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With the Waldorf Astoria’s London Syon Park hotel all set to open next month, the group have announced a further two new hotels, one in Berlin and one in Panama. Both hotels are due to open late 2011, although no confirmed dates have been set.
The Waldorf Astoria Berlin (above) will be located in the centre the affluent City West neighbourhood. The hotel will be the group’s first in Germany and is housed in the highest building in the west side city.
The website is claiming the 232 rooms and suites:
will set new standards in luxury by combining the pioneering heritage of the legendary flagship Waldorf=Astoria New York with a unique design inspired by Berlin’s vibrant personality.
But we’ll have to wait and see as there are no room photos yet.
Every so often we feature a hotel review from our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you dear hotel guests. These reviews are highlighted because they are timely, about cool hotels in cool places and are relatively level-headed. Think you can submit one just like this? Send it in.
Arrival & Check-in
Quick and efficient. The doorman has your suitcase inside before you finish paying the taxi (which is about 20 minutes and 20 euros from Tegel airport). The lady checking me in escorted me to the elevator to show me how to operate the keycard that is required to go up.
Only disappointment I had upon entering the room was two single beds - as a single business traveler two beds are pretty pointless. No luck in getting that changed though, not a king bed free in the house.
While we're not quite sure what is going on with that ironing board in New Orleans, over in Germany, The Marriott Berlin hotel wants you to know that their housekeeping is doing a thorough job of cleaning--even under the bed. Another kind HotelChatter reader writes in:
When I got into my room on Monday and started to settle in, I saw something peeking out from under the bed. First reaction is of course: oh great, I wonder how long that has been there. When I looked closer I thought, hang on a minute - when I pulled it out much to my delight it's the note from housekeeping in the picture saying: "Yes, it's true, we look here too!". On the back are individually signed lines by each member of staff when they clean the room. How great is that? I hadn't seen it anywhere before, thought it was a neat thing to do.
This is a "neat" thing to do so now we can sleep comfortably knowing that there are no monsters or other scary things under the bed. We only wish they could do something about that WiFi situation. For more on the Marriott Berlin, read the HotelChatter review here.
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The Germans may only have won third place at the World Cup, but they take first in our book when it comes to the funkiest new design hotels. Andspeak of the devilthe Design Hotels chain has just opened up a new property right in Berlin-Mitte, a walk away from the very hip Hackescher Markt area.
Called the Weinmeister Berlin-Mitte, the new property (which debuted on July 6) calls its aesthetic "Brutal Living/Luxury Punk," and yet all 88 rooms look pretty cozy from the photographs we've seen.
Perhaps the "brutal" refers to the main facade of the building, which is a flat, gold modernistic one. The Weinmeister hopes it'll be called the "golden cage" as a result, but we think the locals will think of far better nicknames than that.
It looks like Soho House and its hotel rooms are on a major expansion kick. The Soho House West Hollywood opened earlier this year (but without hotel rooms) as did two new annexes in London--Dean Street Townhouse and Shoreditch--and Soho Beach House in Miami is expected to open in September.
The good news is that rooms are quite affordable here starting at 100 Euros a night for non-members (members can get it for 75 Euros.) The bad news is that rooms are tiny and indeed that is the name of the starting room category, "Tiny." These rooms are also on the top of the hotel in the attic and boast a "dormitory feel." (Other room sizes are Small, Medium, Large and Extra-Large.) There's also only 40 guestrooms at the hotel so chances for availability are slimmer.
German police responding to an unrelated 1995 Berlin heist, as seen in "Masterminds: The Berlin Heist".
If they can wake up without a post-Oscars hangover this morning, Hollywood screenwriters could find the next big action caper writing itself with a little help from the headlines. A group of armed and masked bandits made off with a million-euro haul on Saturday after storming a poker tournament taking place at the Berlin Grand Hyatt in the middle of the day. German police said today that while the theft was captured on video, they still have no firm leads on the crooks.
The downtown hotel was home to a lineup of stars during the recent Berlin Film Festival, but the panic was real this weekend when the robbers toting machetes and guns forced hotel staff to hand over bags stuffed with cash. At least seven people were injured while trying to escape, according to reports.
Despite the attack—and the loss of part of the prize money—the five-day tournament organized by the European Poker Tour resumed again on Sunday.
[Photo: Crime and Investigation Network ]
Whoa whoa whoa. Do we have a new Ace Hotel-like concept going on here? This hipster haven you see above is the recently opened Michelberger Hotel in Berlin, and it's looking pretty sweet and polished for a budget hotel concept. Or at least, that's how the group behind the place describe it:
The Michelbergerhotel is a budget hotel concept created by a group of friends, who had the idea to make the best hotel they could, the kind of hotel they’d like to stay in. A place that’s individual, charismatic, stylish, fun, rebellious and inexpensive, a place where anything goes, just like Berlin itself.
Yes, that lobby is super cool and decorated with repurposed books and magazines; yes, it has an awesome and individual website; and yes, the rooms actually fall in the budget category by beginning at 59 Euro a night. Where was this place when we found ourselves bedding down at the Marriott Berlin in May?!
Berlin's Hotel Concorde has long tried to be hip with its accommodation packages, and each deal they come out with does seem to get better and better. Learning French in Berlin was a bit of a stretch; their Fall of the Wall deal was pretty good; but now comes the most sensible idea they've had so far: a Shop in the City package.
Being all very cosmopolitan and cool, yet not outrageously expensive, Berlin is an ideal place to go on a shopping splurge. The Hotel Concorde is also in the right part of Berlin for this, right on the Kurfürstendamm shopping street, and even through winter you'll be able to easily get around to all the best stores.
The Shop in the City package includes lots of shopping-related bonuses, like a 10% discount at KaDeWe (the largest department store in Europe and right next to the Mercedes Benz building), a €35 voucher for the Montblanc store, and 20% discount and a personal shopper appointment at department store Galeries Lafayette – and a bunch more. You also get a two-night stay for two people with buffet breakfast both mornings, all starting from $275 a night per room. Which is cheap enough that you'll still have some cash left over for all that shopping.
[Photo of the fantastic KaDeWe: sk8geek]
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It's hard to believe that one of our favorite parts of the world, Eastern Europe, has only been easy to travel to for the last twenty years – that's how long it is since the Berlin Wall fell, and that's also the reason why Marriott is celebrating with the Marriott's Go East! Package, with specials in five major eastern European cities. We like these deals because they're not just a bed and some food – they also feature some little touches to help you get to know the Cold War historical sides of the cities.
In the city where it all happened, you can stay at the Berlin Marriott Hotel with a Go East! package for €199 ($290) including a double room, breakfast, the Berlin Welcome Card and tickets to the very cool Berlin Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie. At the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in Romania (pictured), the deal starts at 660 Lei ($226) and gets you a double room, breakfast, 20% off any other food and drinks during your stay, and two tickets to visit the city's Parliament Palace.
The W Barcelona may be stealing all the headlines but it’s not the only new kid on the European hotel block this autumn. The Aspria Hotel in Berlin looks pretty nice – and it’s rather more affordable, too.
Opening next month on 6 November in the posh Charlottenburg district (west of the Tiergarten), it doesn’t have the most auspicious of pedigrees – Aspria is a chain of health clubs in Europe - but they’re now offering accommodation at their digs in Hannover and Berlin. Original, but interesting – it means that the spa and fitness area are going to be souped up no end. In fact, the Berlin spa is going to be 14,000 m sq – to be shared by just 42 rooms. Look at that pool. We're doing lengths in our heads right now.
Time to move your fingers muy, muy rápido to take advantage of a caliente four-day sale by the Sol Meliá chain of hotels. (Okay, officially ending choppy use of Español). We were recently alerted to the fact that, from now through September 14th, Sol Meliá will be offering reduced rates on 130 of their Tryp, Meliá, Innside, Gran Meliá, and Sol hotels throughout Europe.
While we always welcome a good deal, when we visited the website to check out exactly what was on sale, we were inundated by a flood of different discounts, none of which seemed specifically oriented with the four-day sale. Sleuthing under "Special Offers" unearthed rooms at the Meliá in Barcelona starting at 150 Euros per night for check-in on an early weekend in October, Meliá Berlin starting at 57 Euros per night, and Tryp François in Paris for 149 Euros per night.
So it's been twenty years since the Berlin wall came down, and that's as good a reason as any to visit one of our all-time favorite cities, Berlin. To celebrate the anniversary of the Fall of the Wall, the Hotel Concorde Berlin has got an "Ich bin ein Berliner" package going through to December 28.
If you decide to be a Berliner for a couple of days, you can get two nights' accommodation, buffet breakfast, one dinner, plus the authentic Berlin part: a Palm guide, Berlin Wall map and a private guided tour in a Trabbi those old east German cars which somehow haven't fallen apart yet.
The deal starts at around $370 per person based on double occupancy and the Concorde is said to have some of the biggest rooms in the city. Oh, and this deal is a whole lot more logical than the time the Concorde decided to throw French lessons into their accommodation deals; but it's not the best Berlin Wall deal we've come across; remember the Ritz Carlton's Remember the Wall deal which even includes an actual chunk of the wall? Much cooler.