My wife and I stayed at this very modern hotel for three nights to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. We arrived on 29th April and left on May 2nd 2008. We were offered a discounted upgrade on arrival and swapped the Superior room for one of the junior suites in the old loft on the fifth floor.
Near an historically important local train station, Anhalter Bahnhof, the hotel is in a quieter area away from the busy central spots. We were able to walk to Potsdamer Platz in around 10-15 minutes, although it is only one stop away on the S-Bahn (getting on at Anhalter Bahnhof a few steps from the hotel).
The hotel itself is very stylish, located in the old Siemens headquarters, and has been very thoughtfully designed with a tip of the hat here and there towards the old and continuing activities of the company which once owned the building. In the bar some of the tables were supported by glass insulator stacks, such as those that you see hanging from pylons. In the room the shower room door was like that which you'd find in a factory, sliding across on a rail. There was a lot of funky lighting and use of different materials to theme the look of the place.
We found the staff at the front desk very pleasant, informative and efficient: just as you'd except from German staff working for a Swiss hotel chain. However, we did think it was a bit off when tried to go to bed and had to wait quite a while following our request a pillow containing man-made stuffing, as all the bedding contained feathers, which my wife is allergic to. We phoned the front desk at around 11.30pm and were told that it would take an hour and a half to get the pillow sent up. This was because there was only one staff member at the desk and they were not allowed to leave until another member of staff turned up at 1am. I wasn't able to collect it myself as the person at the desk would still have to leave to go to the store room.
Our only other real criticisms were as reflected in one or two other reviews here. The hotel seems a little too eager to (over)charge for everything. Breakfast was to be a whopping 21 Euros each... It would have to be some breakfast for us to have paid that! A cheaper alternative is the Stresemann Cafe on the corner, near the S-Bahn station.
The minibar in the room was also fairly expensive, as they tend to be in most hotels, and the main bar near the lobby and entrance was way overpriced at over 4.50 Euros for a 0.5l glass of beer. The inflated prices and persistent charging for everything actually put us off having a meal in the hotel's modern restaurant and we went elsewhere.
We loved Berlin itself. The people were friendly, the service generally very good, there was a lot to see and a year ago would have been good value for a capital city (we got stung with the poor Pound versus Euro rate which made it an expensive visit!)
Berlin isn't the prettiest of cities but there's never a shortage of things to do or places to eat and drink. There's bags of history, especially recent world history, and the people are very welcoming and keen to show what modern Germany is about. We were there during a public holiday and the avenue leading away from Brandenberg gate was heaving with people having a street party. They were mostly eating currywurst hotdogs and drinking beer to the sound of a live band. The atmosphere was lively and we joined in with the Berliners as if we belonged there!
Highlights for us included seeing the remaining parts of the Berlin Wall and visiting the Jewish museum and Olympic stadium. The round trip bus tours are better value than some cities as there is a lot to see and takes around two hours to do the full tour. The public transport is excellent and a day pass covering both the U-Bahn and S-Bahn are great value for money.
Get in early for the Reichstag. We queued for an hour to get in but the queue hardly moved and it was a hot day. They only seem to let a relatively small group in every half an hour. We gave up and sadly missed out on one of the main attractions. There were plenty of other places to go.
We found the Sony Centre at Postdamer Platz to have a good atmoshere and ate at a couple of restaurants there. The Josty restaurant was recommended by our guidebook but we weren't impressed. We had to move to be served, the menu wasn't very logical and I paid 14 Euros for a pizza which tasted as though it was straight from a Findus or McCain factory. The waiter also stood waiting for a tip. We enjoyed the Lutter & Wegner restaurant just outside, near the shopping arcade and casino. It cost around 80 Euros for a starter, main and coffee each plus a bottle of wine.
All in all a really good trip. I would happily agree that the Moevenpick Hotel was a good place to stay, but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it as somewhere vastly superior to anywhere else. That's not to say that we didn't enjoy our stay there on the whole and it was clean and very stylish in a modern way; just one or two minor irritations. Berlin is well worth visiting if you like history, museums, food, theatre, quality shopping and big city buzz. We'd go again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The surprisingly different Movenpick Hotel Berlin is as individualand as multi-facetted as the city of Berlin. Centrally but peacefullylocated at Potsdamer Platz, the 4 Star Superior hotel combines innovative interior architecture with modern furnishings. The exceptional design of the former Siemenshofe lends a special charm tothe location's atmosphere. The majority of the 243 guest rooms andthe 12 event rooms face towards the quiet courtyards. The ambienceof the restaurant Hof zwei and the adjacent Lobby Bar has been carefully created as has choice of foods and beverages. Attentive, personal service and authentic friendliness comprise perfect hospitality in historic surroundings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Berlin Moevenpick Hotel