Hilton Worldwide is expanding the Waldorf Astoria brand quickly, with 26 properties worldwide and one more in Chengdu next year.
This hotel opened in 2013 in the 118-metre-tall Zoofenster tower by Zoologischer Garten station.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
From the outside, the hotel can seem forbidding, with its minimalist, art deco exterior looking out from what is almost a traffic island on to the large station and fast-food outlets of the area.
Ropes separate passers-by from the red carpet leading to the entrance, and a large vestibule then protects the quiet of the marble-floored lobby, where traffic noise is banished and you can lounge on comfy chairs.
By now you will have had at least one member of liveried staff welcome you and offer to take your bags.
I checked in at the Hilton HHonors desk and since it was only 10am and the room wasn’t ready, was offered a coffee, my bags stored and my mobile number taken so I could be phoned when it was available.
It set the tone for the stay – staff were friendly, highly proficient in English and good ambassadors not only for the hotel but also for the city, offering suggestions for my spare time.
WHERE IS IT?
Opposite the S-Bahn and U-Bahn Zoologischer Garten station, from which the express train goes to Schonefeld airport and one day, who knows when, Willy Brandt Brandenburg airport. Tegel is 8km away.
Guestrooms are on levels three to 15, and 22 to 31, with offices in between. For a new-build, there is a huge array of room types – 16 in total – although all are large, with entry-level King Junior Deluxe rooms 42 sqm.
They come with minibars, Nespresso machines, safes, robes, desks with EU sockets, and 40-inch flatscreen TVs with wireless keyboards. Internet costs e25 for 24 hours, although HHonors members get it for free.
Furnishings are colourful, with patterned carpets and oversize headboards. Marble bathrooms have tubs and showers, underfloor heating and built-in mirror TVs.
Note that the hotel does not have an executive lounge, although there is a library on the 15th floor, which is open to all guests, with chargeable drinks (open 3pm-10pm; Sun 11am-7pm).
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
As well as the Peacock Alley lobby bar (a brand standard), there is the Romanisches Café for pastries and small plates, the art deco-style Lang bar for cocktails and snacks, and for more formal dining, Les Solistes by Pierre Gagnaire, a superb French restaurant by the Michelin-starred chef, which is open for dinner only.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
There are five meeting rooms on the second floor as well as a 330 sqm ballroom that holds 250 guests for a reception.
Germany’s first Guerlain spa is on the fifth floor and has eight treatment rooms.
There is also a good-size gym with natural light, a steam room and sauna, a large pool area, and a rooftop sundeck in summer. Unless you are paying for a treatment, or are a premium HHonors member, you have to pay €25 to use the pool.
A fine example of how good Waldorf Astoria hotels can be, with all the services you’d expect from the five-star brand but with added touches, including a Michelin-starred restaurant. However, having to pay to use the pool is disappointing.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? 232 – 23 King Junior Deluxe, 52 King Deluxe, 16 Twin Deluxe, 45 King Deluxe with view, 14 Twin Deluxe with view, plus 26 King Junior suites, 12 Twin Junior, 12 King Junior with view, six King Corner, 12 King Tower, six Twin Tower, three King Grand Tower, one King and one Twin Ambassador, the Presidential and two Accessible suites.
- HIGHLIGHTS The location is convenient, if lacking glamour, the service is very good, the Michelin-starred restaurant superb and the views of Berlin from the upper floors overlooking the zoo second to none.
- PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in October started from €270 for a King Junior Deluxe room.
- CONTACT Waldorf Astoria Berlin, Hardenbergstrasse 28; tel +49 308 140 000; waldorfastoria3.hilton.com