East Berlin's Vegan & Wellness Conscious Almodóvar Hotel

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Almodóvar Hotel is a rarity among European hotels in that it is a “certified” organic hotel, along with other things, houses vegan and vegetarian restaurant Bardot Bistro on the ground floor. As you enter, you feel as if you’ve entered a romantic and dreamy lounge of sorts, not necessarily a hotel and suddenly you find that you want to bury yourself in one of their comfy chairs behind one of their white sheer curtains so you can get lost for awhile.

Behind the scenes, the raison d’etre for this property is all about wellness and clean living despite the fact that its home is in the Friedrichshain district of East Berlin, which is central to the artistic funky side of Berlin more than the yoginis. That said, I was astonished how many yoga studios, or at the very least, signs, I saw throughout Berlin, both east and west.

The concept started as far back as 2004 when Naturalis GmbH was founded as a health education-training centre in Berlin. Branches were later established in Munich (2006), Frankfurt (2008), and Hamburg (2010) and with its 2012 expansion, Almodóvar Hotel was launched. Another cool factoid about the hotel is that of a staff of over 100, six of the seven managing positions are held by women. Bravo!

Their mission or rather mantra is all about treating the guest as a “human being.” While that may seem trite or obvious, I’m always amazed at how often hotel staff forget the individualized approach to their customers, realizing that in fact, every guest is different and therefore being as personal as you can is vital to a successful “stay” experience.  Almodóvar believes that the key to a bright future and business success is the respectful and resource-oriented interaction with the environment.

Because the 60-room hotel is certified organic hotel, the design is sustainable throughout — the rooms do not have refrigerators, and the electricity comes from renewable sources.

Below, a shot of the bathrooms — small but modern and in traditional European style, includes a heating rack for your towels, a huge plus during off-season and cooler months.

From FSC certified natural wood for the floors to the cleaning agents, the resources are all from sustainable biological production. In the hotel’s design, they use organic shapes and materials across the globe – from South African felt Ottomans to Southern French wool design. Benches made of a design-recycling project in Senegal harmonize with modern carpet design by Jan Kath. Much of the furniture was designed by the hotel collective and manufactured in India and Germany.

BARDOT BISTRO

At its vegetarian restaurants downstairs, fair-trade coffee is served and the dishes consist exclusively of organic products, specializing in fresh organic ingredients and living or raw cuisine, which hasn’t been “heat” treated.

Their dishes are unique and often have vibrant colors in their presentation, leaving you with a nurturing feeling after you finish a dish, whether it’s their large spread vegan breakfast they have every morning or smaller plates later in the day. Below is a delicious vegan bacon and pesto starter they have on the menu – it was good enough that I asked for a second.

The breakfast is unusual for a hotel – in addition to a breakfast buffet, there are also thematic breakfasts with a goal to not only please vegetarians and vegans but also demonstrate to non-vegetarians that a meat-free diet does not mean sacrificing taste.

They serve culinary delights such as paella and Zurich ragout, and all meals and drinks (even the cocktails are mixed only with organic produce) originate from organic farms, which are regularly monitored by the ecological control authority. The primarily vegan fare is complemented with themes, so for example, in the spring, they offer “Living Foods” – gourmet raw food dishes with a delicious twist.

ROOF TOP CITY SPA

Wellness and relaxation are also a priority here as noted by their relaxing rooftop spa on the 5th floor. Since we arrived so early in the morning on a redeye and our rooms weren’t ready yet, we were able to take a quick nap on comfy white mattresses on the floor, all of which face an outdoor terrace with plants and wooden lounge chairs. They also have a healthy tea stand set up in case you want a hot renewing cuppa tea after exploring the city all day or in our case, just hopped off a 10+ hour flight.

They also offer a panoramic sauna with rest areas, a stone’s throw from their nearby sun terraces. They have trained therapists on board who offer massage as well as yoga and other mind-body interventions. The treatments are a special highlight – from a day in the private spa suite to the Ayurveda spa, guests can choose from an extensive and authentic wellness-program.

It’s also worth noting that we all found yoga mats in our rooms, yet another way to encourage a healthy lifestyle, whether you want to use for a simple meditation from  your room or in their rooftop spa with a view.

Creativity is also at their core — the shot below is of the side of the hotel building which faces a major street in Friedrichshain.

The view of a main drag from my hotel room, which faced the street.

Two thumbs up! It’s a great (and quaint) hotel find in the heart of East Berlin — the closest metro public transportation is the Tram (street car) lines 21 and M13 (“Boxhagenerstr./Holteistr.”) or the “Samariterstr.” on the U5 line.

Details:

Almodóvar Hotel
Boxhagener Straße 83 
10245 Berlin
Phone: +49(0)30.69209708 -0  

Note: I used hashtag #BLNHoods for my trip to Berlin so be sure to check out my Instagram and Twitterfeeds for some great photographs and observations.

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Note: I was hosted by the hotel/Berlin Tourism, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Renee Blodgett
Founder
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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