March 18, 2015 / 11:06 AM / 5 years ago

Berlin for business? A traveler's cheat sheet from Marriott's CEO

New York (Reuters) - Arne M. Sorenson crisscrosses the world many times a year as president and chief executive officer of Marriott International Inc.

A man takes a walk along river Spree in Berlin's Mitte (centre) district January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

So what is his favorite city? Berlin.

“I live in Washington, and it’s so Washingtonian to really love Berlin,” Sorenson says. “It’s a monumental city that has a lot of history to it. And it’s also one of the most innovative cities in the world.”

Sorenson has an eclectic cheat sheet for a memorable - and productive - business stay in Berlin:

When you land: Go for a run outside as soon as you can.

“It allows you to see the city. I love the Tiergarten (Straße des 17), right by the Brandenburg Gate. It feels lived in. It feels natural.”

Power breakfast: Hotel Adlon Kempinski (Unter den Linden 77).

“The Adlon is the neighborhood of ‘Mitte’ which means ‘Center,’ the former heart of Berlin, which ended up in East Berlin, but is again the Mitte of the City.”

Stay: A Marriott property, naturally. The Hotel am Steinplatz (Steinplatz 4).

“I love its mix of old and new. It’s a 100-year-old building entirely redone.”

Best business meeting spot: Tiergarten (Straße des 17).

“If it’s a one-on-one meeting, I’d probably take a walk right there in the park because it’s a bit unusual. And when you’re on a one-on-one basis, you can undo a lot of the formalities.”

Team-building: Habitat for Humanity Germany.

“If you have enough time, get a habitat built, which you can certainly arrange in Berlin. You’re working on something productive together.”

Dinner with colleagues: Any place with a big table where everyone can sit together and see each other will do the trick. Be sure to dine on German food.

“I love schnitzel, it’s hard not to. And in Germany, you’ve got to eat cabbage. It’s not a common American taste, but it’s always done beautifully there. I like Borchardt (Französische Straße 47), located at Gendarmenmarkt. This is also where all celebrities go during the film festival ‘Berlinale.’”

Best boite: “Bar am Steinplatz (Steinplatz 4).

“I love the design. It brings a mix of old-world Europe and a very modern comfort to it.”

Worth a visit: The Holocaust Memorial (Cora-Berliner-Straße 1) is fabulous.

“Seeing it in Germany makes it a kind of Ground Zero experience. I love its scale.”

Slideshow (2 Images)

And don’t forget Berlin’s rich, diverse art museums, including the New National Gallery (Neue Nationalgalerie; Potsdamer Straße 50, 10785 Berlin); the Hamburger Bahnhof (Invalidenstraße 50-51); the ME Collectors Room (Auguststrasse 68); the KW Kunstwerke (Auguststraße 69) and the Martin Gropius Bau (Niederkirchnerstraße 7).

Tourist trap: Walk around the neighborhood by the Hotel Adlon (Mitte).

“It’s alive and very active with great spaces to walk in and great retail on a human scale.”

Editing by Lauen Young and Andre Grenon

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