We stayed at the Excelsior Hotel for 4 nights in December and had a great time.
It was our first trip to Berlin and I made the rookie mistake of taking a taxi from Schonefeld. This is a BAD idea - the hotel website says a taxi from Tegel is €15 or so but it's twice that from Schonefeld so take the train if you can. It's only €2.80 and the Zoo station is very close to the hotel.
Most of west Berlin's attractions are close to the hotel, in fact. Because we were there in December, there was a Christmas market within 10 minutes' walk of the hotel at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (which is preserved in its bombed-out state). We were also close to the Ku'damm, the Zoo, a cinema and many cafes and bars. We took a walk to Savignyplatz twice as there's a few nice, simple Italian restaurants in the corner near the S-Bahn station.
A pretty good walking tour of Berlin starts at the McDonald's near the Zoo station, that was well worth it if you have 4 hours to spare.
And as for the hotel, it was great. The only minus point I'd take from it was the lack of internet facilities. I'm sorry, but I would take free wi-fi as a given these days, yet the Excelsior persists (as does most of Germany by the looks of it) with a pay as you go service that equated to around €20 a day. There was an ethernet wire next to the TV but it wouldn't work and reception, who in fairness sent someone up to investigate, said that the server was offline and would be back in an hour. That was day 2 and it never worked for our whole time there. It was a pity, because in other hotels we've stayed in, we use the net to look up things to do and make bookings. As a result of this lack of internet (I refuse to pay for it, it was extortionate in any case), I was always on the look-out for somewhere to go online and it really was a pain. Even the PC beside reception cost the same to use the internet, it's like they're determined to get paid for what's normally a free service.
Leaving that aside, the hotel is great. The room was roomy and clean, the bathroom spacious, the TV, while laborious to get to any channels, was fine. We'd asked for a double and got a twin with two beds pushed together but they were fine. Breakfast was included and was a pretty good buffet, especially their selection of bread. The newspapers at the entrance to the buffet looked complimentary and there was no sign up to suggest there was a charge, until we saw the bill at the end. We also got room service one evening, which was ok.
The staff at the Excelsior were fantastic though. They were very helpful, allowing us to check-in at midday. They also have a nice selection of pamphlets etc. with which you can plan excursions etc. It's quite 70's inside but it's well-maintained so I could forgive them for that. All-in-all, I'd go back but I might be tempted to go elsewhere if they had free wi-fi.
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