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Berlin, Germany – A Feast for the Senses

by Debra C. Argen
Hotel Palace Berlin, Germany
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Berlin, Germany - Charlottenburg CastleBerlin, Germany is a feast for the senses from its gastronomy with ten Michelin-star restaurants, Europe's first chocolate restaurant, to luxury hotels, pampering spas, history, and unparalleled cultural opportunities.


Since the reunification of Germany in 1990, this 890-square meter capital city with 3.4 million inhabitants has drawn record numbers of visitors who come to enjoy the history, culture, gastronomy, and bustling nightlife. With more than 175 museums, 3 opera houses, 130 theatres and ensembles, casinos, and world-class shopping to select from, a typical day in Berlin is anything but typical.

Edward F. Nesta and I visited Berlin in March 2007 and stayed at two gorgeous luxury hotels, the Hotel Palace Berlin and the Hotel Adlon Kempinski both elegant, yet unique, in their locations, individual styles, and personalities.

The privately owned Hotel Palace Berlin was renovated in 2004 and features 250 rooms and 32 lavish suites, "first floor" their elegant restaurant (one-star Michelin 18 points GaultMillau and 5 cutlery), Palace SPA, Lounge Bar, Sam's Bar, and Bon Dia restaurant.

Located across from the Zoo and Aquarium, steps away from Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and Europa-Center, and a short stroll to Europe's largest department store KaDeWe and luxury boutiques on Kufürstendamm, the Hotel Palace Berlin is perfectly situated for easy accessibility.

We enjoyed pampering spa treatments at the Palace SPA, bountiful breakfasts at Bon Dia, and a fabulous dinner at "first floor" with Executive Chef Matthias Buchholz's exciting menu.

Read about the Hotel Palace Berlin in the Hotels and Resorts, Spas, Restaurants, and Chefs' Recipes sections.

Hotel Palace Berlin
Budapester Strasse, 45
10787 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 2502 0
Fax:                 +49 30 2502 1109

Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin, GermanyThe Hotel Adlon Kempinski celebrates its 100th anniversary in October 2007, yet this grande dame shows no signs of slowing down, and despite her centenarian status, keeps improving with age. Boasting the Hotel Adlon  Spa, the French haute cuisine restaurant, Lorenz Adlon (one-star Michelin, 17 points GaultMillau and five cutlery), Restaurant Quarré, and Lobby Bar, this 385-room hotel with 80 sumptuously appointed suites.

Located on the prestigious Unter den Linden boulevard steps away from the famous Brandenburg Gate, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski is a stunning beauty that will charm you with her amenities.

We experienced indulgent spa treatments, enjoyed fine dining in the Lorenz Adlon where Chef de Cuisine Thomas Neeser pleases guests with his French cuisine, and began our day in the Restaurant Quarré with their opulent breakfast buffet. 

Read about the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in the Hotels and Resorts, Spas, Restaurants, and Chefs' Recipes sections.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski
Unter den Linden, 77
10117 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 2261 0
Fax:                 +49 30 2261 2222

The Berlin restaurant scene continues to become increasingly more interesting each year. Now boasting ten Michelin-star restaurants and Europe's first chocolate restaurant, Berlin is an epicurean paradise. Each restaurant has its own unique appeal and culinary vision, and the only problem is scheduling enough time in Berlin to allow you to visit all or at least several of the restaurants. As they say in German, Guten Appetit!

Facil - Berlin, Germany Chef Michael Kempf at Facil (one-star Michelin, 16 points GaultMillau and four cutlery) is the newest and youngest star of the Michelin star Berlin restaurants. Facil opened in 2001 in the trendy Potsdamer area, where the cuisine is described as pure luxury and modern avant-garde, and guests dine in an impressive room with glass walls and ceiling which opens in nice weather, looking out onto a bamboo garden.

We had an excellent lunch at Facil where Chef Kempf clearly showed his imaginative talent. A few of the well-prepared dishes we tried were Spiny Lobster with Vegetable Salad and Crisp Cannelloni and Tarragon Sesame Sauce, and Two Variations of Bigorre Pork with Amalfi Lemon Sauce Shoulder.

Facil is open Monday to Friday for Lunch (12:00 pm – 3:00 pm) and Dinner (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm). The restaurant is closed on the weekend.

Read about Facil in the Restaurants section and in Chefs' Recipes where Chef Kempf shares a few secrets in English and in German.

Potsdamer Strasse 3
10785 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 5900 5 1234
Fax:                 +49 30 5900 5 2222

first floor, Hotel Palace Berlin, GermanyExecutive Chef Mathias Buchholz of first floor (one-star Michelin, 18 points GaultMillau and five cutlery) has been dazzling connoisseurs looking for a fine-dining experience since joining the restaurant in 1996. Although not easy to receive a Michelin star, it is even harder to continue to maintain a Michelin star; Chef Buchholz's creativity and passionate dedication has upheld his star rating since 1997 when the restaurant received its first star.

Chef Buchholz's light and aromatic cuisine receives star treatment with white-gloved service in an elegant setting. We had an exceptional dinner where Gunnar Tietz, Sommelier of the Year 2006, paired each of the courses with a perfectly matched wine. Two of the courses we had included a delightful sweet and sour Consommé of Red Pepper with Smoked Codfish Ravioli with baby vegetables, and a Filet de Loup de Mer with Foam Sauce and Aubergine Caviar Beggar's purse, that offered little tempting tastes to tease the palate.

first floor is open for Lunch (12:00 pm – 2:30 pm) and Dinner (6:00 pm – 10:30 pm). The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday.

Read about first floor in the Restaurants section and in Chefs' Recipes where Chef Buchholz shares a few recipes in English and German.

first floor
Hotel Palace Berlin 
Budapester Strasse, 45
10787 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 2502 0
Fax:                 +49 30 2502 1109

Lorenz Adlon, Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin, Germany Chef Thomas Neeser of the Lorenz Adlon continues to maintain the Michelin-star rating (one-star Michelin, 17 points GaultMillau and five cutlery) in a luxurious and romantic setting where guests have views of the Brandenburg Gate. The Lorenz Adlon offers a fine-dining experience beginning with Gerhard Retter, named Maitre d'hôtel 2007 by the Schlemmer Atlas, who makes each guest feel uniquely special.

A few of the spectacular creations we had included Pan-seared Norwegian Lobster with Citrus Marmalade and Sautéed Romaine Lettuce, Organic fed Beef Tenderloin with Salsify, Savoy Cabbage and Sauce Périgordine, and Passion Fruit Soufflé, Exotic Fruit Salad and Coconut Ice Cream.

The Lorenz Adlon is open for Dinner 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm from Tuesday – Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday.

Read about Lorenz Adlon in the Restaurants section and in Chefs' Recipes where Executive Chef Fabrice Lasnon and Chef Thomas Neeser share recipes in English and in German.

Lorenz Adlon
Unter den Linden, 77
10117 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 2261 0
Fax:                 +49 30 2261 2222

Marguax - Berlin, GermanyChef Michael Hoffmann is the Chef and Owner of Margaux (one-star Michelin, 16 points GaultMillau and four cutlery) whose culinary style is Cuisine Avantgarde Classique ®. The restaurant features a contemporary décor with glowing walls of onyx and pink Himalayan salt dramatically displayed.

Chef Hoffmann creates a Menu Voyage de Cuisine where a few of the appetizing courses we dined on included Crispy Sautéed Sea Bass with Rosemary, Ragout of Baby Artichokes, Yellow Carrots, Spinach and Basil with Jus of Olive Oil and Candied Red Pepper, and Glazed Shoulder of Lamb Mediterranean Style with Tarragon, Thyme, Fennel, Sage and Black Olives served with Vegetable Barigoule, Leeks, Jerusalem Artichokes, Celery, Black Salsify, Carrots, Kohlrabi, and Potatoes Flavored with Wild Garlic.

Margaux is open for Dinner from 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm from Monday – Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.

Read about Margaux in the Restaurants section and in Chefs' Recipes where Chef Hoffman shares an enticing fish recipe in English and in German.

Unter den Linden 78/Eingang Wilhelmstraße
10117 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 2265 2611
Fax:                 +49 30 2265 2612

44 - Berlin, GermanyExecutive Chef Tim Raue named Germany's Chef of the Year 2007 of 44 (one-star Michelin, 18 points GaultMillau and three cutlery) creates innovative cuisine in a contemporary setting which features paintings by the renowned artist Markus Lupertz, and a curved wall of windows with views of Kufürstendamm.

Chef Raue's cuisine is described as evolutionary, and a few of the intriguing courses that we dined on from his Menu Evolution included Scampi with Wild Carrots, Tarragon and Star Anise and Bell Pepper, and Pike with Curry, Fennel and Tangerines with Orange Flower Jelly, which clearly showcased his unique culinary style using three elements: sweet, sour, and spicy, which create a culinary harmony of flavor.

44 is open for Lunch from 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm, and Dinner from 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.

Read about  44 in the Restaurants section and in Chefs' Recipes where Chef Raue shares his creative recipes.

Augsburgerstrasse 44
10789 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 220 10 2288
Fax:                 +49 30 220 10 2222

Schokoladen Restaurant - Berlin, Germany If chocolate is your passion, you will definitely appreciate the Schokoladen Restaurant, which opened in September 2006, and is Europe's first and only chocolate restaurant, where every recipe includes a form of chocolate. Chef Markus Walder works his magic with cacao, cacao butter, and chocolate to tease the taste buds and to appease even the most particular chocolate lover.

A few of the delicious courses we sampled included Sole Tartar with White Chocolate and Smoked Salmon, and Tuna Steak with Spinach, Pancake with Chocolate-Lentils and Banana Leaf. Finishing with a rich chocolate dessert and a heavenly mug of hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream was pure chocolate decadence.

Schokoladen Restaurant is open Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am – 11:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm.
Lunch is served daily from 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Dinner is served à la Carte from Sunday – Thursday from 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm.
Chocolate Dinner Show on Friday and Saturday from 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm.

Read about Schokoladen Restaurant in the Restaurants section and in Chefs' Recipes where Chef Walder shares his all-chocolate recipes for a tempting menu.

Schokoladen Restaurant
Fassbender & Rausch
Chocolatiers am Gendarmenmarkt
Charlottenstrasse 60
10117 Berlin
Telephone: +49 30 2045 8443
Toll-Free:    800 757 8810 (Monday – Sunday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm)
Fax:            +49 30 2045 8445

Of course, there is much more to Berlin than haute cuisine alone; the architecture, history and culture will surely excite a traveler's senses. Every time we come to Berlin, we always try to see something new, as well as visit a few of our favorite Berlin spots.

One of the easiest ways to experience all that Berlin has to offer is through the purchase of the Berlin Welcome Card which provides visitors with savings at over 130 selected sites, events, and services and unlimited travel on the Berlin public transport network. You may obtain information on the Berlin Welcome Card by contacting: Berlin Tourist Information at www.berlin-tourist-information.com.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church - Berlin, GermanyInteresting to see during the day, taking a moonlight stroll past the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is always something that we enjoy. The church was built in the late 19th century, destroyed in 1945, and the remains are still visible next to the new church built between 1959-1961, where the sensational stained glass windows illuminate the nighttime landscape on Kufürstendamm.

Aquarium - Berlin, GermanyThe Zoo and the Aquarium are located directly across from the Hotel Palace Berlin, which provided us with the perfect opportunity to visit the Aquarium, where we were enthralled watching the undersea life which included anemones, fish, manta rays, and reef sharks. The Aquarium is open daily from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. Admission is charged, reduced admission with the Berlin Welcome Card.

Zoo - Berlin, Germany Zoo Berlin and Zoo-Aquarium
Budapester Strasse, 32
10787 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 2540 10


For a completely different look at Berlin, we took a historic tour of Underground Berlin with
Berliner Unterwelten E.V., which provided an interesting view of Berlin through a 90-minute tour of a bunker from WWII.

Our Guide, Robin D. Williams brought history to life as he led us through the passageways and rooms filled with artifacts, and told us the story of the bunkers, which once totaled 1,000 by 1945. Admission is charged, reduced admission with the Berlin Welcome Card.

Berliner Unterwelten

Berliner Unterwelten e.V.
Brunnenstrasse 108a
13355 Berlin-Wedding
Telephone:      +49 30 4991 0517
Fax:                 +40 30 4991 0519

Charlottenburg Castle, Berlin, Germany From the underground to the ultimate in luxury lifestyles, we took a guided tour of the stunning Charlottenburg Palace the largest and oldest royal palace of the Hohenzollern in Berlin, built in 1699 by King Frederick III (1657 – 1713) as a summer residence for his wife, the Prussian Queen Sophie Charlotte (1668 – 1705). As we approached Charlottenburg Palace, we were immediately impressed with the size and beauty, where the beautiful cupola proudly stands as an important symbol of Berlin.

Charlottenburg Castle, Berlin, Germany We toured the exquisite staterooms and private apartments beginning in the Mecklenburg Suite Private Dressing Room with parquet floors, hand-painted ceiling, and four mirrors in each corner of the ceiling. The palace features sumptuous décor and the tour provided a glimpse into palace life. Of particular interest is the Porcelain Cabinet Room where a collection of more than 2,700 pieces of porcelain from the Far East line the walls, and the hand-painted symbolic ceiling. Another interesting room is the Chapel Room with stucco reliefs, hand-painted ceiling, and organ.

Although it was too early when we visited in March, when weather permits, it would be wonderful to take a stroll through the lovely Baroque gardens after visiting the palace.

The palace is closed on Mondays. Open other days from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm for the old castle, and from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm for the new wing. Admission is charged, reduced admission with the Berlin Welcome Card.

Charlottenburg Palace
Spandauer Damm 20-24
14059 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Telephone:      +49 30 320 91440

Museum Berggruen, Berlin, Germany There are many museums near the Charlottenburg Palace, and we took advantage of the proximity to visit Museum Berggruen. This little gem houses an impressive collection of 85 works by Picasso, and also includes paintings and sculptures from the classical modernist period by Picasso, Klee, Giacometti, Matisse, Braque, Laurens, etc.

The museum is closed on Monday, and is open all other days from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Admission is charged, reduced admission with the Berlin Welcome Card. The museum has partial wheelchair access.

Museum Berggruen
Westlicher Stülerbau gegenüber
Schloss Charlottenburg
Schloss Strasse 1
14059 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Telephone:      +49 30 326 9580
Fax:                 +49 30 326 9581 9

Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany Whenever we are in Berlin, we always make a stop at the Deutsche Guggenheim. This time we were rewarded with the exciting exhibit Arcadia & Anarchy Divisionism – Neo-Impressionism, which focused on a collection of important paintings including a tempera on  canvas by Gaetano Previati (1852-1921) whose swirling lines and luminous colors of Dance of the Hours, 1899 captivated our eyes, as did the evocative painting by Emilio Longoni (1859-1932) Reflections of a Starving Man, 1894, and the painting by Angelo Morbelli (1853 – 1919) For Eighty Cents, 1895, of women working in rice fields.

The museum is open daily from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm with extended hours on Thursday until 10:00 pm. Entrance is free on Monday. Admission charged other days, reduced admission with the Berlin Welcome Card. The museum is wheelchair accessible.

Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany
Deutsche Guggenheim
Unter den Linden, 13-15
10117 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 202 0930
Fax:                 +49 30 202 0932 0

The cultural scene in Berlin is booming and visitors can select from attending the ballet, opera, classical, rock, jazz concerts, and everything in between. On a past trip to Berlin, we attended a premiere ballet performance at the Staatsballett Berlin, and went to the Komische Oper Berlin, which focuses on avant-garde opera, ballet and musical theatre productions.

Staatspoper Unter den Linden - Macbeth This time, we attended an exciting performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Macbeth at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin's oldest and most impressive opera house. Conducted by Michael Gielen, and directed by Peter Mussbach, it was a night to remember with exceptional lead performances by Sergey Murzaev in the title role of Macbeth, Hanno Müller-Brachmann as Banquo, and Sylvie Valayre as Lady Macbeth, supported by an outstanding cast, the Staatsapelle Berlin and Staatsopernchor. The Staatsoper offers reduced tickets with the Berlin Welcome Card.

Read about the Macbeth performance in the Arts – Performances section.

Staatsoper - Berlin, Germany Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden, 7
Telephone: +40 30 20 35 40
Fax:            +49 30 20 35 44 80

Jazz Club A-Trane - Berlin, Germany - Raynald ColomAs I wrote, Berlin offers visitors the opportunity to listen to opera, jazz and everything in between, so after an evening of opera, it was time to finish the evening with a healthy dose of jazz at one of our favorite Berlin clubs,
Jazz Club A-Trane to hear the Raynald Colom Quartet, from Barcelona, Spain.

Open since 1993, Jazz Club A-Trane owner Sedal Sardan continues to bring the best of the jazz world to Berlin. The impressive list of performers includes such notables as:  Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Alice Coltrane, Ravi Coltrane, and Chuck Loeb, among others. 

Jazz-Club A-Trane
Bleibtreustrasse 1/Corner of Pestalozzistrasse, 105
10625 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 313 2550

Of course, no visit to Berlin would be complete without shopping. Luxury shopping abounds at Europe's largest department store KaDeWe, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year in 2007.

Allow yourself enough time for leisurely shopping on seven floors for the latest in designer fashions, home accessories, furniture, gifts, and toys, with a final stop to the gourmet shop on the 6th floor at the end of your trip to stock up on luxury treats and wine for yourself or as gifts for your favorite gourmand. This year, I stocked up on Flor de Sal d'Estrenc Hibiscus after a tip from Chef Michael Kempf of Facil who told me about his recent discovery of hibiscus  sea salt. I cannot wait to start creating with this unusual product.

KaDeWe is open Monday – Thursday from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Friday from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, and Saturday from 9:30 am – 8:00 pm. KaDeWe is closed on Sunday.

Entrance on Lietzenburger Strasse or Tauentzien Strasse, 21 – 24
10789 Berlin
Telephone:      +49 30 2120 0
Fax:                 +49 30 2121 2620

Kufürstendamm is a street of dreams for luxury shoppers paved with the top international designers' boutiques including Chanel, Bulgari, Escada, Versace, Jill Sander, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Sonya Rykiel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and many others. Other luxurious shopping streets include Friedrichstrasse, Unter den Linden, Fasanenstrasse and Bleibtreustrasse.

Please note that the stores are closed on Sunday so if shopping is your favorite form of recreation, plan your time in Berlin accordingly. Most stores are open Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Whatever you desire in a vacation, Berlin offers something for everyone.

While many Germans speak English, it is always helpful to have some basic language knowledge when traveling.

German Vocabulary

Guide to pronunciation

ß = strong S sound (like a hiss)
j = sounds like y
ie = sounds like ea
ü = sounds like ou
w = sounds like v

Basic Vocabulary




Do you speak English?

Sprechen Sie Englisch?

Excuse me     



Guten Tag


Auf Wiedersehen

Good Morning

Guten Morgen

Good Evening

Guten Abend



Thank you










Where is?

Wo is?

Train Station



der Flughafen













































































Red wine


Sparkling wine


White wine






Bon Appetit!

Guten Appetit!



Read other articles on Berlin and Germany in Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Spas, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Arts and Antiques: Performances, and Music Scene sections.

For more information on Berlin and Germany, please visit: www.Berlin-Tourist-Information.com and www.ComeToGermany.com.

© May 2007. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.

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