On a recent visit to Berlin, we were lucky enough to stay at the latest Minilofts from architects Britta Jürgens and Matthew Griffin: Miniloft Kreuzberg. Like its sister property Miniloft Mitte, the new design hotel is located in one of the most interesting neighborhoods of this dynamic city and built to make guests feel like locals.
They may technically be hotels, but the Minilofts feel more like “home”, two collections of apartments that offer visitors the best of both worlds — somewhere to relax, work and play, the freedom to check in and out independently, but with concierge service.
The award-winning Miniloft Mitte (pictured below) was created in the city’s central Mitte district between 2001 and 2004. Jürgens and Griffin took a run-down building from the 1890s and an adjacent overgrown bomb-site, and turned them into a futuristic live-work space, using materials that reflect the mixture of elegant and hip that is modern-day Berlin.
Each loft is bathed in natural light with city views through walls of glass, and feature polished concrete, warm wood accents and sleek contemporary furnishings and decor. Guests can choose between Extroverted and Introverted lofts in the modern wing, or the Classic and Compact lofts in the renovated old wing.
The new Miniloft Kreuzberg (below) inhabits a booming, multicultural district of the city, overlooking the Besselpark, tucked away from the traffic of the Friedrichstrasse, but only five minutes from Checkpoint Charlie. It’s a collection of 14 apartments that keep the same high ceilings, large windows and long views of the original Minilofts, but with a few adaptations, including disabled access and larger apartments that are ideal for events like reunions.
On the roof, there’s a garden located on the site of the telescope through which Neptune was first sighted in 1846. On the ground floor is the brand-new Cafe Nullpunkt, a restaurant space serving great coffee and light snacks for neighbors and guests alike. It has a small menu of locally-sourced food, vegan and vegetarian options, plus music, poetry or reading performances each Thursday night.
We love the Miniloft approach to living. Each apartment is a great space for living, working, or even entertaining guests in. Each also has a complimentary 40-page guidebook to Berlin, written by the owners, which is available as a pdf so you can plan your stay in advance. There’s also flexible pricing, which means this: if you don’t mind which loft you stay in and let the owners pick for you, you’ll get a special price.