What we first noticed about the hotel was not its large size or its tall, contemporary lobby, but its striking location: sitting pretty in Potsdamer Platz with sections of the Berlin wall, the city's offices of Daimler Benz, and the Sony Center complex all next door, not to mention that the Tiergarten parks, Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial were only a few blocks away.
More eager to nap off the jetlag than hit the aforementioned landmarks, we were able to check in early at 11am and retire to a 6th-floor room after declining the push to pay an extra € 80 per day for access to the executive lounge and € 30 per day for breakfast. Perhaps reception saw our low total and decided to attempt a little nickel-and-diming?
At the end of the hallway, room 673 is a testament to truth in hotel presentation on a website, since even the example room photos on the Marriott Berlin's page don't do it justice.
Our room faced into a leafy garden with a few architecturally-stunning office buildings, and even offered a sliver view of the Reichstag. Drawing back from the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, we found all of the standard comfort of a business traveler hotel: desk with plenty of outlets, a TV (although not widescreen), two phones, a standard bathroom, and a king-size down comforter of proper German fluffiness.
As we previously ranted, the Marriott Berlin's internet access plan is highway robbery. Either pay € 5.95 for a single hour, or shell out anywhere from € 19.95 to € 379 for longer plans. We could have understood maybe € 7.95 for three hours and perhaps a 72-hour deal, but their options left us in the cold, literally. We ended up camping out in the next door Häagen-Dazs Cafe, drinking too much coffee in order to milk their free connection.
Apparently, the Marriott Berlin features free use of a pool, small gym, and steam room. Sadly we didn't have anything near a free minute to check these out, since hello we were in Berlin and not about to hang around the hotel forever. We think it's safe to assume that they are properly bland and branded with the Marriott logo, and in any case, there are also pictures on their website.
What we liked
Location, location, location. We were able to walk most anywhere we wanted from Potsdamer Platz, even though it's a transportation hub in its own right. And when a massive downpour started while we were over sniffing around the Reichstag, we were back in the lobby drying off within 15 minutes, and requesting umbrellas at the concierge desk. it is also a surprisingly quiet hotel.
What we didn't like
Isn't it obvious? The WiFi situation is shameful of such an international brand hotel. Not to mention that tempting us with a 30 Euro breakfast and 80 Euro per day executive lounge fee made it feel as though we had the bare bones experience. Tough, we say we like to keep our steal of a stay cheap enough to brag about later, thank you very much.
Less of a tourist hotel and more plush to accommodate business travelers and flight crews, the Marriott Berlin is tops in terms of comfort and location. We also saw no evidence of large groups or bus tours being put up here, so more power to them for that.
If, in the future, they update their WiFi plans to reflect user needs, we could see ourselves staying here again. Until then, however, we will continue on our quest for more affordable accommodations with the connections.