Tried & Tested

Aparthotel review: Locke at East Side Gallery, Berlin

2 Jun 2024 by Tamsin Cocks
Locke at East Side Gallery, Berlin (credit Tamsin Cocks)

Background

Locke is a brand of design-led serviced apartments from hospitality company edyn (other brands include fuss-free Cove and business traveller-focused SACO). Locke launched in 2016 in London and now has six properties in the capital – see our reviews of some of the properties here.

Locke at East Side Gallery opened in June 2023 and is the brand’s third German property, joining Schwan Locke and WunderLocke in Munich. The brand’s next opening will be in Lisbon next month.

What’s it like?

There’s a cool, youthful vibe as soon as you enter, with polished industrial design in soft pink and white, and cosmopolitan staff who’ve traded uniforms for warm banter and friendly service.

The ground floor features a reception/bar/coffee shop/co-working space that blends into one social area, with gorgeous views over the River Spree and an outdoor balcony. Standard check-in is from 4pm (check-out 11am), but I arrived early at 11.50am. The team informed me my room would be ready in 30 minutes and gave me a voucher to get a coffee from the bar while I waited – a great example of genuine hospitality.

Plenty of people were tapping away on laptops. Regrettably all the best spots by the windows were already taken, but there are also comfy lounge chairs and standing desks. There are board games dotted around, a vinyl DJ station and lots of foliage.

Locke at East Side Gallery, Berlin (credit Tamsin Cocks)

Where is it?

Located in Berlin’s hip Friedrichshain district, right next to the East Side Gallery – a preserved section of the former Berlin Wall decorated with colourful political murals by international artists.

The nearest S-Bahn station is Ostbahnhof, a ten-minute walk from the hotel. It’s a well-connected station, with easy transfer to the Airport Express (FEX) for travelling to Berlin Brandenburg Airport. A taxi takes 40-50 minutes and costs roughly €40-€50.

Rooms

The property has 176 studio apartments, many with private balconies. I stayed in a 27 sqm River Suite (room 747). The apartment was bright, modern and homely, with natural textures, raw concrete walls, pops of playful colour and cosy furnishings from vases of dried flowers to arty objects and cool light fixtures. There was also a fabulous outdoor balcony with deckchairs to drink in the riverside views.

The lounge area featured a comfortable cream leather sofa and a smart Chromecast-enabled TV, while the fully equipped kitchen had an electric stove, oven, large fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, pots/pans and crockery (and a wine bottle opener).

Amenities included fresh coffee and filters, milk and salt and pepper sachets (a small touch often missed in serviced apartments), plus an iron and Ecover cleaning products for in-between the weekly cleans (there’s also a free communal laundry area with washer dryers).

A small glass dining table can double as a work station at a push, but I’d recommend using the co-working space downstairs.

The bathroom featured a walk-in rain shower and Kinsey Apothecary London amenities. Plug sockets are European (reception loaned me an adaptor) and there are USB sockets, too.

Locke at East Side Gallery, Berlin (credit Tamsin Cocks)

Food and drink

The ground floor hosts the Anima audiophile bar and restaurant, an “eating, drinking and listening concept”. Light bites are available throughout the day, alongside cocktails, natural and biodynamic wines and craft beers, paired with live music sets and a soon-to-launch digital radio.

Meetings

An 80 sqm space on the eighth floor offers a cool backdrop for private events of up to 80. There’s AV equipment, flip charts, a fully equipped bar and a private outdoor terrace.

Leisure

There’s a gym on the eighth floor, while rooms include yoga mats. A weekly programme of activities ranges from games nights to crochet classes, hosted in the ground floor common area.

Verdict

A great choice for the social modern traveller, with an excellent location to navigate Berlin and explore one of its coolest districts.

FACT BOX

  • Best for Comfortable stays and the chance to meet like-minded travellers
  • Don’t miss A room with a view of the River Spree
  • Price Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in a River Suite in July start from €249 per night (entry level €139).
  • Contact Mühlenstraße 61-63, Berlin, 10243; lockeliving.com
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The cover of the Business Traveller June 2024 edition
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