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“Most Unprofessional Hotel Desk Clerk Ever”
Review of Axel Hotel Berlin

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Axel Hotel Berlin
Ranked #188 of 634 Hotels in Berlin
Reviewed 21 November 2011

Having stayed (and enjoyed very much) the Axel Hotel in Buenos Aires, we were shocked at the astonishingly poor service and lack of respect we respect on our arrival in the Axel property in Berlin.

After check-in early on a Saturday afternoon for a three-night stay, we went to our room and discovered that the light bulb in the toilet room was burned out (the bathroom is divided with the toilet in a separate room). We called down and the front desk clerk himself (named Mathias, according to his badge) came up to the room. He took a quick look at the bulb and announced it was a "special" bulb that could not be easily changed. He said there was "absolutely nothing" that could be done about it until Monday as there would be no technician available until then. We informed Mathias that we were not going to stay in a room for two nights going to the toilet in the pitch dark. He said "perhaps" we could change rooms the next day (Sunday) but said it was "impossible" to change rooms that day (Saturday) because the hotel was all sold out. "All the other guests have checked in?" I asked. "No," he said. "Well then put us in another room and give the room with the burnt out bulb to someone else," I demanded. Mathias sighed. "I cannot possibly do that. It wouldn't be fair to those other guests."

I informed Mathias that we were not going to stay in the room and that we were going to re-assemble all our belongings and go down to the lobby until they put us in another room. We went down to the lobby, where we were subjected to insults and sarcasm by Mathias, who continued to insist there was nothing that could be done until Monday. When I suggested that he call someone and have them explain how to change the bulb so he could do it himself, he was aghast. "Do I look like I wear a blue uniform like a mechanic?" he asked. When I continued to insist that we were not going anywhere until the bulb or room was changed, he grew sarcastic. "Do you think you are the king?" he asked. "No," I responded. "I am a paying guest who expects a light in the bathroom." As Mathias was continuing to insist there was nothing that good be done, another person (not in a hotel uniform) intervened and tried to help Mathias explain why it was perfectly reasonable for hotel guests to stay in a room with no light in the bathroom. "Who are you?" I finally asked this other person. He informed me that his was Mathias' "friend." (The hotel manager later told me he also works for the hotel as a part-time masseur.)

After several more minutes of drama, the ever-surly Mathias made a phone call, got a ladder and went up to the room. Five minutes later he returned, threw the room key at me and announced the light bulb had been changed.

Throughout this adventure I repeatedly asked to speak with the manager. Mathias said the manager was off and would not be back until Monday. I asked to speak with him by phone. Mathias refused. "It's a private number," he announced. I told him he could call the number himself and just give me the phone. Mathias still refused. I asked for the manager's business card. Mathias gave me a hotel business card that did not have any individual's name on it. He told me to call the number on the card. "The manager will answer that number?" I asked. "No," he said. "If you call that number it will ring here and I will answer it." I declined to call the number.

Had the room not been pre-paid, I would have checked into another hotel, but we ended up staying for the entire three nights. On Monday I spoke with the hotel manager, who admitted that his desk clerk had acted inappropriately, but made excuses for him. "That doesn't sound like him. Maybe he was tired or in a bad mood." For our trouble, we got breakfast included in the rate.

The only good thing I can say about the whole incident is that the waiter from the restaurant (named Michael) who came to cover the desk was professional and polite. All the drama we endured from his colleague, Mathias, over a lightbulb that (it turned out) could be changed in five minutes was unacceptable. I have stayed in hotels all over the world and never experienced like what I experienced at the Axel Hotel in Berlin.

Despite the manager's efforts to make excuses, there is no excuse for the treatment we received. We will never stay in that hotel, or any Axel Hotel, again. The free breakfast was nice. Professional treatment at check-in would have been nicer.

Room Tip: Choose another hotel. If the bulb is burned out you may have to pee in the dark.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank pjmboston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AxelhotelBerlin, Geschäftsführer at Axel Hotel Berlin, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2011

Dear pjmboston,i have read your comment on Tripadvisor and i m a little bit sad that such a long story about a small light bulb now also exists on the Internet. I thought after our long conversation in the hotel we could clarify the matter and it seems that you are fine as well. Like i told you the light system is not like in a private house and it is more difficult to change the bulb. Mathias never had the chance before to do this and it was difficult to figure out how it works. After some telephone calls he was able to help you. As in our discussion, I would like to apologize for the whole incident. I m assuming that it adheres to several misunderstandings. Anyway, I think we have the case discussed here in the hotel long enough. I just want to say that there should be no excuse that Mathias is tired or in a bad mood. I just wanted to say that I have from Mathias something never heard before and he is praised by all our guests is always positive way, like you also can see here on Tripadvisor in other comments where he is named as a really polite person and more then helpfull. It was the first negative Incident.Again i have to say sorry and i wish you all the best and send greetings from Berlin, Oliver Boehme, General Manager, Axel Hotel Berlin

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Reviewed 13 November 2011

Stayed 3 nights and enjoyed the junior suite even though a little pricey but was a Birthday treat. Didnt see the other rooms but J suite was fairly spacious, clean and comfortable. Hotel website said room had ipod sound dock but info in room says to enquire at reception, I didnt bother but would have used it if was already in the room (maybe you have to pay a deposit or something,dont know)
Tea/coffee facilities or complimentary bottled water would be nice as it is supposed to be a Suite.
Staff were friendly and helpful and Chris arranged sightseeing bus tickets for us. Did not visit the bar/restaurant but walking past the window it looked classy with some nice looking art work ;-) The Spa area is adequate, very small sauna 2/3 person, same with steam room. As others have said the open air jacuzzi could do with being hotter!
Enjoyed our stay and would return to a hotel in this location and to the Axel if the price is right.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank seanstu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AxelhotelBerlin, Geschäftsführer at Axel Hotel Berlin, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2011

Dear seanstu, thank you so much for your review here on Tripadvisor. We are all happy that you had a good time with us so far and we are all looking forward to see you as soon as possible.
Kind regards, Oliver Boehme,Axel Hotel Berlin

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Reviewed 13 November 2011

We stayed here for 4 days in October and chose a Junior Suite, for a larger room and a few more amenities. The room was a good size, with an interesting and stylish layout with a red glass wall separating the bedroom from the bath. The hotel spaces and rooms are mostly black with a few pops of red or yellow. If you prefer lighter decor, look somewhere else. For us, we liked the modernness of it. It had a great shower with rainfall shower head and wall-mounted sprays and was large enough for anyone to move around if they chose to use the hand-held shower wand. However, the shower stall didn't have any type of lip on it to contain the excess water, so it would leak all over the bathroom tile if there wasn't a towel out to soak it up. We included the breakfast with our room package, and I felt the level of breakfast didn't justify the price. There didn't seem to be much activity in the bar at night and we were there over the weekend.

Certainly one of the best features of the hotel was the proximity to Ku'damm and KaDeWe, and public transit. For this reason, I certainly might consider staying here again.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BranNewareAtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AxelhotelBerlin, Geschäftsführer at Axel Hotel Berlin, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2011

Dear BranNewareAtl, i like to thank you for your ncie comment here on Tripadvisor. It is more then helpfull to get a feedback from our guest.Only with feedback we can improve our guestservice, which is really important for us. I hope to see you next time again in the Axel Hotel Berlin, We are all looking forward, Kind regards, Oliver Boehme, General Manager, Axel Hotel Berlin

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Reviewed 13 November 2011

Plus points - very friendly staff and comfortable beds. However the WIFI in room does not work as the signal is not strong enough. I found this very annoying. Also no wardrobe in room. The shower made a mess. There is was insufficient soft lighting. Also only one chair in the room. The bathroom products stripped my skin, there was no hair conditioner provided either. Overall Axel is a glamourous version of Travelodge. Overall a very average stay..

Room Tip: Rooms on the court yard side are quieter.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Steve222_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AxelhotelBerlin, Geschäftsführer at Axel Hotel Berlin, responded to this reviewResponded 14 November 2011

Dear Steve222_11, thank you for your comment here on Tripadvisor. It is always important to get a feedback from our guest to improve our service standards. I m sorry that you had some Problems with out Bath Amenities. It is the first time that we hear something like that. The Products are made on a high level. The Conditioner we took out of the sortiment after we saw in the first year that more less nobody use it. Thank you for your positiv comment regarding our staff, i not that and will forwarded this information to my Team. Kind regards, Oliver Boehme, General Manager, Axel Hotel Berlin

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Reviewed 11 November 2011

central location, very stylish and nice. The rooms has a cool equipmant and they´re very clean. i really liked the colours. best wishes to mathias, a very nice guy, who´s helpful.
I´ll come back to berlin and to this nice hotel. I was their with my friends and we had a funny period in berlin an in AXel Hotel. Thank you all who made us a nice period in Berlin

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Sandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AxelhotelBerlin, Geschäftsführer at Axel Hotel Berlin, responded to this reviewResponded 14 November 2011

Dear Sandra M, thank you so much for the nice review here on Tripadvisor. I really appriciate the comment about our staff. I will forwarded your feedback as motivation to all the staff member. We hope to welcome you as soon as possible. Kind regards, Oliver Boehme, General Manager, Axel Hotel Berlin

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Reviewed 9 November 2011

We stayed in the Axel Hotel in Berlin in November. The hotel is very well situated in the leafy gay-quarter of Schoenberg very closed to Ku'damm and KDV department store. The hotel staff were extremely polite, friendly and helpful however the rooms were somewhat kitsch and the quality of furnishings was not good - the bathroom in particular was small and products provided not up to scratch for the money. The restaurant serves bar food/room service which was priced ok but again not great quality. The hotel is gay with a gay clientele so probably would not be suitable for families. In summary, the positives were the staff and high level of service - on the downside, the rooms/hotel style and quality was poor and overpriced for what you get.

Room Tip: Choose a room at the back, the rooms at the fornt face the main road which is noisy.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank JamesA045
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AxelhotelBerlin, Geschäftsführer at Axel Hotel Berlin, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2011

Dear JamesA045, thank you for your review here on Tripadvisor. I like to thank you for your nice comment about the staff and i m happy that you like our service on the guest. Sorry that you found some lack on the design, but the Design is like always a subjective point and everybody feels different in this kind of things. Thank you anyway to chose the Axel during your recent stay in Berlin.Kind regards and all the best, Oliver Boehme, General Manager, Axel Hotel Berlin

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Reviewed 5 November 2011

I have heard so much about Axel Hotels so when planning a trip to Berlin the choice was easy. As I knew I had to do some work over the computer I booked the three nights in a junior suite for a little bit more space and comfort.

The hotel itself is located in a great spot close to bars, restaurants, shopping and underground.
The hotel had great staff and a good breakfast area.
But the rooms are old and worn out and the charm is gone.
The bed is really not up to standard for a "suite" - I had back pain going back home after the three nights.
And then we had the Wi-Fi... It simply did not work in the room. Also other guests at the hotel said the same.
So the whole idea of booking the junior suite was not really worth it.
But when I complained about it they could not do much. But when I went back again they offered to take the breakfasts away from the bill. Not to bad.

Would I go back again...? No.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank MrHB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AxelhotelBerlin, Geschäftsführer at Axel Hotel Berlin, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2011

Dear Mr. HB, first of all i like to thank for your recent stay in the Axel Hotel Berlin and i like to thank you for your review here on Tripadvisor. I m sorry that you dont found the same like you found in Barcelona. We are all belongs to the same chain but all Hotels are different in terms of Style and Design. I m also sorry that you are not so happy with our beds and got some Back Pain after three nights. We normally get a lot of compliments for the quality of the beds, so i think that this is also a really subjective point.Thank you for your comment regarding the staff. We are always trying to offer the best and individual guest service. I wish you all the best and hope to see you soon in the near future. Kind regards, Oliver Boehme, General Manager, Axel Hotel Berlin

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Additional Information about Axel Hotel Berlin

Address: Lietzenburger Str. 13-15, 10789 Berlin, Germany
Phone Number:
Region: Germany > Berlin > Schoneberg
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #188 of 634 Hotels in Berlin
Price Range: £35 - £147 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Axel Hotel Berlin 4*
Number of rooms: 85
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Schöneberg, the heart of the gay scene in the city, Axel Hotel Berlin is fascinating for its cosmopolitan spirit and delicious, by the careful combination of design and comfort, and for excellent service. The charm and elegant mix of gold on black, overlay and textures make Axel Hotel Berlin a unique space in the German capital. With 87 design rooms, fully equipped to provide guests with maximum confort and a different stay. ... more   less 
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