I went into the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin [https://www.kempinski.com/en/berlin/hotel-adlon] to use the restroom and stayed in the elegant lobby for a cup of coffee.
The atmosphere is all you’d expect of a five-star hotel – comfortable armchairs, attentive staff, piano music. It’s obviously a modern building, but the saucer-dome with stained glass above the lobby is a strong hint that it harks back to an elegant predecessor: https://www.forbes.com/sites/troymcmullen/2017/07/25/an-updated-hotel-adlon-kempinski-adds-glamour-to-its-history/#3ce177ae74db.
Indeed, the original Hotel Adlon was opened in 1907 after its proprietor, the restaurateur Lorenz Adlon (1849-1927), secured the backing of Kaiser Wilhelm II to bring to Berlin a rival to the new Ritz hotels of London and Paris.
The site Adlon chose was next to the Brandenburg Gate, surrounded by the British, French and American embassies and close to major German government buildings.
The Kaiser and his government contracted the hotel to reserve accommodation for visiting dignitaries, and the place became a magnet for the powerful, rich and famous.
Adlon was understandably a staunch monarchist, and after the Kaiser was deposed in 1918 refused to acknowledge that the central arch of the Brandenburg Gate was available to anyone other than royalty. Twice he crossed the archway without looking and was knocked down: the first time, in 1918, he survived; the second time, in 1927, he was killed.
The hotel survived the Second World War, only to be burnt down by Red Army soldiers raiding the wine cellars on May 2nd 1945. The owner-manager Louis Adlon, Lorenz’s son, was apparently shot by Soviet troops who were misled by a servant addressing him as “Generaldirektor” into thinking him a military general.
The ruined building stood until 1952, with a makeshift hotel running in the former service wing until the 1970s. This remnant was itself demolished in 1984.
The replacement hotel, which makes no attempt to reproduce the original but shares its style and proportions, opened in 1997: http://www.ibtmworld.com/__novadocuments/381845?v=636390059715670000.
It was the location of the singer Michael Jackson’s ill-advised dangling his son out of an upstairs window in 2002.
A cup of coffee costs €7.50. That includes a free pastry the size of a thimble.