Mexico City, Mexico
October 3, 2002
The Crowne Plaza would not normally be my first choice to stay in in Berlin but the Adlon was fully booked. As we expected that circumstances might force us to spend more time in the hotel than usual we opted for a hotel where we would be sure to have a decent size room and full facilities.
The Crowne Plaza is conveniently located off Kurfuerstendamm near the Kaiser Wilhem Gedaechtniskirche and Zoo Station. Inside the nondescript building in a very nondescript street awaited a warm welcome from very friendly and competent staff. Check-in was very fast and although we traveled fairly light a friendly bellhop insisted on helping with the luggage. He also refused the tip and seemed almost embarrassed that it was offered. Two persons from housekeeping stormed in and out with a baby bed at such speed there was no time to even consider tipping. Similarly the room maids never took any tip – it was like being back in Japan.
The room was fairly standard with a slightly dated look style wise but furniture and fittings were in very good condition. The bed was surprisingly comfortable despite the mattress being very soft, as the Germans seem to prefer it. The bathroom was all white, completely tiled with modern furnishings and sufficient space to fully unpack all toiletries. There were never any complaints that we unpacked the bar fridge and filled it up with milk and baby food. Each room also has hairdryers, coffee/tea making facilities and an iron – a rarity in German hotels.
I was very satisfied with the housekeeping and if I ever need a maid in Berlin I would pouch one from the Crowne Plaza. Whether they picked up each item individually and replaced them at the exact same spot, cleaned around things or didn’t clean at all, I wouldn’t know but the maids never felt that inborn urge of all maids world wide to rearrange stuff and make neat piles. We could always find our things exactly where we left them. The only complaint is the speed at which service personnel entered the room – the gap between ringing the bell and barging in is equal to the time it takes to move a hand form the bell button to the door knob – we noticed similar urges in other German hotels as well so it may be the local thing.
Our room rate booked via the Internet was Euro 100 per night including all taxes and a full buffet breakfast. We were pleasantly surprised by the size and selection available for breakfast. It had the full range from fresh fruit to hot sausages, eggs, cereals, yogurts and even a do-it-yourself waffle maker.
The hotel has a fairly large indoor pool and a pretty good gymnasium – both seemed underused. Although notices for tour groups were constantly being plastered in a disorderly fashion next to the elevators, we never had the impression that the hotel was unduly full or swamped by tour groups.