The Ellington is, at least on one level, a throwback to a couple of Berlin’s golden eras. Its reconstructed Weimar-style facade fronts a block-long office building dating back to 1932, and it owes its name to a frequent guest at Badewanne, the famous West Berlin jazz club that stood behind these doors during the 1950s, playing host to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington himself. And once you’re inside, although the atmosphere aims for more of that golden-age romance, the visuals are very much 21st-century boutique-hotel chic.
Of course, with 285, it’s not some mom-and-pop operation. As a former commercial block it had a lot of square footage to fill. In a nod to today’s budget-friendly Berlin, they kept room sizes reasonable, only really spreading out in the suites — you can expect a more than reasonable measure of comfort, some friendly service, and a generous helping of style.
The Duke restaurant, headed by chef Carsten Obermayr, definitively settles any question about who the hotel is named after, and to this day the hotel functions as a jazz venue. And its location on the Nürnburger Strasse means it’s well placed for shoppers as well, with the Kurfürstendamm and the famous KaDeWe department store close at hand.