This is our review of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Charlottenburg, Berlin.
After visiting my grandparents in Stuttgart I decided to head up to Berlin to visit some friends. Hilton very kindly invited me to check out the Waldorf Astoria, a hotel we have been wanting to review on Head for Points for some years.
Waldorf Astoria Berlin was the first WA in Germany when it opened in 2013. It is also the home of the only Guerlain Spa in the country.
Waldorf Astoria Berlin is very well located in the City West district of Berlin. It is tucked between the Kurfürstendamm shopping district, the Berlin Zoo and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church – the famously preserved bombed-out church that now features a new 1960s church building.
It is very well connected to public transport via the train, underground and S-bahn station Berlin Zoologischer Garten, with regional train services as well as the S3, S5, S7, S9 and U2 and U9 underground lines.
From the new Berlin airport travel times are approximately 30 – 40 minutes by car and just under an hour by public transport.
You also have the large Tiergarten city park on your doorstep. All things considered you are in a very green part of the city, albeit slightly out of the city centre.
Arriving at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin
The Waldorf Astoria is just across the street from the station. It is in the Zoofenster building, the 5th tallest building in Berlin at 118m tall. There are 32 floors, with the lower 15 in use by the hotel. Floors 16 and above are serviced apartments with the final two floors dedicated to the Ambassador and Presidential Suites.
The entrance features a wall with the signatures of the rich and famous who have all stayed at the hotel. Pass through a second set of doors and you find yourself in the hotel atrium:
Behind this are the reception desks, and I was immediately greeted by the friendly staff who checked me in. The process was quick and easy – I didn’t have to wait.
I was given a Junior Suite with View on the 14th floor of the hotel – the top floor of the hotel part of the building (apart from the Presidential Suite which is right at the top).
The room was very generously sized at 50 square meters. Even the entry-level rooms are 42sqm+.
My junior suite was a corner room, so I had a little corridor as I entered, flanked on one side by wood-panelled wardrobes:
Inside is an ironing board, safe and a nice super-fluffy robe.
The room then opens up, with a large dining table against the back wall, plus the wall mounted TV:
The TV is also connected to a Mac Mini and DVD drive, although I didn’t try this out. It is quite small – especially from the bed – as the room is so large.
You then have the king bed, with a chaise longue at its foot and a small armchair and coffee table between the bed and the dining table:
On one side of the bed you have a little iPod dock, albeit with the old 30-pin connector. On the other side is the master switch for the lights as well as electronic controls for the blinds but not the curtains.
To the left of the bed you have the bathroom and mini bar:
The minibar comes with a Nespresso machine, a range of glasses including wine glasses:
A fully stocked fridge:
As well as a couple of chargeable chocolates and other bits:
Around the back of the mini bar is the bathroom, which has two doors:
As you can see the bathroom is clad in marble and features a lovely light-scultpure above the bathtub. The shower and toilet are separated behind the two frosted glass doors. It is a dual-head shower, although you can’t see the rainfall shower head in this photo:
Toiletries are by Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul, which is standard for Waldorf Astoria:
Oddly, there were very few other amenities in the bathroom beyond a few cotton buds and pads – no dental kit, comb or other bits you normally find, although I’m sure these are available on request.
The sink features a large mirror with a built-in TV screen, which I’ve never seen at a hotel before:
Looking the other way, you can see the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church from the sink:
If you walk through the door you find a small dressing table next to the window:
All things considered, the bathroom is very classy and without a doubt the highlight of the room. If I were nitpicking I would say some of the lighter wood finishes feel a little dated, although this is a particularly German aesthetic, and the carpet could do with a refresh. Taken together the size and spec is high, and the design matches the historicity of the Waldorf Astoria brand which is more focused on traditional luxury.
The Presidential Suite
The hotel’s Presidential Suite is on the 31st floor. I was given a little tour and thought it would be fun to include some photos.
The two-bedroom suite is spread across 280 square meters and takes up an entire floor. It features a panic room plus a baby grand:
There’s a beautiful bathroom that lets you soak in the bath whilst gazing out over Berlin:
Plus a beautiful office with views of the Zoo and Tiergarten. You can even see the giraffes and elephants. Beat that for a home office!
Spa and gym
As previously mentioned, Waldorf Astoria Berlin is the home of the only Guerlain Spa in Germany, which it is very proud of. It is, to be fair, very pleasant.
The complex includes a number of treatment rooms as well as the pool and gym. Slots are currently limited and are bookable by the hour due to Covid-19.
The gym itself is fairly small:
The spa is not free for guests which I thought was a bit stingy given it is the only pool in the hotel. A day pass to the pool and sauna is €15 for adults and €7.50 for children, although I believe entry is free for anyone with Hilton Silver, Gold or Diamond status and anyone that has booked a corner suite or higher.
That said, the spa is very nice. It features a small pool and jacuzzi:
As well as, in true German tradition, a Textilfreie Sauna. In other words, no swim suits are allowed in the sauna and steam rooms. These are separate from the pool and hot tub so anyone who is uncomfortable with public nudity needn’t see or participate.
It is a beautiful, although not huge, spa and I made full use of it during my wet-and-windy stay in Berlin.
Breakfast and dining
As a city hotel the Waldorf Astoria Berlin has surprisingly few dining options. There is ROCA, on the ground floor, a lovely light space that serves a ‘Champagne&Eggs’ brunch at weekends:
The Lang Bar, open in the evenings and The Library, a small lounge on the 15th floor that serves afternoon tea. In the summer, a rooftop terrace bar is also open, although at present it has been closed for the winter. You can still access the terrace, however.
Breakfast is served in a dedicated breakfast room that isn’t used for other purposes:
The breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria is impressive. Hot items can be ordered from an a la carte menu that includes eggs benedict, florentine, royale etc as well as sweet items such as waffles, pancakes, french toast and the Bavarian Weisswurst. Here are my (excellent) eggs royale:
In addition, you also have a small buffet with cold cuts, yoghurts, cheeses, pastries etc:
A range of juices are also available, including freshly-pressed orange juice and a green juice. The sparkling wine is a German Schloss Vaux Riesling Brut from the Rheingau which retails for around £12.
It is not a biggest buffet but truly embodies the German phrase ‘klein aber fein’: small but elegant. It is one of the better hotel breakfasts I have had this year.
I was also invited to try the ‘Champagne&Eggs’ brunch offered in ROCA on the weekends. This is served from 11am. You can either pick and mix from the a la carte menu or you pick one of the two packages:
- One sweet & one savoury including a glass of champagne – €37
- One sweet & one savoury including all you can drink champagne – €69
The only difference is the amount of champagne. I thought €37 was exceptionally reasonable for a champagne brunch, especially given this is the Waldorf Astoria. I would expect to pay significantly more for the same in London.
You can choose between normal and rose champagne. The champagne is Pommery Brut Royale NV, which you can get in Waitrose for £30.
I went for the Surf & Turf eggs benedict:
My friend and I also shared the ROCA waffle and pink bowl:
Portions are big – you won’t be going home hungry – and the food was great. It’s a lovely spot for brunch and a lovely venue with wrap-around windows. I will probably come back next time I’m in Berlin.
I really enjoyed my stay at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin. The location is great, with easy access to a huge number of public transport services you can be almost anywhere very quickly.
The hotel itself is lovely – art deco touches throughout ground the hotel and make it feel like it has been in Berlin for a lot longer than it actually has (it opened less than ten years ago). The slightly more traditional luxury aesthetic, whilst not necessarily my favourite, fits well with the Waldorf Astoria brand.
The food is great and the breakfast is one of the best breakfasts I’ve had all year.
The spa, again, is lovely, although I do think charging guests for use is a bit stingy and unnecessary.
Rooms are available from 67,000 points per night. Cash rates start at £185 for a weekday night in January. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.
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