If I had to open a hotel in Berlin, it would be (almost) exactly like the newly opened Danish Lulu Guldsmeden on Potsdamer Straße. The family-run boutique hotel is ideally located in the logistical center of Berlin – right at the cross of Mitte, Charlottenburg, Schöneberg and Kreuzberg, with only 5-15 minutes in each direction until the next Kiez and a lively, up-and-coming neighborhood easily accessible on foot.
We stayed for a whole weekend a few weeks ago (during the annual Motzstraßenfest on Nollendorfplatz – only a stone’s throw from the Lulu!) and enjoyed the perks of a true staycation, far away from Kreuzberg and Neukölln, our usual hangouts. And what can I say? The rooms are beautifully furnished, cozy and spacious. An ideal city hotel for light-footed travelers who want to get everywhere quickly and who can appreciate a mix of nightlife and perfect infrastructure (and who doesn’t).
Location is everything, sure, but the Lulu Guldsmeden hotel has also very well managed to insert itself into the Berlin spirit: instead of building from scratch, the hotel is now located in a former Altbau, reconstructed to fit the need of a contemporary guesthouse.
I say “guesthouse”, because that’s what it feels like – the Guldsmeden Berlin very much reminds me of my trip through South East Asia, where guest houses would often be in old apartment buildings, run by families, right in the middle of the crazy urban hustle of the city. On Potsdamer Straße, where galleries and art folk have settled a while ago, there are still plenty of strip clubs, casinos and a lot of nightlife to be had (at Kumpelnest or at Victoria Bar, depending on your taste), which makes for an eclectic cultural mix. The hotel restaurant ‘Saesons’ opens to a terrace right onto Potsdamer Straße, where the lively hustle and bustle is complimented with a light, Nordic menu – locally sourced! – and smooth drinks.
But all of that aside: the Guldsmeden chain prides itself as a boutique hotel with sustainability in mind. You will not find anything made of plastic, the breakfast buffet is generous, but made with local products, and the whole feel of the hotel invites everyone to partake in a well-balanced travel lifestyle that doesn’t leave a humongous carbon footprint. All in all, the Lulu is perfect for a weekend stay in an exciting part of town, near the lush Gleisdreieck Park, nestled conveniently among the popping art and fashion scene of Potsdamer Straße, and in close vicinity to all the hype tourist sights – without being too far away from home, namely Kreuzberg.