Hotel Zoo is located in a neighbourhood that has been party-central long before East Berlin rose to fame. It stands on what is one of the world’s grandest boulevards, Kurfürstendamm, a reminder of the area’s glamorous past. Built in 1889 as a private residence by the famous Prussian architect Alfred Messel, it was first converted into a hotel in 1911. In the 20s it became the official VIP location for the Berlin International Film Festival (die Berlinale), hosting the greats of the silver screen like Marlene Dietrich. Both eras of the building’s history are key factors in the design concept for the recent (2014) re-fit, headed by Hollywood designers Dayna Lee and Ted Berner of Powerstrip Studio, firmly cementing its place in the Design Hotels portfolio. Cinematic design elements, including a huge six-metre-high door in the lobby (they call it the ‘Living Room’) and a 22-metre-long jadecoloured carpet (complete with interwoven crouching leopards) designed by Diane von Furstenberg in the entrance continue the fantastical theme out front. Our suite was equally opulent with a huge bed, floor-to-ceiling mirrored walls and a free-standing bath fit for even the most demanding of divas.