Serviced Residence Check: Citadines Berlin Olivaer Platz (BERLIN)
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The lobby is quite compact – but not cramped – that it is able to contain not only the reception counter, but also the breakfast dining area, visitors’ sitting corner, a workstation and even a few more tables to accommodate the morning meal spillover.
The staff were extremely professional. Even before I arrived, I peppered them with questions about how I would reach the ITB travel show I was attending by public transport. They were ready with my bus tickets and clearly written directions by the time I showed up.
WHERE IS IT?
From Tegel Airport into the city, the car ride is a smooth 25 minutes. Though located in a quiet residential area, it’s still a short walk or a bus ride away from the action of the Kufürstendamm (nicknamed Ku’Damm) with its elegant buildings, chic designer shops and eclectic dining options.
HOW MANY UNITS?
A total of 118 units with a choice of studios that can take up to two people or one-bedroom layouts for up to four people – with the help of spacious sofa beds. Furnishings, while not following the sleek contemporary lines we are so used to in Asia, were still attractive for being homey in their appeal.
The bedroom has an attached bath and a personal safe, while the sitting room consists of a sofa area, kitchen nook and work table. TV programming was not comprehensive but I was away most of the time, so it hardly mattered. The French windows looked out to the rooftops and square below, providing a visual feast. I woke up early just to watch the sky grow light over Berlin, while sipping my coffee.
The king-size bed was comfortable, although I suggested to management when asked for comments after my visit that they switch to using duvets instead of the outdated bed covers, and install a wall-mounted clock or provide an alarm clock. (If this was going to be one’s home in Germany for a few days, it should have this homey convenience, I thought.)
The afternoon I arrived, I immediately strolled over to the small but well-stocked Kasier supermarket across the street and loaded up on mineral water and juice, along with the well-known Schwartau jam to bring home to family and friends (try the strawberry and cherry, which on toasted brown bread is irresistible).
For those staying longer, the tiny kitchen’s grill oven, microwave and dishwasher should come in handy. The supply of crockery and silverware in the cabinets is more than adequate.
Only the breakfast area, which lays out a cold buffet from 7.30am to 10am from Monday to Friday and 8am to 10.30am on weekends. For other meals, the staff can suggest restaurants near or around the city to satisfy your cravings. Since mine was for schnitzel, assistant manager David Renzmann suggested Leibniz-Klause and Xantener-Eck, both a five-minute walk from the apartment.
My friend Gisela and her daughter Heidi came to pick me up at 7pm, and we had no problem finding Xantener-Eck, which was typical German in feel with subdued lighting and wooden furnishings. Berlin seems to be quite dog-friendly as Poodelee, Gisela’s constant canine companion, was allowed in without anyone batting an eyelash.)
All rooms come with complimentary wired internet access. The only Wi-Fi zone is in the lobby, and there is a computer for in-house guests to use, but needs a password to log in.
None, but avid joggers can still get in a good workout around the neighbourhood.
The rate for a One-Bedroom Unit in September is from E209 (US$291), excluding breakfast which is priced at E10 (US$14) a day.
A no-stress stay in a clean and comfortable environment. The central location makes this property a definite winner.
Olivaer Platz 1, 10707 Berlin, tel 49 30 887 760, www.citadines.com
Margie T Logarta