We arrived into the marble-laden lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Berlin in the center of the German capital at Potzdamer Platz, to be welcomed by an enormous Christmas tree and gingerbread house that had been erected in celebration of the season.
The recent renovation - see below - has left the whole property gleaming, from the marble floors that run throughout to the ultra-shiny bedroom doors lining the warm, wide corridors. We were given a warm welcome at the front desk and offered a plate of German cookies.
Sugar cravings satisfied we headed up to our room on the tenth floor. We were given club level access which allowed us to enjoy drinks, snacks and even meals included in the price of the stay.
The hotel really oozes luxury from the moment you walk through the doors and are confronted by a giant sweeping marble staircase. The newly renovated curtain bar and gorgeously refurbished lounge area make for comfortable seating around the hotel’s lobby.
As I hinted at earlier the hotel has recently undergone a massive renovation which sees the rooms as some of the most luxurious in the city, coupling the timeless elegance of Art Deco with modern facilities like state of the art lighting and USB ports in every room.
The Art Deco theme runs throughout the hotel with solid lines of silver, black, gold and metal running in floor patterns and along walls, and the exterior of the hotel too was based on the Art Deco icon that is the Rockefeller Center in New York.
Everything is pleasing to the eye with no glaring colour clashes or designs. The hotel even smells great with a sweet floral aroma filling the air. After coming n from a long day of touring in sometimes bitterly cold temperatures there was a an enveloping sense of warmth and homeliness in the hotel, despite the big brand name.
Up in the bedroom the luxurious character of the hotel continues with soft shades of purple, grey and gold giving a solid ambience to the space. The bathroom, complete with huge mirrors and underfloor heating - again in Art Deco style - also has a warm and inviting feel. Pink and white marble runs throughout the bathroom giving it a sunny atmosphere on even the most dreary of Berlin winter days, of which we encountered several!
Guests on the tenth floor have access to the club lounge which offers breakfast, hours d’oeuvres / afternoon tea and then dinner snacks. It is one of the most comprehensive lounge offerings I have ever encountered with plenty of variety to satisfy even the most picky of palettes. We tried to have at least breakfast and evening snacks there most days, but it seemed to me that some people never ever left the place!
After a long day touring the capital, it was always relaxing to come back to the hotel. On an evening the Curtains bar provided a relaxing place to have a drink or a snack. On weekend evenings a pianist and lounge singer take to the stage to entertain drinkers. The bar is beautifully designed and not at all pretentious. The singer that I heard took popular songs and made them her own with her powerful yet soulful voice. It was a great way to spend an hour or so while snacking on a tasty burger or plate of “Party” nachos.
A couple of things slightly irked us during the day but these might seem persnickety given the overall high standard of the stay. The cleaning of the room was fine but empty or half empty bottles of soda were left instead of being cleared away... turndown request was also bare minimum and toiletries would not automatically be replaced. I had to request every single day extra towels to be brought and even when I saw the member of housekeeping in the corridor, they still tended to forget my request.
Sometimes offerings in the lounge were not topped up or replaced as often as they could have been. That said, the staff there were also only too happy to oblige and send downstairs for fresh portions of whatever was desired but although the lounge is self-service, the very fact staff are present in the room should see them welcoming guests and asking if they would like drinks immediately. Often there could be very long gaps before I would see a member of staff to help me, perhaps with a high chair or ordering an alcoholic or hot drink. That being said, these are small issues that can be easily worked upon.
The hotel’s location is also excellent: right opposite the Potsdamer Platz station and just a short distance from the Reichstag and the famous Brandenburg Gate. There could hardly be a more fitting place in which to spend your time in the fascinating city that is Berlin.