Founder of Spa Espirit Group shares her top picks in Berlin

Cynthia Chua, CEO and founder of the Spa Esprit Group – Roomorama blog

City Guide: Berlin

​Cynthia Chua is the CEO and founder of the Spa Esprit Group, comprising 17 lifestyle brands that encompass beauty, food and wellness. She is a recipient of the Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Singapore Experience Awards 2012.

Tell us your favourite destination to date and why?

There are so many cities I love. ​My favourite cities are Paris, New York, London, Berlin​ and, of course, Singapore.

But if I needed to choose, I'd say Berlin left a deep impression on me.

What/where in Berlin would you recommend to...

Tausend Cantina located under the train tracks. The entrance is as mysterious as the backdoor cantina. It has great Japanese fusion food and decor.

City Chicken is the best fuss-free crispy rotisserie chicken joint. Just get there and the suburb is an experience itself.

For a great breakfast spread, head to Bikini Berlin Hotel. It is a really well-conceptualised, trendy boutique hotel.

Soho House Berlin rooftop restaurant is always nice and chill, perfect for brunch.


I love Club der Visionäre. It's a riverside bar with a wooden sun terrace, complete with a DJ spinning electronic music. Great vibe!

If you want a more exclusive environment, go to Bar Tausend. Not forgetting Berghain Club, where you can party till sunrise. The panorama bar is a must see.

Otherwise, head to Bikini Bar located on the top floor of Bikini Berlin Hotel.

...hang out

Badeschiff is my favourite hang-out. It is a riverside beach bar and a makeshift container swimming pool – so great with so much vibe.

I also love The Barn, a specialty coffee joint. They have great carrot cake. In addition, Companion Coffee and Bonanza Coffee are lovely too.


Pictured above: Badeschiff (credit: light222333, via YouTube) at

When I'm in Berlin I always visit Voo Store, a multi-label shop. I also check out Hard Wax Record Store for their cutting-edge electronic dance music, on vinyls!


The best way to see the city is by cycling around the East side, before crossing to the West. The East Side Gallery is a must-see; the stretch of conserved graffiti covering part of the Berlin Wall was an interesting sight.

I would also recommend visiting the Neues museum, and any art exhibition in the Bunker. The Holocaust Memorial, in 2711 blocks of varying heights, offers a very sobering perspective on Berlin's Jewish history.

On Sundays, don't forget the Mauer Flea Market! There is a wide collection of vintage items, vinyl records, antiques, etc.

Voo Store Hard Wax Record Store

Pictured above: Voo Store (credit: Fabian Kochendörfer), Hard Wax (credit: Liz Eve)

How about your favourite places in other parts of the world?


I love Shakespeare and Co.; the history and vibe of the bookshop is rejuvenating. Shopping in Didier Ludot and Broken Arm is also a must! I like browsing through Bastille Market as well, to see what I can find. As for sightseeing, the Luxembourg Gardens and bee houses amaze me.

New York

For New York, MiN New York is my go-to for niche perfumes. I also adore Shinola and Opening Ceremony, they are my favourite shopping places.


In London, I love buying a coffee from OPSO Bistro and sitting in the park, just in front of Midori House. Borough Market has great artisanal baked goods, and Dover Street Market is perfect for the fashion-obsessed.

Dover Street Market

Pictured above: Dover Street Market (credit: londontown)


Last but not least, I frequent Beauty Emporium often for my Spa Espirit customised shower gels. The Super 0 annual party in Singapore is always a surprise; it is an all-day pop-up boutique cultural festival that I enjoy.

Stylish places to stay in Berlin

This beautiful 2-bedroom apartment in Sredzkistrasse is brightly-lit, and is of walkable distance from the city-center.

Short term rentals in Berlin – Roomorama blog Vacation rental apartment in Berlin – Roomorama blog Holiday rentals in Berlin – Roomorama blog Weekly rental apartments in Berlin – Roomorama blog Weekly rentals in Berlin – Roomorama blog

Going to Berlin? Check out more places to stay on Roomorama.