Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explored an area which was in a not too distant)past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
For our first stop in Berlin we elected to stay at the InterContinental hotel, located in the former west-Berlin right next to the famous Tiergarten. The closest public transport hubs are Zoologischer Garten station for busses, trains and metros or Wittenbergplatz for metro services. Nearby you have the Kurfurstendamm with all the possible shops you could imagine.
The hotel itself is a huge complex with a sprawling array of meeting halls on the ground floor to the left of the giant entrance lobby. The lobby is located in between the two hotel towers, the original 1950`s one is the taller western tower, while the shorter eastern tower is more recent but incorporates the spa area on its ground floor.
Originally we had booked a club room, including access to the Club Intercontinental with all-day snacks and drinks available. This is located on the 8th floor, the top floor of the east tower. Unfortunately the lounge was closed due to COVID, but what we could see from the outside looked promising and hopefully we will be able to use it on a next stay.
The hotel was very honest and courteous about it and informed us in due time by mailing us a week beforehand. As a compensation they reduced the price of our stay to a normal room rate with breakfast but would give us an upgrade in room category. This sounded like a fair deal to us, a much better solution than we had at InterContinental Lyon last year.
Upon arrival we learned that they indeed gave us an upgrade, and a massive one as well. We were assigned the 200 m2 Diplomates Suite on the 7th floor of the eastern tower. This feature an entry hall and corridor leading towards a dining room.
On the left hand side there was a small kitchen with coffee and tea making facilities followed by a separate guest toilet.
Behind it was a big living room overlooking the Tiergarten and the Siegesaule, featuring some different sofas and coffee tables.
In the dining room there was a big meeting table, against the wall where the toilet was located there was a cupboard with the minibar and 2 bottles of complimentary water.
To the right side of the corridor and the dining room there first was an office with a big desk (immediately claimed by Timothy to work on) after which was the bedroom with a big and comfortable bed.
From the bedroom you could walk into the huge bathroom including a big comfortable bath tub, a toilet and a rainshower (of which you could let both heads spray water) behind glass doors. There were also his and hers sinks. Plenty of towels and bathrobes where provided as well as bigger bottle products (in line with the room size).
In between the bathroom and the entrance there where two different dressings, providing you with ample room to store all your belongings (not really necessary for us with just two back packs).
We were truly impressed by the room and we enjoyed our stay very much, as it probably will be the only time we stay in such a big and elaborate suite. the only remark I had was the lack of plugs, mostly due to the age as the styling made it look like it was last renovated in the early 2000s when people still travelled with less necessary electronics.
After investigating a bit further I discovered the hotel solved the lack of plugs in an original way, they installed telephones that included charging cables for most types of smartphones and place to set your phone to charge, very convenient.
The hotel also featured a well-equipped gym and spa area on the ground floor. The gym was divided into two levels, the lower one giving a view over the pool area. The equipment was very up to date Technogym branded (a famous German brand)
The pool was absolutely huge, one of the biggest indoor hotel pools I encountered. There was also ample seating around the pool. The whirlpool was also a true whirlpool as the force of the water whirled you around the pool.
In the morning we went to eat at the elaborate LA Café breakfast buffet. This is located at the far end of the hotel past the western hotel tower in between the various meeting rooms. It offered a big array of different dishes. The usual suspects like cold cuts and bread, the very German Birchermüsli and a made to order breakfast station including eggs Benedict. They also added some local products like liver spread or Bavarian white sausages. The cheese selection they offered was the biggest I’ve ever seen on a hotel breakfast buffet while the steamed prawns in cocktail sauce win in the field of originality. The buffet truly offered something for everyone’s taste.
As on the day of our departure we had an early train to catch, the breakfast buffet wasn’t opened yet but the hotel kindly provided us with a breakfast to go, it consisted of some pastries, some breads, granola bars, fruits, a juice and some water.
The hotel also has 2 restaurants. The fancy Hugo`s offers some top notch dining with multiple course menu`s which we decided not to try out. The lower budget Marlene`s combined the bar with a more standard dining offer. This was located on the ground level of the western tower.
We had a very nice stay at InterContinental Berlin, you can really sense this is one of their flagship properties. During our stay they were also performing some works which included closing off parts of floors, presumably they were renovating some rooms to make the hotel even better in the future.