SO/Berlin Das Stue
Between embassies and kangaroos
In the heart of a traditional embassy district directly next to the Berlin Zoo, luxury boutique hotel SO/Berlin Das Stue offers what must be one of the city’s most varied panoramas – Berlin’s western and eastern skyline, the spreading green Tiergarten park, and animals in the zoo’s enclosures. Dating from the late 1930s, this listed building was originally home to the Royal Danish Embassy (Das Stue means living room in Danish). It was designed by architect Johann Emil Schaudt, whose portfolio also included Germany’s most renowned department store, the KaDeWe. Located on the magnificent Kurfürstendamm boulevard, the KaDeWe is just ten minutes’ walk from the hotel. Normally, the main entrance to the Berlin Zoo would be 15 minutes’ walk away – if Das Stue did not have one very special feature unique in Europe. Thanks to a private entrance from the garden terrace, hotel guests can enjoy direct access to the Zoo – guaranteed without queues.
Once inside the Zoo grounds, you can find the female red giant kangaroo Stuy, born in March 2016 and sponsored by the hotel. If you prefer, you can also relax in the hotel while you view many of the Zoo’s animals. A large bar window allows guests to watch grazing ostriches outside, while many of the hotel’s 78 rooms offer an unhindered view of enclosures with gnus, alpacas and antelopes.
Even the contemporary art works inside are a homage to the hotel’s animal neighbours. French artist Quentin Garel’s life-size crocodile head sculpture welcomes guests in the grand entrance hall. In the corridors and seating areas, you can find leather animals in the shape of rhinos and hippos, while the lobby is home to two meshwork giant gorillas and a giraffe by Milan artist Benedetta Mori. The only question is – who is watching whom?