Review: Waldorf Astoria, Berlin

waldorf-astoria-berlin

Arrival I arrived pretty late at the hotel. I had a late flight which was delayed by the ‘loo crisis’ that I wrote about a few days ago. The property is located directly across from Zoo station and had I not hopped a cab, it would have been a two minute walk from where the buses from Tegel terminate – so easy to find.

zoo-station-berlin

The doorman was still out the front but I needed no help with my one bag. The inner lobby doors open automatically which was a little disconcerting at first. Reception is across the spacious lobby on the left.

. Waldorf-Astoria-Berlin-Lobby

Check-In

There were two members of staff on duty when I arrived and they confirmed my room rate, that it included breakfast and they had given me a room with a view. There are a huge number of room types at this upscale property and it is worth checking the price difference between what you plan to book and the next category up. I did book the “KING DELUXE ROOM WITH VIEW” which was about EUR20 more than the non-view version and well worth it. I paid EUR179 in the Hilton Summer Sale. Nothing was mentioned about any upgrade as a Gold and I was a bit sleepy so I didn’t push it. However, in my review on TripAdvisor I did mention this and got an email from the property saying that they were sold out of better rooms. Of course, not true based on their web site as I had checked before I left the UK at around 5pm the day I arrived. So either there was a rush, or they don’t upgrade Gold HHonors members. I had set my preferences to a Room Upgrade and 1,000 points in my profile well in advance of the stay.

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They did give me a bundle of vouchers though as a Gold:

2 * Continental Breakfast in the restaurant or EUR10 off another meal

1 * Free movie certificate

1 * Free welcome drink

waldorf-astoria-coupons-berlin

Of course the Continental Breakfast should would not be in included as a Gold, but the free movie and free drink were unexpected. Later the hotel indicated that these were a way to make up for not giving me an upgrade. At check-in the agent indicated that they were a new feature – without it seems explaining that they meant I wasn’t getting a nicer room. The elevators are across from Reception, and as everything is here, very stylish. They require you to use your card to touch the block block at the bottom of the floors and then to hold your finger over the floor you require. No buttons here – just not stylish enough.

waldorf-astoria-lifts

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My Room

My room was just down from the lift and the corridors ‘magically’ turned on as I walked towards it.

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Opening the door produced a view of a short corridor, with a door to the bathroom on the right and then the main bedroom area opening right in front of me.

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The bed was large and the TV was attached to the wall opposite the bed, with the desk just under it. The large, floor-to-ceiling window offered a nighttime view Berlin. I slept well in the bed and woke next morning refreshed and dying to try the huge bath. The room layout reminded me of the Hyatt in Berlin, which is of course much older than the WA.

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waldorf-astoria-room-berlin

The bathroom had a separate shower room and toilet. The bath was huge with a vanity unit on the other side of the bathroom area. It was bright and there was plenty of hot water.

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waldorf-astoria-bathroom-berlin

The bed was about as far away from the door as possible mitigating the effect of any corridor noise.

waldorf-astoria-bed-berlin

The daytime views were pretty nice, although not wonderful. You can see the trains coming and going from Zoo station as well as the main shopping area locally.

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waldorf-astoria-room-berlin-view

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You can black out the room using the external blinds as well as the thick curtains. Great if you need to sleep in the day ready for the next nights nightlife.

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The room had a Nespresso machine with a variety of capsules. I happened to be in when the mini-bar was refreshed and the helpful employee offered me a choice of which colour I would like him to refresh with. As I love the Purple ones he left 4 of those. Good Service.

The WiFi was free as a HHonors Gold and I used my Movie Certificate – which turned out to be worth EUR24.

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Breakfast

The inclusive breakfast was provided in the French Restaurant on the first floor, just behind the elegant staircase. I was there early and only one other table was occupied. The staff were attentive, bringing me new cups of coffee as soon as I finished. Breakfast was a large buffet which featured hot and cold items. Eggs were available to order from the staff. Everything was great tasting and fresh with a wide range of super pastries for those with a sweet tooth, alongside fish, cheeses, cold meats, cereals. There is a juice bar with a large number of juices ready prepared. This is a great touch and something I had not seen before.

waldorf-astoria-restaurant

waldorf-astoria-breakfast-buffet

waldorf-astoria-breakfast-buffet

waldorf-astoria-breakfast-buffet

waldorf-astoria-breakfast-buffet

waldorf-astoria-breakfast-buffet

The Public Areas

The public areas are very well designed and pretty stylish. This spiral staircase goes between Reception and the Restaurants:

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Room Service

I did feel lazy and have Room Service on my last night – a burger, fries and creme brulee (with strawberries). All tasty and fresh and in my room in about 20 minutes.

waldorf-astoria-room-service

waldorf-astoria-room-service

The Local Area

Located so centrally it is a short walk to many of shopping areas of Berlin. The is a U-bahn station just outside the front door making connections to other parts of the city very simple. Taxi’s are cheap and plentiful in Berlin and so provide another transport option. However, one of the pleasures is walking in Berlin where unexpected buildings and monuments abound.

My favourite shop KaDeWe is a ten minute walk away from the hotel. A bastion of luxury goods during the Cold War era when Berlin was divided between the Axis powers, you could buy Marmite there. A judge of any shop for me. They do have a good range of items spread over 7 floors.

Berlin-KaDeWe

The hotel is right next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church:

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Zoo station across the road:

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Check-Out

I left after breakfast the next morning. Check-out was friendly and efficient and the bill was correct. After a few days my HHonors points posted correctly to my account:

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Summary

The hotel is in a great location and has a great team of staff. Every interaction was polite, helpful and informative. They were a delight to deal with. The restaurant breakfast was one of my favourites anywhere in the world and I slept pretty well. The only negative is the lack of an upgrade for an HHonors Gold, with the flimsy excuse of ‘sold out’ when they were still selling higher grade rooms at check-in. The rate is relatively expensive for Berlin – you could have booked a basic room at the Intercontinental for EUR90 that weekend. But, a lot of HHonors points earned through various promos and a hotel I have never been to before.

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Comments

  1. Thanks 😀 As I say, looking forward to it, looks a good addition to the Hilton portfolio (also doing a cheeky wee Hampton stay to keep my stay count up!)

  2. is ther eany way to find these deals….I stayed at Waldorf and Conrad last week…but never knew about this offer 🙁

  3. waldorf astoria,berlin

    New hotel, good location (very close to KaDeWe, Ku-damm, Zoo) – so plenty of restaurants and shops nearby. Close to Banhof (railway station).
    Everything in room is in very good condition, new and stylish. Ferragamo amenities.
    Great bed.
    Quite good breakfast (buffet) – but not as good/extensive as Park Hyatt Vienna or Waldorf Astoria Shanghai.
    The main problem of the hotel is the attitude of the staff: all of them are indifferent, not smiling, not really caring of guests’ needs.
    And but the way – zero recognition of HHonors Diamond Status. No upgrade (just to the higher floor, which doesn’t really matter), however plenty of rooms were available for sale at the day of check-in.

    Transportation Service Charlotte

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