I love Europe, which is why I find it somewhat odd that I haven’t spent that much time in the heart of the continent, Germany. Last month I started correcting this grievous oversight by spending nearly two weeks exploring several cities, a first volley in tackling my Germanic travel deficiencies. I had a well planned out schedule but due to the fact that I apparently cannot accurately read a calendar, I had an unexpected extra day in Berlin. Rather than change my plane tickets, which would have been difficult to be honest, I decided to spend the day in Berlin, continuing to explore what has become a favorite city.
I’m a big fan of the Ritz-Carlton; their standards remain high across the world, which for a luxury traveler is a nice thing to see. I knew that would be the case in Berlin and so it was with no small level of excitement that I first walked into the lobby of this grand hotel.
My sense of direction and geography is just as poor as my calendar reading skills, so I wasn’t exactly sure where the hotel was when I booked it. As soon as I arrived though I knew I made the right choice. Situated in the heart of Potsdamer Platz, the Ritz Carlton Berlin is easy to reach from the metro and is in the middle of one of Berlin’s most popular districts. More importantly, for the casual tourist the hotel is within walking distance of many of the famous sights you want to see. The Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie and many other top tourist spots are an easy amble down the street from the Ritz-Carlton. Given I only had one extra day before flying out, it was perfect for my sightseeing needs.
Comfort and Service
It’s the Ritz-Carlton, so a certain level of comfort is automatically assumed and I am pleased to say that my expectations were surpassed. I was in a generously sized suite with Club floor access. The room had all of the accouterments one could possibly need including an impossibly comfortable bed and even a sitting area where I got some work done. With views overlooking the frenetic Potsdamer Platz, it was a welcome escape in a city that is well known for its high paced lifetyle.
More than comfort, the real mark of a truly great hotel is, in my opinion, the service. This is also an area where the Ritz-Carlton excels and I was impressed with how helpful the staff members at the Ritz-Carlton Berlin were. From check in to helping me read city maps, they were there to help me. Even when I lost my cell phone, the staff helped me call around to local cab companies although I had checked out, helping alleviate some of the stress I felt. Few other hotels would do the same and it is a simple gesture of hospitality and kindness that I will never forget.
When I stay at hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, I always make sure to book Club level access. The perks are well worth the extra fees and always make my experience much more pleasant. Throughout the day meals and snacks are served in the Club lounge, along with drinks and other goodies. Club level access also comes with complimentary Wi-Fi access, a necessity for a digital entrepreneur like myself.
The Ritz-Carlton isn’t antiseptic though, and in Berlin they have even adapted to the quirkiness of the city. Signs indicating events in the hotel are designed to look like the city’s famous graffiti art and out front there is a special bike rack known as the Bike Butler, with complimentary bike service for guests. These are both quintessentially Berlin and I was pleased to see the Ritz-Carlton adopt them.
One other extra I want to mention dovetails with the staff kindness I mentioned. I stayed there over Easter and when I left my room that morning I noticed that several doors along the hallway had Lindt chocolate bunnies attached to them. As it turns out, these were the rooms with kids staying in them and the hotel wanted them to know that the Easter Bunny had not forgotten about them. How amazing is that? I was truly shocked at how sweet that was.
My brief stay at the Ritz-Carlton Berlin was a memorable one and the perfect way to end my travels around one of the most exciting cities in the world.