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Background:

I was originally going to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin, but then during my extensive (ahem, one day) layover in Atlanta, I found out that Visa Signature Hotels had a 3rd night free promotion for Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and Curio! I’ve always wanted to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin, as their rooms look gorgeous online and it’s only 4 years old! The third night free made the stay a really good price, 320 EUR for the first 2 nights and the 3rd night free in a Twin Junior Suite! The total came up to right under 700 EUR with taxes.

Plus, booking with Visa Signature gets you

  • Best available rate guarantee
  • Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available
  • Complimentary continental breakfast daily
  • $25 USD food or beverage credit
  • VIP Guest status
  • 3PM check-out upon request, when available

This third night offer is still available if you want! You just have to book by September 30th for a stay before October 31st. And you have to arrive on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Waldorf Astoria Berlin SHORT REVIEW WITH SCORES (OUT OF 5, 5 BEING THE BEST)

MY OVERALL SCORE: 4

5: Excellent, Highly Recommend
4: Very Good, Solid Choice to Consider
3: Ok, Check Other Options Before Booking
2: Below Par, Try to Avoid
1: Terrible, Run Far Away

Rooms: 5/5
Amenities: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Location: 3.5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Sleep Quality: 5/5

Quick Summary: Overall, the Waldorf Astoria Berlin excels with giant, gorgeous rooms. Sadly, it is brought down by its sub-par, almost appalling service for a hotel at this caliber.

The Waldorf Astoria Berlin is rated 4.5/5.0 on TripAdvisor, which is one of the reasons I booked the hotel, but I did see many reviews that complained about the service as well.


Arrival: Service Woes Part 1

Sadly, I already got a taste of the bad service on arrival. I went to go check-in, and the lady at the front desk was just staring at her computer. For a good minute. As I waited, I was just shocked how she didn’t see us. Then, the other front desk attendant finished talking to a bellhop, looked at her, looked back at my mom and I really confused then ushered us over to him. At this point she looked at us and seemed surprised? I dunno, maybe it was a long day for her, I’ll let it go, but for a 5 star hotel, I expect some level of checking if guests are waiting to check-in?

After that, check-in started smoothly, he noted we booked with Visa Signature, and highlighted our benefits: breakfast for two (not all 3 of us, which I understood, most hotels only give breakfast for 2), wifi, late check-out at 3PM. He then went to check for the “complimentary upgrade”, and reported that there were no upgrades available.

He explained that there were no “Junior Suite’s with View” available, because the Visa Signature “upgrade” is only one category,  since I booked a “Junior Suite”. Keep that in mind when booking here.

It gets worse?!

What’s more ridiculous is starts to up-sell and say he could upgrade us to a Grand Tower Suite for an extra $600 EUR a night. Seriously? That’s double my rate? Or he said there was a Corner Suite for an extra 80 EUR a night? And I researched the room types here, the Corner Suite is only 2 categories above my room (but to be honest, many people say that room isn’t even good, worse than a Junior Suite).

This up-selling really pissed me off and it immediately gave a lasting impression that this hotel wanted to nickle and dime. Not what I want to see checking in.

The Room:

We were given a room on the 5th floor, the same floor as the spa. It wasn’t too noisy, as foot traffic to the spa was minimal. Our “Junior Suite” was at the end of the hall, so it was technically a corner-like room. There were plenty of windows which was nice and thankfully the curtains were good so that the sun did not wake me up in the morning. There are electric shades that can come up and down then you pull the curtains manually.

I personally think the rooms look better in person than in pictures! 🙂

The room was pretty big, the website advertises the Junior Suite at 538 sqft but I felt like my room was even bigger. More like 650, but maybe that’s because my Junior Suite was on the corner? Not sure.

The welcome treat was a nice touch, and it had chocolate and little candies. I appreciate how the rollaway was already set up and I didn’t have to wait for housekeeping to do it, so props for that.

“Twin” or “Queen”

The beds online are advertised as “Twin” but for US standards they were definitely Queen sized! Since they were Queen sized, I ended up not using the rollaway. I did test the rollaway out though, and it was decent for a rollaway, but not as good as the Waldorf Astoria bed.

The bed was pretty comfortable, up to a 5 star level and the pillows provided were good as well. I didn’t need to order off the pillow menu, but you could if you wanted.

There was a Nespresso machine, and an Apple TV in the room. I just don’t get why the TV was so small but I didn’t really use it anyway.

The room was really clean which was good, and even though we faced a construction site on one of the corners of the room, I didn’t hear much even when they would work at night. Thankfully…

We didn’t have a great view, but it could have been worse.

Bathroom:

The bathroom was nice, or at least it looked nice. To be honest it wasn’t the most functional. It only had one sink, and if you used the rain shower water would leak to the rest of the bathroom as the door isn’t that sealed.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the rain shower though! 🙂

The toiletries were Salvatore Ferragamo, and I was excited to try it out! Yea no, the smell is really strong and just not pleasant. Not my type of soap…

Overall:

The room as a whole was beautiful. One of the largest rooms I’ve stayed at in Europe, and nicest (maybe tied with the Jumeirah Frankfurt).

Breakfast:

The breakfast buffet includes made to order eggs and waffles as well as a buffet selection. The dining room is very nice, and the buffet is pretty good. I enjoyed my breakfast and it met expectations. Service was good at breakfast, a nice surprise from the rest of the staff.

Breakfast is 38 EUR per person, so if you get it included with your room I say go for it! But as I’m not a huge breakfast guy, I probably wouldn’t pay 38 EUR if it wasn’t included.

Service:

Yikes. The Waldorf Astoria Berlin really needs to work on its service. Coming from the Marriott Prague, which had amazing service, my expectations might have been set a bit too high? But c’mon, shouldn’t a Waldorf Astoria have better service than a Marriott??

Exhibit A:

So, check-in wasn’t that great which I talked about in the beginning, and now one night I wanted ice. I called to get ice and I was on hold for a good 5 minutes (a bit long, but maybe they were busy idk I’ll let that go). They then answer the phone “Hi how can I help you”. Okay that’s fine but even the Marriott Prague addressed me by last name? Am i even at a Waldorf? Then I order my ice and he says “Sure it will be delivered shortly what is your room number?” Seriously? You’re a 5 star hotel and don’t know my room number as I am calling you from my room telephone?!

Goodness.

Exhibit B:

I was in the room and heard a knock on the door at 4 PM. I opened it as it looked like a housekeeper, and she said “Turndown service!”

Okay cool, but I wasn’t ready to leave the room yet so I asked her “Can you come back later, I’m going to leave the room soon?”

“It will be fast!” she said.

I was just shocked at her response. “Okay…sure?”

“Sorry, don’t speak much English” she said. And then she came in.

Now, I’m not sure if it was the language barrier, or did she really just want to finish turndown service in my room so she could go home? I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and say it was the language barrier.

Not the best interaction I would have to say. But certainly a memorable one…

Exhibit C:

Upon check-out, they said we owed 3 nights. I then told the lady at check-out I booked with Visa Signature and that our 3rd night was free. She said it was not noted on the reservation, and asked me to send over my confirmation. I sent it over, and after she got it she sassily replied

“Oh… I guess it’s only 2 nights then. Wow..”

I’m not sure if her sass was intentional but it felt as if she thought we were paying too low of a price for this hotel? Heck, if it wasn’t for the 3rd night free this hotel wouldn’t have been worth it. I don’t need her sass checking out.

Amenities:

The nickle and dime saga continues!

There’s the Guerlain Spa inside the Waldorf Astoria Berlin, but to use the pool OR sauna hotel guests have to pay 15 EUR.

Wait but kids are free! Oh awesome! Yea but there’s a catch 🙂 Per the hotel’s guide, “Children aged 12 or younger may use the pool daily between 9-11am and 2-4pm on a complimentary basis”. But you can’t leave a kid unsupervised, so the parent still has to pay I suppose? It just seemed very funny to me haha!

If your Hilton Honors Silver you can get the 15 EUR pool + sauna fee waived. I did not visit the pool or sauna. You can visit the gym that’s in the spa though for free.

There’s a library on the 15th floor where guests can sit and relax. Read a book, order some bites or play some chess.

Location:

The Waldorf Astoria Berlin is right next to Zoologischer Garden train station and walking distance to the Berlin Zoo. It’s also located on Kurfurstendamm, where all the fancy shops are. Well, it’s not at the best part of K-Dam, but on it.

This location isn’t really next to the attractions for a tourist, so probably not the best part of Berlin to set as a base if you want to hit up all the tourist spots. A better base would definitely be near Gendarmenmarkt or Potsdamer Platz, where you could walk to more sights.

The Verdict:

Sure the rooms are gorgeous, but the service is really lacking at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin. Management needs to fix they way they train their employees. Many (especially the front desk) act as if they have some sort of unwarranted sense of entitlement because they work at a new luxury hotel. Newsflash, Berlin has tons of other 5 star hotels and because of this I probably would opt to stay at the Ritz Carlton next time. Plus the Ritz is in a better location (Potsdamer Platz), as for tourists the Waldorf is not located near the major attractions.

 

Have you stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin? How was your experience?

You can check out TripAdvisor reviews for the Waldorf Astoria Berlin here! And if you want to compare prices for the Waldorf Astoria Berlin or see other hotels you can click here as well. 

 

Happy travels,

theresorttraveler


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