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Enter the stately former Danish embassy tucked next to the Berlin Zoo, and the first thing you'll see is the gaping mouth of a crocodile head in front of a grand, museum-like staircase. It's that combination of playfulness and elegance that the design hotel Das Stue strives for and—against the odds—totally pulls off. Rooms are modern but not sterile, with impossibly comfortable beds, touch-screen lighting and temperature controls, and clever Scandinavian-style hidden storage. Roam around the building and you'll find a spa with a pool and futuristic Finish sauna, and sunlit reading nooks equipped with Taschen books on each landing of the stircase. Mediterranean Cinco provides the by-now requisite Michelin-starred eats. The hotel is a bit removed from public transit and there's not much to see and do in this quiet corner of Tiergarten, but the views over the zoo are lovely—and if you can afford to stay here, you're probably a taxi-type of person anyway.