Opened just January 3, 2013, the Waldorf Astoria Berlin makes a grand presentation, and backs it up with one of the most outstanding hotel staffs I've ever encountered. From checkin, to the concierge team, to the doormen, to the checkout/bell staff, everyone was great.
As for the kinks, well, they were mostly technology related. Aiming to be a very tech-forward property, each room has a spiffy Samsung flat screen that's powered by an iMac mini. Nice, cool touch, easy to use internet, and the iMac serves as the local wireless node, so you don't have signal drift. However, our room's iMac needed to be rebooted, so that meant that we had no TV for a spell, internet was unreliable, and we couldn't figure out what it was. When calling down, they had to send two technicians up to look at it, because the system is so complex. Once rebooted, it worked like a charm. But that's a pretty big intervention to have to do.
The other issue was the air conditioning. The building has an outer "skin" that wraps the windows in your room (noise control, I think), and the windows open into the space between the skin and the room window. Well, this apparently turns off the A/C, but even after closing it, we couldn't get our room to cool down to a temperature we felt was comfortable -- and the evening temperatures were hovering around 8-10 degrees Celsius -- it was hardly hot out. Not sure if part of this is the notoriously wispy european air conditioning, or some flaw, but we couldn't really get the temperature where we wanted it to be.
Now: the Great Stuff. Must call out the concierge staff, particularly Linda and Christophe. Both were truly outstanding. Linda took more than 30 minutes with me late into the evening to help me decide which museums to visit, and helped me plan an itinerary based on the Berlin Museum Pass. Most helpful. Christophe is a whiz with the restaurant scene in Berlin, and even though we were checking out after a couple of nights to move to a hotel in Potsdamer Platz, gave us a card and said if we could use his help during the rest of our stay in Berlin, to feel free to call him and he'd arrange any reservations, etc., we would like. That is what a concierge is all about, and both he and Linda are credits to their profession and to the property.
The library on 15 is nice too, but we thought it might turn into wasted space. We enjoyed our "welcome champagne" up there -- Ruinart -- any hotel that serves Ruinart as complementary champagne has my vote -- but were the only ones there. The three times we went into the library, it was empty.
We'll be back, absolutely. It was lovely. And the location is awfully good too -- just a few minutes walk from the bustle of Kurfuerstendamm and the leafiness of Savignyplatz, and directly across the street from Bhf Zoo, where you can hop any U- or S-Bahn you need. Also right there is the Helmut Newton Stiftung -- a photography museum that should be at the top of everyone's list.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The new Waldorf Astoria Berlin is defined by its inspirational environment, residential comforts and breathtaking views over Germany's capital city. ... more less
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