Here are a few in-town minivacations for the show-weary visitor.
AHH-SPA: It’s easy to leave the babble of Bebelplatz behind for a calming, cultural or culinary moment. The Spa at Hotel de Rome is good as gold. The five-star hotel in an historic bank building on Bebelplatz has a delightfully decadent spa. Guests can bathe in an azure pool surrounded by gleaming golden mosaic tiles in the former jewel vault, perspire their cares away in the Finnish sauna or enjoy a specialized body treatment in the safe-turned-therapy room.
This story first appeared in the July 7, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Hotel de Rome, 37M Behrenstrasse; +49-30-46-0609-1160; email@example.com.
MAN’S WORLD: Men can seize the day at Isseo Homme Spa. Berlin’s first men’s spa at Galeries Lafayette here offers face and body treatments with French Isseo care products for men, plus manicures, pedicures and epilation. For a post-primping bite, head downstairs to Galeries Lafayette’s food hall — one of its newest treasures is a mini Laduree Tea Salon imported from Paris, where you can munch on exquisite macaroons in jewel-toned colors or cool off with luxury ice creams to match in rose, pistachio and caramel. Galeries Lafayette, 76-78 Friedrichstrasse; +49-30-20-9480; galeries-lafayette.de.
KNOWING NOLDE: Bask in brushstrokes just around the corner at a museum highlighting the important German expressionist artist Emil Nolde. Nolde’s intense colors and unrestrained approach to portraiture are on display in the upstairs gallery, and one soothing room is lined with video screens showing the pastoral settings and fields of flowers that inspired Nolde’s art — complete with rushing wind and waves on the soundtrack. An Art & Lunch special also is offered by the Nolde Foundation in conjunction with Michelin-starred restaurant Fischers Fritz. Nolde Foundation Seebuell, Berlin Extension, 55 Jaegerstrasse; +49-30-40-00-4690; nolde-stiftung.de.
TAKE A MOMENT: Relax and take in the designer scenery — before you take out your credit card — at the Piano Bar at Quartier 206. Set in the soaring atrium of the black-and- white shopping palace designed by Pei, Cobb, Fried & Partners, you can sip cappuccino or Champagne while listening to the gentle tones of a grand piano, all the while surrounded by a sweeping marble staircase and a collection of designer boutiques, including Etro, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and the super select Quartier 206 Departmentstore. Quartier 206, 71 Friedrichstrasse; +49-30-20-94-6240; quartier206.de.
CRUISE ALONG: For those who simply want to get away from it all, there are one-hour boat rides just a short hop away from the runway venue. Berlin Wasser Taxi will ferry you past the Pergamon and Bode Museums, Hackesche Markt, the Berliner Dom, past Friedrichstrasse, the Reichstag and government district, the new main railway station and the oyster-shaped congress hall. The cute, open-roofed Dutch boats leave almost every half hour from the Schlossbrücke opposite the Zeughaus on Unter den Linden. Berlin Wasser Taxi, berlinerwassertaxi.de.