Rated 4 out of 5 by PickyPickyTraveler A Berlin beauty
My first time in Berlin - a business trip - and staying at the Westin Grand added to my enjoyment of the city.
My check-in was prompt and enjoyable. Even though I arrived a few hours before the "official" check-in time of 3 PM, the front desk associate found an available room. It overlooked the courtyard garden, which provided extra quiet since there is a lot of construction taking place on the streets surrounding the hotel. The bed was extremely comfortable and the shower worked well. Housekeeping, though, was inconsistent. On some days, not all bath linens used (hand towels, wash cloths) were replaced. There was no turn-down service or refreshing of used towels in the evening,
The in-room Wi-Fi worked flawlessly. As an SPG Gold, free Internet helped me save 19 Euros/day - significant since I was at the hotel for five nights.
The Concierge desk is staffed by very helpful professionals. At least one member of the Concierge team is a member of Les Clefs d'Or, the association of professional hotel Concierges.
The Westin Grand's location is convenient to major public transport, including both underground and above-ground "subways." Taxis are plentiful; getting a taxi at 5 AM to go to the airport was easy.
I would certainly consider staying at this hotel again when next visiting Berlin.
March 9, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by fiervol Great Hotel, staff to be "improved"
Westin Grand Berlin is a great hotel - perfect location, many and comfortable rooms, very nice bar/ restaurant. We were 3 guys and the junior suite accomodated us well. The room was very clean. The only thing that I seriously consider improving is the staff/ personnel. Supporting people/ staff are available at any time, but I found issues at any moment I interacted with them - at check-in, during breakfast (we were using the Platinum free breakfast benefit and we were watched and monitored constantly...as if we were some kind of strangers, or wanted to steal an egg, maybe) and, above all, at checkout. At checkout I was billed a room upgrade (at reservation time I was given the Platinum room free upgrade), that eventually came out as the 3rd bed fee, taxes/ city taxes were unclear and I was billed a €75 euros internet fee for the 2-day stay (Platinum members have a free internet benefit). At the end I came to the "right" bill, but the point is that it took 15/20 minutes and I had to explain to the guy what the spg programme is and how ot works. Another thing, that I generally find annoying/ unpolite, is that (during the same checkout phase) another front desk agent came and started talking about our situation in German (which I don't speak) with the first one for a little while.
In the end, great hotel but the human factor is always key - I suggest some improvement in this part. Thank you.
May 6, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by Afoo One of the worst hotels in the SPG franchise that I've stayed in
I'm a SPG platinum member and have stayed at numerous SPG hotels in the past. This hotel - Westin Grand Berlin, however, ranks as one of the worst compared to the quality that SPG is known to offer. Why?
1. Courtesy of service: Every time I request for help by dialing the Service Express, the staff always seems so hurried to put down the phone. There are times when before I finish request, they hang up. There was even once when I was saying "Thank you" mid-way when they rushed to put down the phone - ostensibly to answer another call. I went down to the Service Express desk once and realized they only have 1 person manning the line. Way too little for a hotel with so many rooms right?
2. Quality of process, thoughtfulness of service: Extremely poor in this respect. Westin is supposed to be a 4-5 star chain. But they don't offer toothbrushes or toothpaste in the room. You have to specifically ask for it. Worse still, after you ask for it, and finish using it, housekeeping does not bother replacing your finished toothpaste in the washroom even when I have a fully squeeze toothpaste left obviously on the basin counter. After I use their laundry bags to send in laundry to them, they don't replace the bags and the laundry form. I ask the staff why don't they do so about 4-5 times, and the response I get is, "I don't know".
3. Poor maintenance of facilities: There was one room I stayed in where the air-conditioner didn't work. It always blew warm air of the same temperature no matter how I adjusted the thermostat.
4. Room service food selection is horrible: The menu (not including alcohol) selection is extremely limited. They have 1 choice of anti-pasti, 3 types of soup, 5 mains. Surely the hotel doesn't expect its guests to be eating same thing over and over again.
The above points are all only the most basic expected out of a decent 4-5 star hotel. There can be much more written about it, like the quality of furnishings, the selection of TV channels etc, but those are just extra - and I dare not hope for this yet, while the fundamentals of service in this hotel are not well-established.
January 11, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by DRJRL Overall a positive stay
Positives - (1) Great location - within walking distance to Museum Island. (2) Upgraded to a Jr Suite due to platinum SPG status - thank you very much -- very nice, clean, spacious room (3) Very comfortable bed (4) Unlike some other reviews, It was actually pretty quiet in our room (# 704) - but it was on Sunday and Sunday night - so no actual construction outside was happening. (5) staff very helpful and courteous. Negatives - (1) Extensive construction going on in this area - on arrival from Hannover, our GPS had us going East on Unter den Linden until reaching Friedrichstrasse. Friedrchstrasses is completely torn up at that block. The actual entrance to the hotel is at the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Behrenstrasse so one needs to come up Friedrichstrasse from the South or on Behrenstrasse from th East. (2) Parking is 28 euros and no option of self-parking - valet will park and you can call before heading down to the lobby to pick up your car. (3) Poor A/C - As noted in a couple of other reviews - upon entry, was very stuffy and warm. Turned A/C on and dialed down to lowest temprature with max fan - but nothing much happened. A little air was coming out of the vent and not much cooler than the room. I opened the windows (as far as possible) and eventually room temperature was OK. (4) As per the poor policy decision of many Westins, platinum spg members can receive a free continental breakfast as their "recognition" choice upon check in- but apparently we are not valued enough to receive the full breakfast buffet.
May 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Bingodog Perfect location, good services
The Westin Grand's position is fantastic, right in the middle of Berlin, close to many of the highlights of the city, and in a perfect position for public transport. Getting to and from the airport is very easy with the TXL bus which runs every 5-10 minutes and stops around the corner from the hotel.
Breakfast is generous and very good. As a SPG Platinum I enjoyed free continental breakfast which consists of a huge selection from the buffet - unless you really crave for made to order eggs, there's no need to upgrade the breakfast to the full one.
I was upgraded to a junior suite with garden view. It was a very comfortable room, large and quiet. The only remark is that there is no door between the living room and the sleeping room, so you can't use the living room as a separate space if someone is sleeping.
The gym is well equipped and the swimming pool is quite nice. It's round, so not really optimal for lap swimming, but enough to provide some comfort after working out or after a long day out. Be careful because the floor around the pool gets REALLY slippery, that is something the hotel should address because in my opinion it can be quite dangerous.
The hotel offers bicycles for rent. The possibility to rent the bikes at the hotel is very handy, but rather expensive compared to other outlets. The bikes are ok, but some are missing lights or locks, so there's room for improvement. However, I found it a good service from the hotel and I was glad I could rent the bikes directly there.
Check-in and check-out was fast and efficient, and in general all the staff was polite and efficient.
August 13, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by PureGlamTV Currently due to construction not to recommend
First of all it was my 7th or 8th stay at the Westin Grand Berlin and I really like it, because of the long history - the famous Atrium and the perfect location - everything in walking distance. (Brandenburger Tor, Potsdamer Platz, etc.)
When you arrive - you get no warning by SPG in advance about the huge construction on two streets of the hotel (Unter den Linden and Friedrichstrasse) for the new Subway - so it might needs "a few months" :)
So no direct access to the hotel from Unter den Linden - and when you want to walk to all the famous stores at "Unter den Linden" you always have to pass construction zone with all the dirt...
The hotel itself is still the old Grand Hotel with beautiful rooms (had a wonderful Junior Suite) and the inroom items are wonderful and new!
Problem: Breakfast buffet... as SPG Plat. Guest you have continental breakfast included - but have to 14 EUR for an upgrade (per Person) ... the buffet is great! But the problem is the location and the limited number of staff on the breakfast restaurant so that we had to wait twice 15 minutes for another cappucchino..., cleaned table, etc.
Very interesting is the concierge service - you can arrive with your luggage during checkout and ask for your car - don't expect assistance or the question if they might help you - you get just your key!
Finally I hope it was a one-time-bad-experience - to give the feedback to the Guest Relation Manager was not possible during checkout - she was in a meeting... all the other experiences before were very good - but the construction and the horrible service will let me think twice next time!
October 14, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by crb75 Location the main benefit
First to get the minor negatives out of the way:
This is not a grand five star European Hotel - it is a large scale business/tourist hotel and run accordingly.
Some people may appreciate a sales pitch to upgrade to a spa suite at check in - I just find it tacky. Equally tacky is charging for delivery of a paper such as the Fin. Times - only hotel in Europe I've ever encountered that does this.
Finally - yes it is cold in January - but occassionaly the bell staff/doormen need to be outside - not just hanging around the lobby.
More importantly - the many positives:
The location is indeed ideal. Easy walking to many Government Buildings, big ticket tourist attractions and interesting neighbourhoods. The blocks around the hotel also have a myriad of public transport options making getting anywhere else around (or out of) the city a breeze. Unless you have business in the old heart of "West Berlin" the location is simply superb.
I stayed in a junior suite which, while unimaginatively furnished, was large, modern and in excellent condition. It also had a full King sized Heavenly Bed. Overlooking Unter der Linden on the 2nd floor exterior noise was quite noticeable - however garden/courtyard rooms are available for those who value quiet. I think a little bit of street noise is a small price for the outstanding view of linden.
Except for a possible misunderstanding where housekeeping thought some coins I'd be keeping for public transport was a tip for them, housekeeping was of a very high standard. Evening turndown service was also undertaken.
Interior soundproofing was excellent - maybe there were no other guests - but I didn't hear a single noise from the corridor or another room.
With the sole exception of a grumpy check out agent - all the staff were very friendly and helpful.
January 16, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by Brooxh Recommended, but not up to Westin standards
I recently completed the second of two stays. The hotel is very nice and the location is great. But the service was substandard.
Problem 1: The first stay was 5 nights and I was told that even though I am Starwood Platinum, the they could not upgrade me to a suite because they did not have one available for the full time. That's fine, but I checked in again for one night -- after a 1-day side trip outside Berlin -- and did not get upgraded to a suite again and was told none were available. But that was not true (see problem 3).
Problem 2: Not only that, but when I requested a garden view room for the 1-night stay (after being told that there were no suites), I was told that would cost 60 Euros extra. I had to complain just to get the nicer room at no extra charge, which should have been a standard policy for Platinums.
Problem 3: I checked in the second time at about 7 PM and then looked on the web site after going to dinner and there were multiple suites available for sale.
Problem 4: When I chose the continental breakfast for the initial stay, the front desk told me it included everything but eggs and the other hot/premium items, and that was fine. But when my wife and I got to the breakfast room, the desk attendant told us it only included coffee, juice, toast and marmalade in a very cut manner, which - if true - is not up to normal Westin standards I am used to from other Westin stays.
There were three other issues of lesser importance, but still annoying:
(1) When we got the marginally nicer room on the second stay, there was a welcome fruit selection in the room (with someone else's name on it) . . . we have often gotten this at other Starwood properties from Sheratons to Luxury Collections (including other Westins) but we didn't get it here for any night of our 5-night stay.
(2) We received small chocolates with the turndown service the first two nights, but not the other four.
(3) The front desk staff was very uneven . . . a few people were nice and helpful, but others gave us the impression that they were unhappy about having to answer questions or do ANYTHING beyond the minimal service of checking us in.
I would recommend this property for its location, but definitely not for the quality of its service.
June 5, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by August Service needs improvment!
Although I visited Berlin a lots of time before, this was my first time at the Westin Berlin. I knew the location was perfect, right in the center from everything. However service was far below expectation and below SPG standards which, as a gold member, I am quite familiar with.
Checked in at 7.00 pm and at that time it was still busy at the desk, so three employees where busy to help people. No gold/platinum line was presented in this hotel; had to wait for ten minutes before I could check in. Mentioned this at check in and the answer was quite simple “we don’t have any”.
I got a garden view room on the 2nd floor and in the room there was just one king bed. I booked a twin bed room, so went back. We got a new room with twin bed on the 5th floor, but the room had street view and there were construction works just outside… Back to the desk again and, third time luck, we get a twin bedded room on the second floor…
I planned to travel through the city by bicycle and made a reservation for two bikes by phoning the concierge earlier that week. As we had a late arrival I agreed by phone that we had to pay just for one day instead of two days. When picking up the keys at the concierge he mentioned that we had to pay for full. I told him that I agreed to pay just one day. Instead of asking me to whom I speak he got irritated and mentioned that I must pay the full amount. After I told him again that it was greed he raised his voice and set: “ok fine” write it down on the reservation form...
We were unlocking the bikes, but discover that there was also a big lock on all bikes to protect them from theft and we did not have a key for that lock. Back inside we asked if this could be unlocked and also if one saddle could be made higher. The concierge indicated he doesn’t has the key of the big lock and was not able to put the saddle higher… After we complain (we were offered some coffee and a bottle of wine for the inconvenience) to the manger on duty, a new concierge (the other concierge left as his shift ended) was able to unlock the bikes. The whole issue took 50 minutes.
Breakfast buffet was EUR 32.50 each so we decided to take ala carte. We ordered cornflakes, boiled eggs and scrambled eggs. A few minutes later we received the flakes and the boiled eggs. We wanted to have some coffee. We tried to contact one of the employees, but they did not react. After I walked to someone and asked for some coffee he came back with a can. Immediately after that his supervisor came along to give him a loud scolding, telling him that he wasn’t allow to serve us anything as we ordered al la carte..
Ten minutes later we ask for the scrambled eggs, as we still wait on that. Answered that “scrambled eggs took 7 minutes”, OK, we ordered it 15 minutes ago... When the scrambled eggs arrive it looks like an omelet. The employee was furious that we complain about it and refuse to take it back. We ask for the supervisor, but he was busy and screamed to her he hadn’t got any time… After a big discussion they took the omelet back and we asked for the bill. And what a surprise, rates on the bill did not match the rates on the menu...
As mentioned before location is perfect, rooms are nice and clean. Swimming pool is nice as well, Gym is somewhat small. But the service is far below a five star hotel and below Starwood properties. Unfortunately it is the only SPG property around and still recommend it because of the location.
July 25, 2012