A couple weeks back I ventured over to Berlin for ITB Berlin, mainly to see Qatar Airways’s new Qsuite Business Class product (which I covered here). Since ITB Berlin is the largest travel industry trade show in the world most hotels in Berlin were booked during the week (and those not completely booked were charging insane rates for a night’s stay).
Since the blog doesn’t really have the budget necessary to pay for
most things costing more than a quarter a hotel room at such inflated prices I decided to use points. After a brief search, I found that the Waldorf Astoria in Berlin still had a room available at the standard rates (70,000 Hilton HHonors points/night), which was actually cheaper than the Hilton Berlin (which was charging a premium rate of around 123,000 points/night). I quickly locked in my reservation and made my way to Berlin.
The Waldorf Astoria Berlin
Waldorf Astoria hotels are comparable to Park/Grand Hyatt, JW Marriott, and St. Regis hotels, in other words some of the best that a hotel chain has to offer. When you stay at a Waldorf Astoria property it’s ok to have pretty high expectations, it’s part of the experience. And since I was paying for this stay and wasn’t comped in any way, you’ll hear my honest opinion about the place.
I tried to check in to the hotel using Hilton’s app but they would not let me select a room. I went to the check-in desk and let them know I had tried to check in on the app and the lady at the desk was incredibly apologetic. “Sir, I believe it’s most likely because you have been upgraded at no charge to a Junior Suite, but please accept my most sincere apologies that you were not able to check in on the app.” Um, no problem, happy to check in at the desk every time for a suite upgrade on an award stay!
I mean what else can you say, it was a junior suite at a Waldorf Astoria! It was furnished in a luxurious and modern style without being too blingy. I grabbed my camera and got to work.
The room was long and actually a bit narrow for my taste. It was quite a walk from the desk area to the bed area, with a
psychiatrist’s couch single arm couch-looking thing (sorry, no idea what those are called) in between. You can see just how long the room is from this shot.
The bed was huge, as you’d expect, but very firm and not actually that comfortable.
After the room photography was done I quickly snacked on the apple strudel they had for me as a welcome gift and set my lens on the restroom. It was very nicely adorned with marble finishings and featured a nice tub with enclosed shower and toilets.
I got in fairly late so I hit the hay, the next morning on its way for too soon for my taste.
I optimistically brought some gym clothes so I could fitness all over the hotel gym and review it for you but it was not to be. I took too long to fall asleep and then took too long to wake up so I had to skip the gym and proceed directly down to the restaurant for breakfast. On my way I got some shots of the hotel. Much like the room it was cavernous, modern, and luxurious without being too blingy.
The lobby had tall ceiling and was very well lit.
The stairway column in the atrium had enormous windows, letting in all sorts of natural light.
I’m probably showing some bias here but I’ve never been too impressed with Berlin from an architecture standpoint. I know 27 people will probably call me ignorant or stupid for having that opinion, and well they’re probably right. ANYWAY, the exterior of the Waldorf almost reminded me of the one in New York City, well-known for it’s general blandness and imposingness.
I have Gold status with Hilton (thanks to a credit card) so although my breakfast wasn’t free (like it would’ve been with Diamond status) they did offer the buffet to me at a reduced rate of 25EUR. While this is still a little expensive for my
blog’s budget taste I went ahead and did it anyway, to make for a better review #allforthereaders.
The restaurant was fairly large with a juice bar at the back.
The buffet was in a smaller room off to the side.
The buffet wasn’t absurdly large, as some high-end hotel buffets tend to be. Instead, like the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris, it seemed like they focused on making a few things really well instead of trying to serve everything imaginable.
Being a German hotel, of course they had pretzels.
And, being a German hotel, of course they had a strudel bar.
Back at my table some random dude walked up and asked if I’d like a waffel. I had no idea if he worked at the hotel or nOF COURSE I’D LIKE A WAFFEL.
My overall thoughts
The Waldorf Astoria Berlin is a very nice hotel in an otherwise industrial-feeling Berlin. The German touches (the strudel welcome amenity, strudel and pretzels at the breakfast buffet) were really the only things that made it feel like I was in Germany, otherwise I feel like I could’ve dropped this Waldorf Astoria into any other big city in the world and it would’ve felt like it belonged.
I feel like many of you will think that last sentence is a negative but I don’t think so. I think many hotels try too hard to reflect the culture of the city in which they’re located at the cost of a premium experience. The Waldorf Astoria brand represents a standard in luxury and this hotel absolutely lives up to it. Some people may want more of an authentic or cultural experience, but because I needed a great night of sleep and a hearty breakfast before a day of
insanity working at ITB Berlin I thought the Waldorf Astoria Berlin was a fantastic hotel and a great use of 70,000 points.
Have you stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin? What did you think? Which of these pictures is your favorite? Tell me in the comments below!