Hardly typical of our guide, Berlin's Schlosshotel Vier Jahreszeiten is one of the most luxurious you could hope to find anywhere, but its history, its relatively small number of rooms, its wooded setting in the elegant residential Grunewald district, and its opulent makeover by Karl Lagerfeld make it idiosyncratic enough to include - should you be able to afford it.
Now part of the Ritz-Carlton group, the hotel was built as a private palace in 1914 for aristocrat Walter von Pannwitz in late Baroque style, with a Renaissance-style double-height great hall, a library with painted ceililng, a gallery designed for von Pannwitz's art collection, and other richly decorated salons. In 1994 it was completely restored, under artistic direction of fashion guru Karl Lagerfeld, a friend of the new owners. Unless he is there himself, you can stay in his private suite, decorated with his own furniture and paintings. All the bedrooms and bathrooms are dreamly luxurious and superbly equipped. There are two restaurants, Le Jardin and the gourmet Vivaldi (very palatial), and two bars, one open air, one with open fire, as well as a cool white health centre. The whole place exudes high-living opulence.