Neverending summer feeling in Kladow

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The local bus took me from the Spandau train station in Berlin leading for 30 minutes through forests and shadows of the leaves in the Brandenburg area. Not very far away from Potsdam, but on a relatively discrete road, there is a small place call Kladow, just another summer destination of my one-day journeys from Berlin.

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In 1992, Kladow celebrated 725 years, and the old streets and houses are reminding a certain nostalgia. At the first sight there are not too many visitors around, and I enjoy taking notes of different buildings and mentions of anniversary both for the use of the local and of the foreigner.

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The historian in me cannot ignore the old age of the settlement, the over 100 of years of the Firebrigade, or the 20,000 years of the big stone brought from the Scandinavian mountains. Near the lake, an old solar watch catches my attention as I am trying to guess different time settings.

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Close to the historical area, a metal statue of the local sculptor Volkmann Haase is aimed to represent the values of friendship. Me and travel, we are friends for ever and more, of course.

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There is no sign of life behind the windows of the old tradesmen houses. Is just another one of those unusually hot days in August and the streets are, as usual, empty.

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It seems that the entire life is concentrated near the lake, in the many restaurants and small icecream parlors. The sounds of the boat engines ready to go far away are like winter cat snores. Although most part of the boats from the sea parking are privately owned, renting your own is also possible, at affordable prices, like everything around Berlin.

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I change the perspective trying to follow the sound of the rhythmic paddling. Some just chose to enjoy this day by hard work…

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All the way from Potsdam, there is a big group of party boats coming my way. Accompanied by the unmistakable bottles of fresh beers, young groups descend noisily into corners of land. Everyone is having today!

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Expansive villas in the middle of green trees and flowers are interrupting the rustic reveries. As in the case of many other places around Berlin, Kladow is also becoming an attractive real estate destination.

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On the Masha Kaleko road I turn on the left and get lost in the field. I am not alone as many children and families are taking their walks or lunches on the grass. Lying on the grass I am watching a horse being walked around.

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The old big trees are creating natural labyrinths that I wish I am bold enough to follow. Or at least less lazy.

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Slowly, slowly, I am returning to the lake area, ready for another little detour around the waters. Families on bike, with or without dogs running hard to catch up warn me to watch my steps.

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As usual in the last weeks, I make some steps, I stop for a while, took a picture, take my breath and keep walking.

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The lake is very crowded with different types of boats, big white spots on the clear blue bordered by summer green. A German riviera, simple and discrete.

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Wish I am right now on one of those lazy boats, going nowhere, doing nothing, maybe just taking a little sunbath.

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Long walks require some good meal and after wandering for more than 5 hours, I need a long tasty stop. Out of many choices, I decide – how unusual for me – for a Chinese restaurant, Regent, offering the most diverse menu although not with a view over the sea as I would have imagined the happy ending of my trip here. My sweet champignons, with summer sprouts and other typical vegetables are brought on a hot plate, accompanied by a complimentary plum wine that I should politely refuse. The meal is just fine, with too much drops of oil poured on the vegetables.

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I throw one more view over the lake, hoping that there is still time to make just one more such a simple trip around Berlin and I start the long way back to the bus station. Swallowed feet and heavy breath, I offer myself another treat, this time some berries and pamplemousse icecream at the parlour on Sakrower Kirchweg. Fruity sprinkling cold taste that keeps me energized till the next bus chair from where I say good bye to the secret Kladow paradise.

For more inspiration, check the dedicated Pinterest board

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Your best hotels for an unforgettable stay in Karlovy Vary

Visiting Karlovy Vary was an old travel dream of mine that I was finally able to accomplish at the end of the last year. For 48 hours I had the opportunity to explore almost every corner of the city, enjoying the beautiful autumn colours and intensively hiking on the hills around. Although the high season was already over for a couple of days, the streets were full with tourists and the hotels kept working at high capacity. As a first time visitor, you may be surprised of the many hotels and trying to make your life easy, when I was not too busy hiking or visiting glamorous shops, I also made a short tours of some of the most recomended hotels in the area. My choices for now are as follows:

??????????During my stay, I was the guest of Dvorak Hotel, with its Art Nouveau design and a generous breakfast. Familiy and children friendly, it offers a variety of special spa treatments, including the unique FX.Mayr Treatment, aimed at eliminating naturally the toxines out of the body, oxygen therapy, special treatments for the locomotive system or relaxation therapy, designed to help people cope easier with the work load accumulated during the year. Here you can have a full review of the hotel rooms and its facilities.

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In addition to the healing waters, Karlovy Vary is also famous for its International Film Festival, considered one of the most appreciated in Central and Eastern Europe. Most of the screenings are hosted at the Thermal Hotel. Although from outside it may look a bit too serious and even unfriendly – since the name of its architectural style ‘brutalist architecture’ -, it offers a lot of special facilities to guests, including a vey elegant swimming pool. From the window of your room on the top you can also have a beautiful view over the city. During the festival, don’t be surprise of meeting around big movie stars such as Leonado di Caprio, Robert de Niro or Sharon Stone…

??????????Elizabeth Baths first caught my attention by its big park with large alleys, but those doing an intensive documentation before coming here they know that here you can find the largest balneologic facilities in the city, with over 60 types of treatments. A special place should be given to the aesthetic treatment the visitor receives when admiring the beautiful architecture and classical interior decorations.

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Grand Hotel Pupp is the favourite choice of luxury travelers, as well as of the many VIPs visiting Karlovy Vary (especially the big movie stars invited for the Film Festivval). Opened initially in 1700 as Saxony Hall, it went through dramatic changes under the direction of the Austrian architects Fellner and Helmer, by the requests of the Pupp family. An articulated collection of new-baroque buildings, it offers to their high end customers a royal spa and clinic, special treatments, including laser and other wellness packages. The gastronomic offer is also impressive, with a bar, gourmet restaurant and a coffee open to outside visitors as well.

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Luckily, the tourists looking for some affordable packages do have from where to chose as well. Situated close to the hills around the city, Villa Smetana offers not only a fresh air and a quiet stay, far away from the busy central areas, but also attractive massage treatments, lymphatic drainage, shockwave therapy, sauna and acupuncture.

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Those interested for a more central location, can check the 3-star Ontario Hotel, situated a couple of minutes away from the famous Mill Colonades and their healing waters. Their 12 appartments do offer a family ambiance plus special treatments such as: bath and spa (pearl, mineral, carbon dioxide), wraps (paraffin, mud, peat packs), therapy (electrotherapy, pneumo puncture, laser, gum irrigation, ultrasound) or massage (traditional, arctic fire, reflexology, underwater).

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Also close to the center is the four-star family friendly Hotel Embassy. It offers to the guests various special deals, including some golf classes, as well as a traditional Czech restaurant. Don’t forget as well about the exclusive La Prairie packages.

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Hosted in a 18th century building, Renesance Krasna Kralova Hotel is also situated just in the heart of the city. After the a first luxurious view of velvet and Oriental carpets, silk and hardwooden floors, the guests are tempted with various massages, including Thai-style, and other packages, some of them also including medical examination.

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Another sample of the local 18th century architecture is Hotel Salvator, with its restaurant and Cigar Club, and Romantic Biedermeyer furniture. The treatments are focused on balneotherapeutic and rehabilitation procedures, the bath using the thermal water channeled to the hotel directly from the neighbouring Vridlo Geyser.

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After extensive hiking, spending time in the chic lobby of Interhotel Central was a pleasure that I wanted to enjoy as much as possible. Besides the spa treatments, indoor swimming pool, sauna, solarium, fitness and balneotherapy, it also hosts regularly corporate events and is a favourite choice of business travelers. Professional snooker opportunities are also part of their offer.

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Although at some distance from the busy city, Park Hotel Richmond has a lot of privacy, fresh air as it is situated close to some interesting hiking trails and a quiet stay. Besides the usual treatments offered, it has special antistress programmes, beauty parlours, and a 200-person lounge capacity. During the sunny days, having a coffee on the terrace may be also part of your antistress therapy.

The Ritz-Carlton Berlin: the luxury oasis from Potsdamer Platz

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Without reading a couple of books and watching maybe some more movies, it’s hard to imagine how Potsdamer Platz in Berlin used to look nothing far but 30 years ago: a depressive no-man’s land, just another picture of the Cold War. After the reunification of Berlin, it grew up as one of the most modernist areas of the city, with sky scrapers – something not that common in Berlin and in Germany in general. Behind the remains of the Berlin Wall and some futuristic architecture, there is hiding another hidden secret of the city: The Ritz-Carlton, one of the two hotels from the chain. Only ten years older, it equals in elegance and beauty the first ever Ritz founded in Germany, the one from Wolfsburg, that I visited a couple of months ago.

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My journey at The Ritz-Carlton started with a delicious afternoon tea, improving my knowledge about green teas while enjoying delicious bites of perfect pastry and cakes.

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My passionate guide through the world of teas for the day, Hernan Caballero, has another great talent: drawing and following the tradition of The Ritz-Carlton, his talents were encouraged and introduced to the visitors of the famous bar. His maps listing the geography of various drinks in the countries around the world are proudly showed on the tables. And he is not the only one here whose individual talents are recognized, as the hotel also used recently the greeting cards designed by one of the apprentices.

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It’s not time for the champagne brunch at Brasserie Debrosses, but paying a visit around is an interesting experience, at least from the architectural point of view. It reunites the old French brasserie style  – the floor is originally brought from an old 1874 French Brasserie with the same name – and the old former communist Germany influences in the furniture. The food served is French though. During the summer, the outside terrasse is an invitation to stop but not for too long, as there are so many shopping and cultural temptations around – almost most of the interesting top attractions of the city, from the Brandenburg Gate to the Tierpark are within minutes of walk from the hotel.

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But not only the adults are invited to enjoy their time in luxury: special programs for kids are offered all round the year, besides special presents given upon checking-in, like polo shirts with their name on it.  There is a chocolate festival for them and various cooking classes only for them – like waffle baking, as well as a special cocktails and afternoon tea programs. Wish there were such options when I was a child; probably I would have discover the pleasures of the afternoon tea much earlier. In addition, scavenger hunts or special tours of the hotel are also part of the regular menu for the smallest visitors. In the rooms, they will be waited by special beds and maybe some bed covers with their special cartoon characters.

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Meanwhile, the adults can enjoy the latest add to The Ritz: the Fragrances bar where special cocktails are prepared based on perfume recipes. Just think about your favourite famous perfume and soon you will taste it! As for now, there are around 15 cocktails available, based on recipes whose ingredients were tested enough to produce an unexpected pleasant surprise for the palate.

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Out of many other temptations, I would love to be back to try the Yuzu Watermelon, based on sake and lemon and watermelon syrup. Don’t worry about asking an overdraft soon. One cocktail can be as cheap as 14 Eur. And you taste it from the lounge of The Ritz-Carlton…

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The works of art, mostly created by German artists, are there to add another layer of distinguished ambiance to the other layers of educated pleasure.

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The interior design inspiration, a project made by Peter Silling, was inspired by the work of the famous Berlin architect Schinkel, whose signature is visible in most of the civil architecture of the classical Berlin. The glittering of the Swarovski chandelier and the mysterious corners of light are the modern translation of some old school classical principles.

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The lobby avoids extravagance for the elegance of style. When you arrive from the colourful joyous yet noisy outside, you might think that you arrived in your private universe of luxury. However, behind the closed doors of the many hotel offices, people are behaving in the most responsible possible ways allowed by the 21st century. The energy used is green, out of the recycled paper used in the offices,  around 5,000 school books were made and donated to a school in Wedding. Almost 65% of the vegetables used by the restaurant are produced at the field owned by the hotel in Mecklenburg Pommern. The own beehives are producing nothing less than around 300 kg. of organic honey every year. And the examples of sustainable luxury could continue…

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For a short moment, you can relax and think that you can spend here the rest of your stay in Berlin. Why not, you even have some Berlin Wall Memorabilia, some horrible grey concrete monsters laying on the polished floor. Another example that the Ritz-Carlton is not afraid to face the daily realities is the special open doors program organized a couple of months ago, when the Berlin citizens were invited to have a tour of the hotel. Maybe only few of them will ever be able to afford to every pay around 14,500 EUR/night for a stay at the luxury hotel suite, but at least they will be able once in a while to make some savings for an afternoon tea. Going out of your comfort zone is always a good challenge to take once in a while.

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Regardless of your plan, this hotel can be the best place to start new beginnings. In your life, for instance! What about an unforgettable wedding photo made on those white marble stairs? If you already married, at least you can try an extravagant selfie. If you rather like the ‘old style’, there is a photo booth in the lobby, where your photos are issued with a personalised logo of the hotel.

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For the very special guests, as the US president Barack Obama, a guest of the hotel, high-end privacy and security can be offered. As in the case of other hotels from the chains, there are different levels of privacy offered, the basic being offered at the club from the 10th floor.

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Basically, there is a hotel inside the hotel, with its own reception, lobby, meeting room, as well as other kitchen facilities.

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There, you can have your meals with an overview over Tiergarten and the modern architecture of the Western Berlin. Enough to want to finish your meal now, make your business meetings as successful as possible and just run out to know the city. What about a jogging trail through the Tiergarten, based on the advice of the specialists of the hotel?

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The Ritz-Carlton has 303 guest rooms, out of which 39 suites and a presidential suite. Add to this the banquet and meeting space, as well as the high-end facilities offered at the spa. For the highest security area, there is double access and other special facilities.

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The good taste and simple elegance are the predominant feature of the rooms. From the decorated walls, till the match between the furniture and the carpet, there is hard to find any failures.

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Suites can have 2 bedrooms, bedside control panels, in-room Internet and various luxury amenities. The customers also have access all round the day to the swimming pool and the fitness space.

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There are also heated bathroom floors and a very inviting sauna, just two stairs away. What if?

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But it’s about time to end my adventurous trip in the world of cocktail fragrances, green teas and marble ceilings. There is time for the opening call of the gentlemen’s club too. Good bye, good life! Welcome back to the real life of Berlin!

Disclaimer: I was offered a free tour of the hotel, but the opinions are, as usual, my own.

For more images from The Ritz-Carlton, have a look at the dedicated Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/ilanaontheroad/the-ritz-carlton-berlin/

A day at the dairy farm Gläserne Molkerei Münchehofe

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As I child, I visited a lot of factories – including chocolate and icecream factories -, dairy farms and even vineyards – without tasting, of course, and as a curious person, I enjoy understanding what I wear, eat or drink. I found always interesting the small details of the preparations and now, as a grown-up adult, I love to see with my own eyes the mysteries revealed. As a frequent visitor of the Bioladen – bio/ecological shops – in Germany, I noticed various advertisements for tours of Gläserne Molkerei Münchehofe, and after a while, I decided that I should pay a visit myself to this dairy farm, not that far away from Berlin, in the green Spreewald area of Brandenburg.

Dreaming is one thing, making it real might take a bit longer. Used so much with the precision and failure-free transportation connections in Germany, I disregarded a highly important aspect, well known by the local, but not too much disclosed to the wide public: from Königs Wusterhausen, S-Bahn station, there is a bus that connects Münchehofe, maybe once or twice the day. From Halbe, where I stop following the recommendation of some Deutsche Bahn employee, there are around 12 kilometres that without any proper wheel-propelled transportation, must be made by foot. With a lot of optimism and a good weather as trustworthy company, I started my walking journey.

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At 9 o’clock in the morning, everything looked fresh, with some last traces of the fading summer stubborn enough to still kept being around. Fresh air, flowers and colourful mushrooms diminished my lack of mental preparation for such a sudden early long walk.

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Accompanied by the silence of the woods, I made it relatively fast till the Märkisch Buchholz, near the Dahm river. With not too many people on the streets, except the one who brought me the bad news that there is no bus connection till the dairy farm and eventually I should keep walking and walking, I suddenly started to worry. With my appointment at the farm for a guided tour starting in less than 30 minutes, I was not able to be in time, unless will find some unconventional transportation way: hitch-hiking that I haven’t done since my final high-school years, when I went through Bulgaria for one week with only 100 USD in my pocket.

I think more than twice, pondering all my blogging priorities, especially the need to keep my word and be in due time at the appointed schedule. I set myself on a place near the main road, from where I can eventually grasp instantly the reliability of the driver. After a couple of minutes, a nice local old man stops, and in less than 10 minutes I’m there. Was simple, although my heart went as small as a sparrow.

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As I arrived a bit earlier – a deep sigh of relief after so many worries within less than 2 hours – I am using my time for getting to know the neighbourhood. Quiet, populated mostly by cars coming a going, the traditional Brandenburg country life.

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When it is about time to go, I go through the green alleys, bordered by happy relaxed wooden cows – it is a bio dairy farm, after all – and I’m ready to join the other members of the guided tour. The visit can be done only as part of such a tour, and dedicated tours for children of various age categories are also available by request.

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The dairy farm is hosted in a very modern looking building, that replaced the former communist Germany construction. A similar farm was created in Dechow, in the Mecklenburg Pommern.

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In the lobby, old wooden instruments, from the old times are only used as didactic material. Everything is mechanized now. The downside of a visit in a normal day of work can be that some of the machines must be under revision at certain times of the day, so during the tour, we did not see too much from the real processes that lead to the creation of the delicious dairy products – cheese and milk, especially.

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However, we are lucky enough to have a good guide – in German – that explains in the smallest detail everything related to the quality of the milk used – bought from producers, after a careful verification of accomplishing the standards requested by the bio production. Mostly, the animals should live free and not be treated with antibiotics. There are three main types of milk produced here: the pasteurized one (the green package) – which has a sour-cream like taste but the normal milk consistence, the usual milk – from the light blue packages – and the one meant to last longer – from the dark blue packages. After the presentation, I can test all of them, but it’s a bit difficult to make one and final choice, as all of them taste fresh and ask you for one more glass, and one more glass. And this comes from someone not so keen to drink too many glasses of milk per day. Wish my mother is still around to read this!

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The most spectacular view is in the front of the windows leading to the cheese production section. Almost 6,000 liter of milk are used, in order to produce around 600 kg. of cheese. The big bathtube-like made of copper, produced by a Swiss company offers the guarantee against microorganisms and also keep the composition warm as long as needed before the final production.

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Besides the impressive number of cheese produced daily, there is also a significant production of curd, with different fat concentrations. Our guide explains in detail about the salts used, and their qualities in creating various tastes. Except for the production of butter, which needs more human involvement, everything is mostly done automatically by the machines. The 1o0,000 liter of milk produced daily, for instance, is packed by the robots. The local laboratory keeps an eye on the daily quality of the mixtures, which the level of humidity is checked twice the day, in order to be sure that no additional micro-organisms are produced.

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At the end of the tour, after resisting heroically and some even taking notes in an ambiance calling for lunch, brunch and dinner, we are invited to spend some extra time testing and tasting the various types of cheese we’ve been explained about. Except the classical bio stores, the milk from this dairy farm can be found also at the classical German supermarkets. A stamp on the right side of the upper side of the package indicated when and where the milk was produced. With the cheese as a common topic of conversation, I am improving my language skills talking with the tour companions about the different qualities of different pieces of cheese and milk. Everything is delicious.

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Outside, some lazy cows are enjoying their day out. During the production process, mostly milk from Germany – Mecklenburg Pommers and the Southern part – is used. Also, certified milk from Denmark, Poland or the Czech Republic can be employed for covering an over-increasing need. Outside the farm, I walk a bit across the small garden, with some veggies and colourful flowers.

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Outside, on the streets, the same quietness and emptiness, except a postlady, with a minivan, who is running from a house to another to deliver the mail. Now, that my journalistic mission was accomplished, it is about time to think how to make my way back to Berlin.

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This time, I’m luckier, as I am around for one of the 1-2 regular bus rides. A classical car, maybe from the old times of the DDR. My adventures on the road put aside, I had a very useful experience, learning about cheese and milk. Now, that I’ve seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears how everything is produced, I might be tempted to increase the consumption of milk in the house. The knowledge I got through my travels can lead me in the most unexpected places…

Disclaimer: I was offered a free tour of the Gläserne Molkerei Münchehofe, but the opinions are, as usual, my own.

For more pictures and impressions from the dairy farm, check the dedicated Pinterest board

Cocktail o’clock at sky.bar Berlin

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Berlin has so many temptations, maybe too many. Finding the best of them could be a matter of luck, inspiration or good research. With only a few free days left to spend in Berlin before the long travel vacations, I want to be left only with the best memories of this short summer. Plus, being on the road most of the time, left me only with few chances to see my old friends in the city. Thus, any good tips are more than welcomed for spending the time at its best. As a guest of the sky.bar, at the last floor of andel’s hotel Berlin, I give a big chance to a cocktail o’clock evening.

The colourful design andel’s hotel is easy to notice, from the S-Bahn station Landsberger Allee. Although situated in an area without any big tourist temptations, the hotel can be easily reached by Ring S-Bahn and in less than one hour you can be to any famous landmarks of the city.

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The list of cocktails is long, and the combination of ingredients is highly elaborated. Either the mixture may sound too extravagant or too unique to be true, the temptation is always there. Besides the classical recipes, many of the cocktails do have fresh fruits or veggies and spices added to top brands alcoholic drinks. My friend is a bit faster than me when it comes to choices and much more brave to try Picante cocktail, combining: dark rum, strawberry liqueur, raspberry liqueur, limes, fresh strawberries and raspberries, balsamic glaze, pepper, lime juice and cane sugar syrup. The fresh fruits are bringing tonic flavours to the rum, while the pepper is adding some strong notes, balanced only by the cane sugar syrup.

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Little by little, people are arriving, although the evening is still young. The usual ritual is to find a good spot, to order the cocktail and while waiting, to make a tour of the glass windows for taking pictures of the iconic locations of Berlin that can be seen. The chairs and tables are situated in close vicinity, which create a little problem sometimes, especially if you dare for more privacy. However, there are enough good spots where you can spend a good time, with a good view, without being bothered or bothering the others. The design follows the main lines of the overall design of the hotel, made up of different colourful splashes, placed in the most unexpected corner, that bring a certain youngish accent to the space.

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My first cocktail choice is the green goblin: Hendrick’s gin, lychee liqueur, lychee, cucumber, lime juice, cane sugar syrup. It is refreshing, although not very cold, with a lot of sweet accents, brought in by the cane syrup and developed in an unique taste by the lychee.

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The sky.bar also has a long food menu, mostly sandwiches and finger food. Roasted salty nuts and a bowl of fresh fruits were part of the very fast and bilingual – German/English – service.

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Time goes fast especially when you want the least, and we are ready for the next orders. My friend is set for the gingerly Six Feet Under: pepper vodka, ginger beer, radishes, basil, lime juice. Although two alcohols in a cup can be a bit risky, the predominance of ginger beer reduces the strength of pepper vodka. The veggies and the lime juice are contributing to the freshness and a sparkling note. Very good choice for the summer time.

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I am trying a Strawberry-Basil Margarita: tequila, strawberry liqueur, strawberry purée, fresh strawberries, basil, lime juice and cane sugar syrup. It may look as a very elaborated fresh fruits salad, but it’s very serious, thanks to the tequila drops. Adding basil contributed to the bouquet of strong flavours, while the strawberries brought a lot of natural sugar reducing the strength of tequila.

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When we are about to leave, it is late in Berlin, but people are still trying their luck to discover a different city. At least, the iconic TV tower is easiest to recognize. As for me, I hope to be brave enough to try to see how does the city looks covered by snow. I’m grateful though that there is so much time till then, although the idea of trying a new different cocktail soon is even more appealing.

For more insights about the cocktails, the bar and andel’s hotel, have a look at my dedicated Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/ilanaontheroad/andels-berlin/

Disclaimer: I was the guest of sky.bar for a cocktail’s evening, but the opinions are, as usual, my own.

Regent Hotel: the unexpected oasis of luxury

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I never have enough time to explore Gendarmenmarkt, except when I have to go to a concert or I am looking for a quiet place near Brandenburg Gate. Or, after the long tours of shopping visits at Galeries Lafayette. This time, I am happy to be the insider of Regent Hotel, a five star hotel with a well established 10-year tradition among the luxury brands in Berlin.

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At the first sight, the modernist simple facade doesn’t say anything about what is hidden behind the doors. People are coming and going around, busy or simply ready to find out where their new tourist destination is. Once I enter, all the rush and colourfulness of Berlin is left outside. A little palace of elegance and quietness, with huge beautiful flowers and marble walls.

??????????Regent Hotel was described by Condé Nast Traveller ‘one of the best places to stay in the world’, but it comes with a culinary delice: the two-star Michelin restaurant Fischers Fritz. Under the gourmet coordination of chef Christian Lohse, it also offers daily business lunch menu, but can also set up private dining, for a room up to 15 persons. The ambiance is very private, and no wonder that big world stars are often guests of this place. Like Bruce Willis, for instance, who paid at least one visit here during his stay in Berlin.

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The hotel is also the proud owner of a lobster press, one of the five in the world (out of which one is part of the collection of Christofle Museum). The lobster is introduce inside, in the dedicated compartments and press swiftly till the flesh is coming up. As usual, good gourmet results involves always a lot of technique.

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The hotel has 195 rooms, decorated in the elegant simplicity of Biedermeier style. The variation of colours is pastel, the rooms being painted in lime or the very powerful salmon rosé, my favourite. The space is well portioned, the massive classical furniture being placed in order to give a lot of space and freedom to the guests.

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The beauty is made of small details. The lobby of each store has wallpapers with motives inspired by nature that are matched with Art Nouveau lamps.

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Given the special home-made ambiance, no surprise that the hotel is offering extensive packages for children. The little ones are offered gifts such as cuddle toys, colouring books or chocolate candies. A nanny service is available for the families looking to have some private time during their stay at Regent. During this time, the children can be kept busy too, among others, with classes where they learn the good manners. The Executive suites do have adjacent rooms for children, provided with special amenities, such as child tailored DVDs. The guests who make their reservation up to 30 days in advance, may receive a complimentary upgrade.

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Visiting the rooms leaves you with a special feeling of quietness and strength. It is not difficult to make yourself at home and enter that unique ambiance you are longing for when you are on the road. Especially when you travel a lot, the need to be in the middle of familiar spaces is always there, despite all the glamours of the travel life.

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The rooms are provided with everything needed for creating an elegant privacy. Wifi is free of charge, the housekeeping service is done twice the day at least. The concierge service is available all round the day. At the spa, luxury massage and beauty treatments are available. Berlin tour guides, in German, English and French are available. The premier suites do have a small kitchinette space where the dinner can be prepared by the concierge. The concierge is available to help and plan various plans of the stay of the guests, such as car renting, booking flights etc.

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Another unique feature of Regent Hotel, is the possibility to have your own jogging concierge. Head concierge Stephanm Mehlhorn, an experienced sportsman himself, is ready to show the guests the most beautiful routes for jogging across the city (besides the well known Tierpark). Special jogging maps are offered, with directions and various recommendations tailored to the jogging needs of the customer.

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Sometimes we are reminded that the well-being and luxury are not for ever and while we are thankful for the moment, we need to consider the fate of those who have nothing. Regent Hotel is involved as well in charities, last year being awarded the Franz von Mendelssohn Medal for charitable commitment.

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The presidential suite is often hosting high-class VIPs, from the world of sports – like the VIPs of FC Bayern – politicians or movie stars. The small French style balcony was used by Tom Cruise’s daughter Suri for learning her first independent steps. In order to offer her special protection, a plexiglass shield was set up around the metal fence. With such a beautiful view, you might be inspired to walk by yourself to see all those place by youself! Cruise stayed here during the filming for his movie Valkyrie, that was partly shot at the Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam.

??????????Inside the hotel, a conference room can host up to 180 people. Press conferences are often organized there, as it happened this February, for the two Pussy Riots members Nadejda Tolokonnikowa and Maria Aljochina, during their first trip abroad as free persons. I am sure that the walls of the hotel saw many other personalities and their choices, but what happens in Regent Hotel, stays in Regent Hotel. 
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It is time to relax, and the simple afternoon tea is the happy ending of my short stay at Regent. Served in Meissen porcelain, it is prepared under the close supervision of the Tea Master Gold, Roland Pröh. Nearby, there is the terrace, which this year has a lavender summer theme.

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It is not easy to say ‘good bye’, and I can feel what the long-term guests may be going through when they have to part ways with this beautiful island of luxury. However, modern technology helps to keep in touch, and a special app, downloadable for free, helps the customers to keep in touch with the newest highlights. One of the newest offers is the special package made in cooperation with Rolls Royce and KPM Manufaktur, offering a high class experience with luxury cars and perfect porcelain.

Stay elegant, Regent Berlin, hope to see you soon!

For more insights from Regent Hotel, visit the dedicated Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/ilanaontheroad/regent-hotel-berlin/

Disclaimer: I was the guest of Regent Hotel for an overview of the rooms and an afternoon tea, but the opinions are, as usual, my own.