Home > Soho House Berlin Review
Updated: February 12, 2020
Soho House Berlin – Bohemian style with a luxurious soul and rooftop pool in a historic building.
Soho House has a great knack of tuning into the atmosphere of its properties’ locale and architecture, and its Berlin hotel is a perfect example. Set in the landmark 1 Torstrasse, the hotel’s decor takes the building’s history into account (over the years, it has been a department store, a National Socialists and Communist Party government building, and a derelict shell), serves up a blend of reimagined Soviet opulence, country cottage, and arty Berlin industrial chic, and somehow pulls it off. The famous Soho House fusion of antique and modern bespoke pieces and unique artwork is everywhere, but at this property, there are also bare concrete walls, enormous chandeliers, and a concept store with work areas to complete the Berlin lifestyle package. Thanks to the hotel’s excellent location on the edge of Mitte, you can walk to many of the main sights and then reward yourself with pampering at the Cowshed Spa or a dip in the heated rooftop pool.
Soho House Berlin – Location
- Address: Torstrasse 1, Berlin.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: The Mollstr./Prenzlauer Allee Tram/Bus stop is right outside the hotel, from where there are trams to the Hauptbahnhof and Alexanderplatz. The #200 bus takes a leisurely route right through central Berlin to the western end of the Tiergarten, passing many of Berlin’s major sights. Alternatively, there are 2 subway stations within a short walk: Alexanderplatz (0.5 mile, 10-minute walk) and Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (0.3 mile, 6-minute walk).
- Area: The hotel is on the cusp of Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, former East Berlin neighborhoods that are now 2 of the city’s coolest. To the south is the trendy Scheunenviertel/Hackescher Markt district, whose courtyards feature some of the best shopping in the city. To the north, head for Kollwitzplatz or Kastanienallee for several chic stores and restaurants. While both areas have been heavily gentrified since the city’s reunification, there are still hints of Soviet shabbiness to be found wandering their streets if you’re here for Cold War history.
- How To Get There: From Berlin Central Station, it’s 15 minutes (2.5 miles) via taxi or public transport. From Tegel Airport, it’s a 30-minute taxi ride (7 miles) or around 40 minutes by public transport. From Schönefeld Airport, it’s 40-50 minutes (14 miles) by taxi or public transport.
- Handy To: Alexanderplatz, Fernsehturm (TV Tower), Hackescher Markt.
Soho House Berlin – The Basics
- Ages: While the Soho House group started life as a private members’ club, their hotels now allow guests of all ages and walks of life, including families.
- View: Some south-facing rooms on higher floors have views over the historic center.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis. Some rooms feature steam showers.
- Laundry: Laundry services available (additional charge).
- Parking: No parking; the hotel recommends the lot at the adjacent Backfabrik complex on Saarbrücker Strasse.
- Extras: Hotel guests can access most of the facilities of the House, which is otherwise members’ only, including the rooftop pool, gym, bar, and restaurant. The Store X on the ground floor has a cafe and lots of work space among the “creative edit of fashion, furniture, music, art, and books”. There’s also a concierge who can organize almost any tickets, tours, or hires you might want, a turn-down service, and an in-room cocktail-making service.
- When To Book: There is often limited last-minute availability, but it’s best to book at least 1-2 months ahead to get the room you prefer.
- Phone: +49 30 405 0440
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: sohohouseberlin.com
Soho House Berlin – Amenities
- Pool: Heated rooftop pool, open 8am-midnight year-round.
- Spa: Cowshed is Soho House’s own-brand spa and products line. Their delux Berlin spa, in the basement of the hotel, is open until 10pm daily for mani-pedis, facials, massages, sauna, and more.
- Fitness Center: The House Gym has loads of machines, a studio space with various classes, personal trainers, and a smoothie bar. Also offers health, fitness, and nutritional guidance. Open 7am-11pm (slightly shorter hours on weekends).
- For Disabled Guests: The entire hotel is accessible by elevator and every room is step-free with a walk-in shower. However, as room doorways are fairly narrow, they cannot be advertised as wheelchair-friendly.
- For Families: Kids’ movies and nanny service available. However, it’s worth noting that children are not allowed in the members’ areas after 7pm.
- Activities: The 24-hour concierge can arrange any activities.
Soho House Berlin – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: On the ground floor, there’s the Soho House Group’s excellent Italian restaurant Cecconi’s (daily 11:30am-11pm; $-$$$), as well as The Store Kitchen, which serves up all-day breakfasts, healthy lunches, and drinks amid the lustworthy things for sale at The Store X (10am-7pm; $). The Club Bar does breakfasts, sandwiches, and entrees, including fabulous versions of perennial favorites like mac ‘n cheese (7am-late Monday-Friday; 8am-late weekends; $-$$). The hotel regularly hosts pop-up restaurants as well (check website for details).
- Bar: Both, Cecconi’s and the Club Bar have fabulous wine and cocktail menus. The latter is one of the most sumptuous places for a drink in the city with its enormous velvet couches, wood-burning fireplace, and terrace with fantastic views of the city.
- Breakfast: Breakfast is not included in the price of the rooms. The Club Bar, open from 7am, serves classic breakfast options like pancakes or eggs (around €10 each), as well as cold-pressed juices and smoothies, and a lavish Sunday brunch (€35). Although they open later, The Store X and Cecconi’s both offer great brunch options.
- Room Service: There is 24-hour room service from the Club Kitchen, with a wider menu between noon and midnight when all the restaurants are in full swing.
Soho House Berlin – Rooms
- Room Types: Tiny Room ● Small Room ● Medium Room ● Studio Apartment ● Big Room ● 1-Bedroom Apartment ● 2-Bedroom Apartment ● Large Room ● Extra Large Room ● 2-Bedroom Loft ● 3-Bedroom Loft
- Smoking Rooms: Soho House Berlin is 100% smoke-free, except for the roof terrace where smoking is permitted.
- Best Room: The 3-Bedroom Loft sleeps 6 in 3 king-sized beds (2 can be converted into twin rooms), with over 250sqm (almost 2,700 sq ft) of living space with floor-to-ceiling windows. It has a full bar and fully-equipped kitchen (dishwasher, washer/dryer, fridge, combination oven, Nespresso machine). The sitting/dining area has bespoke furniture, TVs with Sky+, a kicker table, a grand piano, and DJ decks. Each bedroom has its own TV and Bose iPod dock, as well as its own bathroom with rain shower, heated towel rail and underfloor heating, a range of complimentary full-size Cowshed products and other amenities (toothbrush, sanitary and hygiene products), hairdryer, and hair straightener. One of the rooms also has a bathtub.
- Family Rooms: The 3-Bedroom Loft is perfect for families, sleeping up to 6 people, and featuring a kitchen and washing machine.
Soho House Berlin – Local Transport
- Walking: Many of the big sights are within a 15-minute walk of the hotel, including Alexanderplatz, the Fernsehturm, and Hackescher Markt.
- Tram/Bus: The Mollstr./Prenzlauer Allee Tram/Bus stop is right outside the hotel, from where there are trams to the Hauptbahnhof and Alexanderplatz. The #200 bus takes a leisurely route right through central Berlin to the western end of the Tiergarten, passing many of Berlin’s major sights.
- Subway: The closest subway stations are Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (0.3 mile, 6-minute walk) and Alexanderplatz (0.5 mile, 10-minute walk).
- 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).
Soho House Berlin – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Secret Food Tours – With specialist tours about craft beer, street food, German food, and vegan cuisine, these tours, led by locals, are always illuminating. They start at different places, depending on the tour.
- 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 located by Hackescher Markt station, 15-minute walk (0.8 mile)/12 minutes via public transport.
- Berlin on Bike – The meeting point for this tour company, which offers a diverse range of cycling city tours, is a tourist site in itself, Prenzlauer Berg’s Kulturbrauerei, 19 minutes (1 mile) walking/via public transport.
- 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), 24 minutes via public transport.
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Nocti Vagus/unsicht-Bar – Dining in complete darkness with a visually-impaired guide/waiter might not be for everyone, but for many, it’s a transformative experience that changes the way we think about our senses. Reservations essential. $$$-$$$$. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Fleischerei – Trendy place specializing in mouthwatering grilled meats and excellent salad and sandwich options. $$-$$$. Open for lunch Monday-Friday, otherwise open from 6pm daily. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- PeterPaul – Sharing plates of German classics with a twist in a refined restaurant on Torstrasse. $$-$$$. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Bar Gagarin – A true neighborhood gem, open all day for excellent-value food and drinks (including all-day breakfasts) with a varied menu that changes weekly. $. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Pasternak – Cute retro bistro close to the Kollwitzplatz and in the shade of a beautiful old water tower, serving Eastern European, Russian, Middle Eastern, and Jewish specialties, with good plant-based options. $-$$. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Masel Topf – High-quality, seasonal, and modern Israeli food in a candle-lit, homey dining room. $$-$$$. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Sisal – Cozy local Italian restaurant serving unfussy pizzas and pastas at great prices. $. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Schwarze Pumpe – All day shabby-chic cafe-bar-restaurant with great food and drink options and good vibes. $. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
- Coffee Room – Cozy cafe serving light lunches, soups, cakes, and coffee. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- The BARN Roastery – Simply one of the best coffee shops in the city. Renowned internationally for its roastery, a 7-minute walk (0.4 mile) from the hotel.
- Ziervogel’s Kult-Curry – Many say this is the best currywurst in the city; there’s only one way to find out. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Kaschk – If you’ve ever yearned for craft beer and shuffleboard, then this place is for you. If not, what are you waiting for? 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Gaststätte W. Prassnik – Bar that serves its own brew, allows smoking indoors, and evokes GDR-era simplicity: “You come when we open. No reservations. No social media”. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Leibhaftig – Draught beer and excellent Bavarian “tapas”. Evenings only from 6pm. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Metzer Eck – A time-warp of a pub run by 4 generations of the same family for over 100 years with a beer garden. Good portions of heavy German food and lots of beer. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- In Mitte – Head for Alexanderplatz (0.4 mile, 8-minute walk) 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, Dircksenstraße in the south, Torstrasse in the north, 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 (0.7 mile, 15-minute walk from the hotel).
- In Prenzlauer Berg – Try 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, 1 mile, 25-minute walk), from 8am onward on Sundays, is a favorite Berlin pastime. Especially fun is the afternoon outdoor karaoke in the amphitheater.
- Kurfürstendamm – For luxury stores and international chains, bypass grungy Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg and head straight to “Ku’damm,” the biggest shopping street in the city, where you can hit all the world’s major brands at once. Nearby Charlottenburg has several quirky and cute independent stores. 35 minutes via public transport.
- Alexanderplatz, Fernsehturm, & Karl Marx Allee – Alexanderplatz is the busiest place in Berlin and a great landmark to help orientate yourself to 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 10-minute walk.
- 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, 21-minute walk (1 mile)/15 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 (opening in 2020), 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).
- Unter den Linden – West of Museumsinsel is this enormous boulevard that leads past the Staatsoper (National Operahouse) and Humboldt University, via many of the flagship stores for international brands, all the way to the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) and beyond to the Tiergarten and its dramatic Siegessäule (Victory Monument). Just north of the Brandenburg Gate is the Bundestag (aka Reichstag), with its inspiring rotunda where the public can overlook the politicians at work in the main parliament chamber below. It’s free to visit, but book well ahead or risk hours in line. The easiest way to do Unter den Linden is to hop on and off the #100 bus from Alexanderplatz; it goes along the whole street and through the Tiergarten. From the hotel, the U2 subway line goes parallel to Unter den Linden a couple of blocks south.
- Nazi and WWII history – A good place to start is the Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror, 25 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, 35 minutes via public transport) 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, 16 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 (26 minutes by 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 (15-20 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 (25-30 minutes via public transport), just south of the Brandenburg Gate, is a deeply moving experience, as is the Jewish Museum (in Kreuzberg, also 25 minutes via public transport), which dives deep into German-Jewish history and culture. The Neue Synagoge in Scheunenviertel (1 mile, 22-minute walk/14 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, 30 minutes via public transport); and the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial), which spans a few blocks of Bernauer Strasse, between the Nordbahnhof and Mauerpark (1 mile, 25-minute walk/15 minutes via public transport). 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, 28 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 (0.8 mile, 16-minute walk) is a wonderfully interactive glimpse into what life was like behind the iron curtain in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or German Democratic Republic (GDR).
- Other sights in Mitte – The oldest part of the city can be seen in Nikolaiviertel (1 mile, 18-minute walk/10 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 (24 minutes by public transport) now has much to recommend it, including a walk of stars leading to the Sony Center (0.3 mile, 6-minute walk from Potsdamer Platz station), and just past that, the Kulturforum (0.3 mile/6-minute walk). 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.
- 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). 40 minutes via public transport.
- Alternative Lifestyles – The Acker Stadt Palast (1 mile, 17-minute walk), Haus Schwarzenberg (0.7 mile, 14-minute walk), and ACUD (1 mile, 17-minute walk) are all examples of the progressive cultural centers that burgeoned in the aftermath of reunification, when artists took over crumbling buildings in former East Berlin and lived and worked together. It’s places like these that gave Berlin its edgy reputation and have survived the onslaught of gentrification. If you’re into alternative Berlin and especially street art, make sure to check out Friedrichshain’s RAW-Gelände, a hive of various hip activities and businesses run out of renovated train warehouses covered in graffiti (24 minutes via public transport).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Rewe – This handy supermarket is on the same block as the hotel. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Mauerpark Flea Market – For a real Berlin experience, head to Prenzlauer Berg’s Mauerpark on a Sunday for the massive flea market and karaoke in the amphitheater in the afternoons. 23-minute walk/18 minutes via public transport (1 mile).
Soho House Berlin – The Hotel
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