Review: the excellent Berlin Marriott hotel revisited
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This is my review of the Berlin Marriott hotel where I stayed last week for the huge ITB travel fair.
I last reviewed this hotel in 2018, when I was also there for ITB. I returned in 2019 although I didn’t review it at that point, before ITB went into a 4-year covid hiatus.
Back in 2018 I said that Berlin Marriott was one of the best Marriott hotels in the world. Is this still the case?
My room was booked as a Marriott Bonvoy redemption at 35,000 points per night.
This is not a full review because I had a very busy schedule and didn’t see much of it. Despite three stays here, I have yet to make it to the swimming pool or eat in the restaurant. I should say, though, that Berlin Marriott is still – without a doubt – the poshest Marriott hotel I have ever stayed at. No contest.
It is directly behind The Ritz-Carlton in Potsdamer Platz, also operated by Marriott. I have stayed at The Ritz-Carlton twice in the past but, due to the modern decor, I actually preferred the Marriott.
Getting around from the Berlin Marriott is a dream. Many places are walkable and you have the S-Bahn, U-Bahn and Potsdamer Platz mainline trains literally outside the door. There is usually a line of taxis outside the door or you can get an Uber or Bolt within a couple of minutes. As an entirely new-build office and entertainment area post 1989 you are surrounded by shops and restaurants.
It has always been my preferred area to stay (I can also recommend the Grand Hyatt Berlin, reviewed here) and if you want historical connections, the wall used to run directly through the hotel site.
This time I got a suite
All of the rooms here are a decent size so taking a suite is more of an indulgence than anything else. However, I had my five Suite Night Awards for 2023 to burn though (this is a benefit for Platinum members of Marriott Bonvoy who complete 50 nights) so I put in a request to use them.
Slightly to my surprise – since hotels are full during ITB and obviously a travel show is likely to attract a lot of Bonvoy elite members with upgrades to burn – it cleared into an Executive Suite.
Even for cash the Executive Suites are good value. Taking a random date next week, the suite I had is €400 vs €250 for a standard room. Given that the suite also gets you lounge access, this is a good deal.
I was on the 7th floor out of 10 (the lounge is on the 10th). Here is the view down into the lobby from the 7th:
There is something very comforting about this hotel. It is difficult to put my finger on exactly why, but everything clicked. My room was suitably large and well furnished, the staff were welcoming, the public areas were impressive and the executive lounge clearly was not running under budgetary constraints.
The Executive Suites sit in the corners of the building, so you effectively get wrap around windows. These are big spaces – possibly the first time I’ve ever had a suite which is bigger than implied by the photographs on the website! Mine overlooked the pedestrianised street in front of the hotel so was totally silent.
Here is the bedroom which is not exactly short of space:
Here is the living area which has a table / desk and a large sofa (there is a TV in both rooms).
Standard rooms, at least back in 2019, have a proper desk. Suite guests get the round table, although it is properly served by sockets.
You can see how they connect here:
In terms of amenities the suite came with a number of books on the Bauhaus, a Nespresso machine, kettle and (chargeable) minibar.
A free full size bottle of Marriott Berlin sekt (sparkling wine) was delivered as a welcome gift, along with some chocolates – this may have beeen a status gift rather than a suite gift, but the sekt is on free flow in the lounge anyway:
There is only one bathroom, which is unusual for a suite but did mean that no space was wasted. You can access the bathroom via the bedroom or living room, so this wouldn’t stop you hosting a meeting in the suite if necessary.
The Acca Kappa toiletries from 2018/9 have gone to be replaced by fixed full size bottles of this works products. You only get a single sink.
Let me tell you what was cool. The shower has a digital display. It works like a room thermostat – a numerical display shows the current water temperature and there is a ‘+’ button and a ‘-‘ button next to it. It turned out that 43 degrees c was my preferred level! I’m not sure why more showers don’t have one of these as, if nothing else, it is pretty idiot proof.
The Berlin Marriott executive lounge
This is how the lounge works. These are very impressive opening hours compared to most hotel lounges:
- Breakfast from 6.30 to 10.30 (7.00 to 11.00 at weekends)
- Sweet snacks from 12.00 to 17.00
- Hot and cold buffet from 17.30 to 20.30 (alcohol available until 23.00)
Back in 2018 children were allowed but under 14’s must be accompanied by an adult. I didn’t see any signs re the child policy on this visit.
Here is a PR picture of the lounge, as it was always fairly busy when I was there – although I never failed to get a table to myself. There is another small seating area with sofa chairs around the corner at the back. The picture doesn’t really do justice to how pleasant I found it.
In the evening there are typically three hot options plus a decent sized buffet and lot of drink options, alcoholic and soft. I had no problem finding enough to eat on both nights to count as a full evening meal, allowing me to get back to work.
Here is part of the breakfast buffet – cereals, pastries and hot items are elsewhere.
I had seen a couple of critical reports last year about the post-covid food options in the lounge but everything is now back to how it was pre-pandemic. The lounge even has real newspapers available, including the Financial Times and New York Times.
Other eating and drinking options
Whilst I’ve never got around to trying them, there are obviously other F&B options:
- Midtown Grill – the main restaurant serving steak and ‘American classics’
- Lobby Lounge – which you can see on the ground floor in my photo of the atrium above
- The Big Dog Berlin – hot dogs, fries and beer
The latter seems to be new. Whilst there is an entrance from the hotel lobby as well as from the street, it is essentially set up as a ‘standard’ restaurant and I suspect most of its customers are not hotel guests.
There is a swimming pool which I didn’t use but which looks good. One of these days I will make it down there. This is a stock photo:
If every Marriott-branded hotel was as good as this they would be unstoppable. The truth is that Berlin is probably in the top five globally – I can’t think of a better one in Europe.
It raises questions about what the new JW Marriott Berlin can do to compete given that this is a refurbishment of a huge older hotel. The JW Marriott has just updated its public areas but is only just starting on the 500+ dated rooms. I would give it a miss for a couple of years until the work is done, and even then you will be in a monster of a hotel compared to the modest Marriott.
It is a lovely hotel in a great location and if you have access to the executive lounge then you’ll be well fed and watered too. The ability to get a very light and bright suite for about 50% more than the cost of a standard room is even better.
The Berlin Marriott hotel website is here if you want to find out more. I’m likely to be there again for ITB next year.