyptians and prehistory), and the Pergamonmuseum (Islamic and Roman architectural set pieces). There are far too many treasures to note, but needless to say, you should plan your time (or go with a guided tour) and buy tickets in advance, especially for the world-famous Pergamon. General opening hours are 10am-6pm (Thursdays until 8pm) and several of the museums are closed on Monday. Also on the island are the Berliner Dom (cathedral) and the Humboldt Forum, which is being built in the former Berlin Palace. Just off the island are the wonderful Deutsches Historisches Museum, which traces German history from the Middle Ages to the fall of the Wall, and the wacky and interactive DDR Museum (see below under Cold War).
- Nazi and WWII history – A good place to start is the Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror, 25-30 minutes via public transport), a center dedicated to understanding how the Nazis came to cause such destruction, and built on the former site of the Gestapo, SS, and security headquarters. There are 2 worthwhile memorials to visit that warn of the horrors of war: the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, 0.7 mile) has been purposefully left in its bombed state, while Käthe Kollwitz’s devastating ‘Mother with her Dead Son’ sculpture at the Neue Wache (New Guardshouse, opposite the Staatsoper, 25 minutes by public transport) is a national monument for all the victims of war and dictatorship. During the air raids that destroyed some 80% of the city center, much of Berlin’s life happened underground. Two ways to get insight into this are: visit the site of the Führerbunker (25 minutes via public transport), where information boards explain what cannot be seen below – Hitler’s series of underground rooms and tunnels where he spent his final days, or visit Berliner Unterwelten (25 minutes via public transport), whose tours allow you to explore air raid shelters, and the Myth of Germania exhibition which examines Hitler’s extensive plans for a modernized, Aryan Berlin (and how it would be achieved with widespread forced labor).
- Jewish Berlin – Wandering through the large uneven slabs of the Holocaust Memorial (25 minutes via public transport), just south of the Brandenburg Gate, is a deeply moving experience, as is the Jewish Museum (in Kreuzberg, also 30 minutes via public transport), which dives deep into German-Jewish history and culture. The Neue Synagoge in Scheunenviertel (20 minutes via public transport) provides tangible evidence of just how important the pre-war Jewish population was to Berlin’s growth and industry in the second half of the 19th century. It now features a permanent exhibition about Berlin Jewry.
- Cold War – As you walk around the city, look out for the double row of cobblestones, laid as a reminder of the enormous footprint of the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall). There are several segments of the original wall that have been preserved: a section at the Topographie des Terrors (see above); the famous painted section, the East Side Gallery (in Friedrichshain, 35 minutes via public transport); and the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial, 25 minutes via public transport), which spans a few blocks of Bernauer Strasse, between the Nordbahnhof and Mauerpark. It’s an outdoor museum telling the story of the wall and its repercussions, with a full-scale reproduction of the double-walled barrier the Soviets created (viewing platform at the corner with Ackerstrasse). The reconstructed Checkpoint Charlie (in Mitte, a block from the Topographie des Terrors), a gateway between the East and West from the American Sector, is an evocative tourist favorite, while the Stasi Museum and Archives (in Friedrichshain, 40 minutes via public transport), housed in the real Stasi headquarters, show the depths the secret police of the German Democratic Republic went to for spying on its citizens. For a social history perspective, the DDR Museum (20 minutes by public transport) is a wonderfully interactive glimpse into what life was like behind the iron curtain in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or German Democratic Republic (GDR).
- Alexanderplatz, Fernsehturm, & Karl Marx Allee – Alexanderplatz is the busiest place in Berlin and a great landmark to help orientate yourself to the eastern parts of the city. Don’t miss the retrofuturistic World Clock, often surrounded by street performers, and make sure to walk east up the bombastic Karl Marx Allee, a perfect example of large-scale Soviet architecture. Another unmissable example of Soviet pretension towers over Alexanderplatz: the Fernsehturm (TV Tower), which was designed to show off the might of the new regime to the West. Now you can ascend for food or drink, or just to look around. It’s open most days until midnight. All can be reached within 20 minutes on public transport.
- Other sights – The oldest part of the city can be seen in Nikolaiviertel (25 minutes by public transport), whose tiny alleys and reconstructed medieval church seem a million miles away from the big city, and the heavy-handed GDR-era restoration gives the whole area a sense of Berlin’s layered history. Worth a visit, especially for the open air concerts in summer and the Christmas markets in winter, is the Gendarmenmarkt (20 minutes by public transport), a square often dubbed the most beautiful in Berlin thanks to its perfectly symmetrical neoclassical buildings. The heavily regenerated Potsdamer Platz (20 minutes by public transport) now has much to recommend it, including a walk of stars leading to the Sony Center (0.3 mile from Potsdamer Platz station), and just past that, the Kulturforum (0.3 mile). Designed in the 1960s to show those in the East what they were missing out on in the cultured West, the Kulturforum’s large plaza features the glimmering Philharmonie concert hall, the Gemäldegalerie (13th to 18th-century European paintings), and the soon-to-be-reopened Neue Nationalgalerie (20th-century art), among other cultural hotspots.