Located right off the storied shopping strip of Kurfürstendamm, the Berlin Mark far exceeded any modest expectations I had. After a short 15 minute cab ride from Tegal Airport, we arrived before the scheduled check-in time, but the amiable women at the front desk found us one of the few rooms that were ready. The lobby was modern, circa 1990, with black leather chairs forming a mini-seating area and retro circle designs lined up along the ceiling to complement the mint green colors that dominate the interior. I grabbed some fruit from the complimentary bowl on the front desk, and was assigned a room on the fifth floor. Each guest is given a key card – when you leave the hotel, drop your room key in a drop box, and upon returning simply flash your card to get the key returned.
There’s a shoe buffer on each floor outside the elevator, which cleaned up my grubby Converses nicely. We had a double room with two beds that included cable and pay TV, radio, telephone, and a mini-bar. There’s a huge storage closet with enough space to fit Marlene Dietrich’s legendary wardrobe, a small table, and two glass doors that opened out to an amazing view down Meinekestraße. The bathroom was kept immaculately clean, and came with a hair dryer, soap, vanity mirror, and the best shower I’ve ever felt in my life. No joke. Daily maid service changed your sheets, emptied the trash, and brought clean towels (don’t forget to leave your dirty towels on the floor, or you won’t get clean ones).
The Bistro Mark on the main floor hosts a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning from 6 – 10am weekdays, 6am – noon on the weekend. After a night of trying a German beer or two, this buffet was a godsend. As a vegetarian my choices were somewhat limited, but I did enjoy amazing scrambled eggs (when there wasn’t bacon stock in them), rolls, croissants, Cocoa Puffs cereal, jams, fruit, cheese (brie and Swiss), juices, yogurt, and Nutella. There was also sausage, bacon, and ham for the carnivores. Snacks are served throughout the day.
The bar has Happy Hour everyday from 5 – 7 pm, offering mixed drinks for 3,05 Euros. Tell the little Polish bartender I said hello, he’s such a nice guy. They also have a few beers on tap for only 2,50 Euro a pint.
Rooms start at 69,99 Euro a night for a single, and 79 Euro for double. Listed as only a three-star hotel, I felt like I was living in the lap of luxury throughout my stay.
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by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
March 9, 2003
From journal Wait a minute, was I really in Berlin?