The building first opened as a luxury hotel in 1913 and soon took its place in Berlin’s cultural history. Following the October Revolution, many Russian aristocrats and intellectuals occupied the stately suites, while the hotel became a meeting point for prominent Berliners and travelers such as Vladimir Nabokov and Zarah Leander. During the Second World War, it was business as usual at the hotel, albeit in an improvised fashion – complete with tomato patches on the roof and a herd of goats in the courtyard. 1950 was the opening of the voguish basement bar, when Steinplatz became a rendezvous and private stage for artists, actors and intellectuals. Literary greats such as Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass, as well as film stars like Brigitte Bardot and Romy Schneider were regular guests.
Having stood at No. 4 Steinplatz for over 100 years, the six-story Art Nouveau building still captivates passers-by today. With its olive-green facade, featuring two bays, geometric decorative elements and casement windows in various designs, August Endell’s architectural masterpiece itself is once again the talk of the town in today’s elegant residential area of Charlottenburg.
The hotel’s new allure is the result of extensive renovation work. The original windows had to be replaced by architecturally appropriate reproductions. Fortunately it had been possible to save other features such as the vaulted ceiling in the entrance area and parts of the exquisite stucco, which were used as a template for the restoration work.
Following Endell’s example, the inspiration was drew from the wealth of shapes and patterns found in nature. If you look closely, you will discover shells, bats and fern in motifs throughout the hotel.