One Of The Best – Insomnia Berlin
We are going to be upfront. This is going to be a very positive review. We make no secret of our opinion that Berlin is one of our favourite cities for nightlife and for finding grown up things to do. Add to that, the fact that the night we chose to revisit Insomniacoincided with the owner Dominique’s birthday party. That we were privileged enough to be on the guest list also added to the likelyhood we were in for a good time. But, then, spending the evening surrounded by the ‘see and be seen’ crowd of Berlin’s club scene, should hardly bias us now should it?
To all of you who think that running couples events in some of hippest nightspots around is all fun and games. That spending most weekends visiting lifestyle clubs to meet with the owners to discuss an upcoming promotion. That getting content for an anonymous review so that you our members know what to expect on their next visit, we can assure you. Its not all a barrel of laughs.
We see the these places when the lights are on. When last nights sheets and towels are in a pile (a big pile) on the floor waiting to be picked up by the laundry service. When the cleaning staff are behind the bar tidying up the mess made by a few too many people in too small a space. Thats not to mention all of the work beforehand that goes into getting these parties ready so that we can make those fantasies of yours come true.
But, as jaded as we can sometimes be. As much as some Saturday nights we would rather sit at home curled up with a good DVD and an herbal tea, every now and then it just all comes together. To form an atmosphere that makes you lean against a wall, take a look around at all of the beautiful people dancing their hearts out in fetish and lingerie and you think to yourself, ‘I love my job!’. And that was just what happened on the night we went around to wish happy birthday to an old hand in the Berlin club scene that opened her first fetish club at the age of 20.
Getting In The Door
The Hot Tub
Insomnia is located near the historic Tempelhof Airport in the center of Berlin and just off of a main road that leads into the government and business district, Mitte. Dominique has restyled a prewar dancehall and using its grand, almost art deco grandeur interior, created a sensuous and warm ambiance that is perfectly complemented by the cutting edge house and techno that comes from a state of the art sound system.
The original cornicing goes beautifully with the deep red walls (which are at least 10 meters high) and it all comes together above the dance floor with the rich erotic paintings above the bar. Retro black and white porn plays on the framed screen across the top of one wall and the lasers and lighting keep the dance hounds coming back for more.
Like many of the clubs in Berlin, you need to know that Insomnia does have a bit of a velvet rope that you need to pass to get in. This city is unique in that age is not really important. Nor is your sexuality as just about anything goes in the swingers scene here. What does matter is that you are comfortable in yourself and that you can pull off an element of cool regardless of how you throw a look together. Think leather and lace, latex, motorcycle drag queen, Mila Jovovich in the opening scene of the 5th Element, and you have an idea of what suitable dress would be. Dig around that closet for the bustier that you bought last year and leave the underwear at home and you should be fine.
That Insomnia Vibe
Things start around 11 at Insomnia although it does open earlier and it can get very crowded. That is not a problem as what better way to make new friends than when you are pressed against them while watching people dance, lining for a drink at the bar or observing the action against the railing above from the couples only balcony. This is not one of the larger clubs around but somehow it works given there are not any private rooms or long hallways for people to run to and hide.
The main dance floor, in fact the club itself, is located 2 flights of stairs up from the entrance. If you dont want to leave home dressed in your leather police uniform there is a small curtained dressing room near the cash desk.
The coat check located just before going upstairs is a completely safe place to leave your overcoats and any street clothes, wallets, cell phones, whatever, that you have brought with you. There is also a small table overflowing with helpful brochures for events around town, fetish clothing shops and news about upcoming parties at Insomnia to help you start planning next weekend.
You are thrown right into the middle of things when you come through the doors at the top of the staircase and the tunes being spun by the clubs leading DJs will get the hardest ‘I don’t dance’ visitor doing more than just tapping his toes or swaying her hips. The music is stunning and mixed perfectly.
Around to one side of the bar is a doorway that leads to restrooms, upstairs for men, down for women, and a small hot tub and shower area. There are not any lockers to leave clothes once you are upstairs but there is an area next to the spa tub to leave them if you want to jump in. While the emphasis at Insomnia is dance, the hot tub stays full all evening and the staff make sure to keep it clean through the night. The showers are spotless and ‘kinky klinikal’ with operating room tiles so watch out for rubber clothed nurses with surgical instruments!
A couple of play rooms are on the other side of the room from the spa area as well as an ‘examination’ chair that also gets quite a bit of use through the night. The mattresses here are covered with that heavy duty vinyl that we are not normally complementary about, and we won’t be at Insomnia, other than to say at least they are clean and well kept. Not a tear or worn spot can be found anywhere.
Facing the dance floor near the entrance are a couple of more bed areas against the wall with a sex swing hung near the stairs to the couples loft and an entrance way leads to two more bed areas lit by black lights and with tasteful day glo posters on the wall.
If you have come as a mixed sex couple, you have access to upstairs (single men beware – there is guard at the top). This is open to the dance area but a good 3 meters above allowing you to watch the dance floor from above, tease those below that are alone and can’t come to join you or to retreat to the back of the loft and find some play space on the well used beds that line the rear wall.
As we said at the start, in terms of floor space, Insomnia is not a huge club. But, what is here is tasteful, luxurious and rich and attracts a great looking, very cool crowd. On the night we did this review, the crowd was consistently hot, dressed to kill in quality gear and could dance with the best of them. The music helps of course and the festive party atmosphere from the celebration of the owners ‘geburtstag’ meant the regulars and the invited would be out in force, but on other visits we have seen a crowd that is comparable in quality if not numbers.
All ages are here so if you are university students visiting Berlin and want to show off those tattoos and piercings, you will feel just as comfortable as that middle aged couple that found a baby sitter for the kids for the night. Berlin has to have one of the most polite and courteous club crowds on the planet and everyone here is just plain friendly.
Saturdays are as with most places normally busier than Fridays, but there are special events most nights which are listed on the clubs website access from the link below.