In a lush green backyard in the middle of Charlottenburg, the Wilmina – an extraordinary hotel with a delicate history – reveals its truly unique dimension. Once a courthouse and women’s prison, the listed ensemble has been transformed by the architect couple Grüntuch Ernst, who have extended it and reinterpreted it as a place of community. The architects themselves initiated the project and are also involved in the management of the hotel.
From the outside, the classicist facade of the historic building on Berlin’s Kantstraße does not yet reveal what is kept behind its large wooden wing door: a hidden idyll of red brick buildings and interflowing courtyards, overgrown with dense trees, shrubs and climbing plants. As a redesigned hotel with 44 individual rooms and suites, a restaurant and a multidisciplinary art and culture area, it offers peace and retreat in the middle of the busy city.
Built in 1896, the freestanding structures functioned as a criminal court and prison for many decades until they were closed in 1985 and partly used as archives. After many years of vacancy, the architectural firm Grüntuch Ernst renovated the buildings over a period of ten years in a particularly sustainable way – with great sensitivity for the complicated history of the site. The result is a contemplative and comfortable retreat with both historical and contemporary flair, clear, minimalist design, the finest materials and bright colours.
The former prison cells were dissolved and transformed into bright rooms of various categories – from small but cosy to the Classic Extended Version for the daily yoga routine to the room with a view of the ivy- and vine-covered garden.
For even more views, there are rooms, suites or the Garden Loft with kitchenette in the newly built Penthouse. Each unit has unique features and historical elements – such as the cell doors and windows, which have been given a new interpretation.
In addition to the stylish rooms and the winding garden scenery accompanied by the chirping of birds, guests can enjoy a library where breakfast is served between floor-to-ceiling windows and bookshelves, a fireplace lounge with billiard room, as well as a spa and gym. The Lovis restaurant welcomes its guests under an artfully arranged sea of lights – a design element that also runs like a luminous thread through the cell wing – while the Amtsalon invites visitors to exhibitions and projects related to art, architecture and design. Wilmina is an open history book and urban hideaway to indulge in and discover.
What to do
Discover and experience Berlin in all its facets: As a starting point, Charlottenburg offers a varied atmosphere between elegant old building facades, magnificent villas, historical sights, numerous parks, tradition-conscious as well as trendy gastronomy, chic boutiques, individual shops and the famous shopping mile on Kurfürstendamm. From Charlottenburg Palace, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the Zoological Garden to the German Opera, the Bröhan Museum, the Literature House or the Book Arch on Savigny Square to Bikini Berlin or a visit to the district's old cinemas.
Why we like this house
An unusual, subtle place that takes its difficult history, transforms it and fills it with lightness and conviviality.
This house is great for
Whether on a visit to Berlin or a business trip, whether travelling alone, as a couple, with a baby or the whole family: Wilmina is great for all guests!
Particularly sustainable renovation (winner of the Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis Architektur 2023), perfect public transport connection
|Region||DE – Germany, Berlin, Berlin|
|Scenery||Tucked away and surrounded by secluded gardens and courtyards, yet right in the middle of Berlin Charlottenburg.|
|Number of guests||44 individual double rooms, suites and one loft (some units feature even a sofa bed and/or space for a cot).|
|Design||Grüntuch Ernst Architekten, Berlin|
|Specials||Pool on the roof terrace (not heated for ecological reasons)|
|Awards||Hotelimmobilie des Jahres 2022, BDA-Preis Berlin 2021, Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis Architektur 2023, Winner of the Berlin Architecture Award 2023|
|Architecture||Historical, Modern, Old & new|
|Criteria||Rooms for 1-2 (hotel), Art, Dog-friendly, Family, Garden, Loft, Meeting, Metropolis, Restaurant, Sauna, Spa, Urban, Workation, No car needed|
The calendar shows the current availability of the accommodation. On days with a white background, the accommodation is still fully available. If an accommodation has more than one rentable unit, days with free capacities are shown with a light grey background. On days with a dark grey background, the accommodation is not available.