Including the Mayor and His Boyfriend
Part II—The Hotels, The Clubs, The Adventure
In November 2001, Klaus Wowereit became mayor of Berlin. Now in his third term, Klaus’s favorite color is pink, and he is not subtle in showing his preference for it. Klaus, you see, is gay—which in Berlin is no big deal. In fact, it helped Klaus get elected, having admitted to his cheering fanbase, “Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so.“ (“I’m gay, and that’s a good thing.”)
The city has been a center for gay and lesbian intellects, playboys, and creative types for nearly a century, so there’s not shortage of bars, restaurants, hotels and clubs catering to them. The trick is in the sorting, ranging from hot, really hot, to sizzling hot–just like the customers themselves.
Axel Hotel Berlin (Lietzenburger Str. 13/15, Schöneberg) Our favorite hotel in all of Berlin is the trendy Axel. With other locaations in Barcelona and Buenos Aires, the “hetero friendly” gay Axel Berlin is centrally located in Schöneberg and right up the straße from the Wittenbergplatz subway station. The minimalist rooms are designed with an open shower for the ultimate in showing off for your traveling companion or overnight guest. WIFI is free throughout the hotel, with the Urban Bar within the hotel, and a rooftop hot-top with spectacular views. Book through the hotel directly for preferred rates. (http://www.axelhotels.com/berlin)
When clean and cheap is the order of the day, we recommend the ArtHotel (Fuggerstr. 33, Schöneberg) where $94.00 gets you a room for two. Late risers alert: the free breakfast buffet is served at the ArtHotel until 4 p.m. At check-in, receive a free pass to Boilers Sauna (see below) and Connections Club next door plus a Vodka Redbull cocktail to supercharge your first moments in Berlin. Flat screen TV, DVD players, and Ipod stations are standard in this no smoking hotel.
Mutschmann’s (Martin-Luther-Straße 19) is a fetish cruise bar with an international reputation. It has a strict dress code of leather, rubber or military on the weekends when it opens its doors at 10 p.m. Should be one of the unfortunates that forgot to pack leather, the club opens to the curious on Wednesday nights and welcomes all. (www.mutschmanns.de)
Tom’s Bar (Motzstraße 19) has been around since the 90s, and fancies itself as “the” first-stop on any gay man’s sweep of the gayborhood. Lately, it’s instituted a rather amusing door policy where humiliation seems to be part of the technique. (No, we were not turned away, silly rabbit. However, we did witness many hot men who were.)
Triebwerk (Urbanstraße 64) This club specializes in underwear and naked nights to such an extent that you’re only allowed to wear head-to-toe clothing on one night—Mondays. Even then, you may be the only one dressed, but at least you’ll get in.
KitKatClub (Köpenicker Straße 76–entrance Brückenstraße) The club is truly legendary and worth a visit just for the
matchbooks alone. Opened in the mid-90s by porno producer Simon Thaur and his GF Kirsten Krüger (Miss Kitty is usually manning the door), this place is the site of the most intense fetish parties in town. Themes change daily so check it website. (www.kitkatclub.org/Home/Club)