A five-star hotel is not unusual in Berlin (there are about 15), but a private one is. The Brandenburger Hof is too self-conscious to feel like home, but it has many personal touches – perfect fresh figs in the bedroom, a copy of Architectural Digest beside the immensely comfortable bed, Japanese flower arrangements, sparrows looking for crumbs under your breakfast table in the winter garden (conservatory) covering the central courtyard. The conversion of this high-ceiinged c. 1900 apartment block preserved many period features that successfully set off the Bauhaus, Lloyd Wright, and le Corbusier furniture. This is luxury with a design-conscious twist. Service, culture and gastronomy are the watchwords. One hundred staff and only 72 rooms mean the place is immaculate and you are well looked after. The young staff are smartly uniformed, but unstuffy to the point of familiarity. Berlin’s galleries are very near. And the Michelin-starred Quadriga restaurant is outstanding, serving ‘Modern European’ food and drawing on a cellar with more than 800 German wines. This comfort and convenience – there are office facilities in the rooms – attracts people on business.The Brandenburger Hof is large for a ‘small’ hotel and some will find its charm lies too deep beneath its polished professionalism, but charming it is. It strives to please, and it succeeds.