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There are times when we truly feel there is much progress being made on the free hotel WiFi front, and we dare to dream of a day where we hardly remember it ever being any other way. And then there are moments that bring us right back down to earth, like at the Berlin Marriott.
It was over four years ago we first came across its costly WiFi options, running all the way up to €379 ($500+) for the privilege of browsing the internet for a month. 2013 it may be, but the Berlin Marriott is still living in 2009, with the exact same options today:
- €5.95 ($8) for an hour of in-room access
- €19.95 ($27) for 24 hours
- €99.75 ($135) for one week
- €379.05 ($510 in today’s dollars) for one month
That month-long option wouldn’t be far off a month’s rent for an apartment, this being one of the most affordable European capitals. Please Mr. Marriott, even Edition can offer it for free throughout the hotel, so could we move along with the times?
Airport Hotels / Berlin Hotels / Cheap and Chic Hotels / Germany Hotels / Meininger Hotels / → All Tags
We have a thing for colorful hotels. We could hardly contain our excitement when checking out the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale and we snapped the whirlpool at the Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore, to name a few. So when we saw Flickr member Ken E. Lee drop this snapshot of the Hotel Meininger near the Berlin Airport in the HotelChatter Flickr Pool, we instantly perked up.
If you haven't heard of Meininger Hotels before (and we hadn't), the brand can be found throughout Germany and also in London, Amsterdam and Vienna. It's one of those cheap but stylish hotel chains that is just a notch above hostel accommodations (although most Meininger hotels do have "dormitory" options.) And while it does bill itself as great for everyone--families, business travelers and backpackers--we're not sure you'd want to do more than two nights here. That said it's crazy affordable. A single room at Berlin Airport hotel starts at 35 Euros a night while the dormitory rooms start at just 15 €. And of course the WiFi is totally free.
Yet while all Meininger hotels boast colorful interiors (see this shot here), we think this one is the only one that's colorful on the outside as well. Now, how do you say "Sunglasses at Night" in German?
[Photo: Ken E. Lee/Flickr]
Hotel News / Marriott Hotels / Autograph Collection / Berlin Hotels / Germany Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Germany just became a little more appealing to Marriott Rewards members, as the brand announced yesterday it will be adding Berlin's Hotel Am Steinplatz to the Autograph Collection later this summer. That's even more reason to get excited about Berlin right now (aside from the fact that it's a kick-ass city), as Waldorf-Astoria just popped up there in January.
The Hotel Am Steinplatz building originally opened in 1907 with a design by August Endell (also responsible for Berlin's Hackesche Hoefe), though it didn't become a hotel until 1913. Which makes 2013 its one hundredth hotel-iversary. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!
To mark the occasion, Marriott's spruced the place up with an "extensive renovation," and the result is an 87-room property with 3 luxury suites, a restaurant, and a spa.
Knowing what we know about Autograph Collection (and having stayed at one in Budapest), we fully trust that the brand's German debut will be a stunner. The hotel is described as having once been "an exclusive meeting point for artists, writers, philosophers and even aristocratcy." Well. We'd expect nothing less.
There’s been so much activity on the hotel app front this past year that we named it the Must-Have Hotel Amenity in our HotelChatter 2012 Awards. From booking stays and checking in, to ordering room service and finding things to do and see at your destination, it’s all a click away. There is of course the front desk or traditional concierge you can prod for more personal recommendations, but what to do when you are looking to get the true insider track on the city you’re visiting based on your own interests?
Enter the concept created by Plus One Berlin, which allows you to book time with one of over 30 locals and be their “plus one” when getting to know the city. Here’s how it all works.
When we took an early look at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam last week, we promised we’d follow up with more details on its sister hotel in Berlin, which is now officially open. Set within the brilliantly named Zoofenster skyscraper in West Berlin, the Waldorf Astoria Berlin first popped up on our radar four years ago this month.
We won’t spend much time dwelling on their missed 2011 opening and move right on to what you can expect at the 232-room hotel.
Jet Lag / Hotel Packages / Hotel Amenities / InterContinental Hotels / London Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Berlin Hotels / Swissotels / → All Tags
No doubt many of you are traipsing around the world this holiday season, visiting friends and family. But unforch, the downside of jetsetting is the inevitable jetlag setting in. We’ve read and written about nearly every cure out there and damn near tried them all. Many are bunk, but these hotels’ jet-lag packages, spa treatments, amenities have actually worked on us, so we’re passing the info along so you can recover more quickly.
London: The Flotation Bed therapies (75 minutes/$185) at the InterContinental London Park Lane’s spa have been a godsend after a transatlantic flight that’s too long to consider a hop, but too short to get Ambien-ed out. Businessmen swear by the day spa’s quick and efficient capsule-like bed where you’re wrapped in a foil blanket.
The dry, weightless flotation device almost immediately eases the strain of being cooped on an airplane seat for hours. There’s a variety additions for the floats a less intense 45-minute Exotic Frangipani and Coconut Milk therapy, but for hardcore refreshing the Musclease Aromas Spa Ocean Float involves a scented pressure point facial massage and scalp treatment, which relaxes the tensest of muscles. We were knocked out in minutes and awoke feeling as if we could bike around Hyde Park, just outside the hotel, without breaking a sweat. And we did.
There's travel talk everywhere about how expensive it'll be to fly and drive this summer, so there has to be some savings somewhere, yes? The most obvious place will be in hotel rates, and so our gift to you this week will be one hotel a day that comes in under $100 a night. Now, we're not saying every place will be of Ritz quality, because then it would be...well, the bloody Ritz. But the places will be nice enough for you to sleep at night.
Our Pick: Hotel Pension-Funk, Berlin
No, this isn't the first time HotelChatter has taken a look at Berlin's art-tastic Propeller Island City Lodge, a collection of 34 rooms individually designed and crafted by German artist Lars Stroschen. But to end the week on a more positive note, we thought we'd re-visit one of our favorite odd hotels.
The themes at PICL, which range from "Prison Cell" and "Grandma's Room" to "The Upside Down Room" (above) and "Coffin Room," mostly draw on places where you'd never, ever want to sleep, but then again we've stayed at far more sensible (read: boring) hotels that charge way more per night.
Interestingly, rates here vary among the different rooms, so a night inside the Prison Cell will only set you back 79 EUR, while a night in the "Two Lions" suite, which, yes, comes with a cage, goes for 190 EUR. We browsed through the hotel's collection of photos and have picked out the ones that appeal most to us. And just for kicks, we put them into a gallery for you to look at.
Click below to take a peek at the odd, odder, and oddest rooms!
Hotel Art / Hotel Photography / Manhattan Hotels / London Hotels / Berlin Hotels / Oslo Hotels / → All Tags
We're not sure whether to be jealous or just plain creeped out—we're a little of both, actually—but we have to give credit to artist Anja Niemi, who really brushed up on her hotel knowledge for a new exhibition, titled Do Not Disturb. In each of the photographs, Niemi takes on a different female character who essentially becomes a 'part' of the hotel room. See if you can spot her in the above shot, "Room 833." Creepy, right?
But rather than settling for just any old hotel, Niemi instead researched for months to find exactly the right room for each shot. Jealous much? Seriously, artists really live the life sometimes. For this project, Niemi traveled to hotels in New York, Vienna, Berlin and Oslo; and when she arrived, all she had to do was play dress-up and pose for the camera. The desire to change career paths completely and become a photographer's assistant has never been stronger.
Read on to find out where you can check out the entire collection!
He looks like one of those fake diver dolls you drop in your home aquarium! Except this diver is doing some hard work--scrubbing clean the aquarium which houses tropical fish. Meanwhile, guests who want to go inside the aquarium will have to settle for riding up the elevator through the middle of the cylinder.
The aquarium is run by SeaLife Berlin next door which operates the elevator ride as well but hotel guests can get a special discount on admission--adult tickets are 11,50€ compared with 16,95€. Room rates at the Radisson, which come with free WiFi, start at 225€ a night.
[Photo: CorinnaWitt/HotelChatter Flickr Pool]
Waldorf-Astoria Collection / Berlin Hotels / Panama Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
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.