FrontRunners: Back to the Wall
Once known for its intimate château hotel in the residential Grunewald district of Berlin, Ritz-Carlton has reemerged in the ultimate urban location in Germany’s capital. The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin (+49.3033.7777, www.ritzcarlton.com) debuted in January in the Art Deco–styled Beisheim Center on Potsdamer Platz, an exclusive, contemporary square located next to a section of the former Berlin Wall. The square was rebuilt after the wall came down in 1989, and the new Ritz is the latest example of the area’s transformation. The hotel’s 262 rooms and 40 suites combine modern amenities—including bedside control panels and heated bathroom floors—with elegant touches such as a bath butler and a writing desk with ink and quill. The Club Lounge on the 10th floor, available to guests of the Club Level rooms and suites, is a quiet space with a burning fireplace and an attentive staff that serves champagne and delicacies—details that suggest the Ritz has retained some old-world charm in this modern Berlin marvel.