One of the stop in our #31daysinEurope trip was Berlin, Germany, in Western Europe. We made the decision to stay in one of the most impressive hotels in Berlin -- The Westin Grand. The Westin Grand, is located in the historical centre of Berlin, The Friedrich City, (Berlin-Mitte) originally a suburb named after the Prussian King Frederick I.
Berlin-Mitte is located here in the North district where this elegant luxury hotel can be found.
The hotel has a fascinating history to it. The Westin Grand was used for a period of time during the cold war by the Ministry of State Security (The Stasi). The hotel was part of East Germany and was designed deliberately with extravagant opulence in mind and with the intention of showing the Western powers that high class luxury hotels were possible in Eastern Europe (although the surrounding East Germany was allowed to decline into ruin).
Secret devices and undercover “honey pot” agents were used within the hotel by the Stasi to try and spy on important guests of interests. Outside the main doors of the lobby is a landmark piece of the fallen Berlin Wall (see separate blog post) which is a testament to this fascinating past.
Nowadays, the hotel has a much less controversial position of providing high class luxury and elegant services for all of its visiting guests. Such guests have included numerous celebrities and heads of state. For example, some of the scenes from the Bourne Supremacy were filmed here. The hotel is mostly unchanged from its original form which adds to both its enduring charm and historical importance.
The first thing that you can see as you enter the hotel is the very large spacious lobby area, and the highly impressive grand staircase leading up to the famous Kaiserpassage’s octagon with its 30-metre high coloured glass dome. As you can see – it’s quite an amazing sight
After we arrived and only had a short wait in line, we were greeted by the friendly and professional reception staff at the desk who welcomed us, checked us in, offered to take our cases to the room, and provided us with the room keys. We gradually made our way up using one of the several elevators which took us to the floor where our room was located. As we stepped out of the elevator, we were greeted by the beautiful symmetry of the octagonal column arrangement of rooms running through the centre of the building. Inconspicuous corridors lead you away from the main column and staircase, onto other elegant corridors of rooms contained within the hotel.
As soon as we entered the room we knew we were going to have a very special stay. Ceiling high windows provided a fabulous view of the famous Boulevard Unter Den Linden, and the Westin Heavenly beds provided comfort for sleep (with special luxury items such as lavender oil). There was a large wall mounted satellite TV, a radio, fully equipped mini bar, coffee/tea facilities, electronic safe, and luxury marble bathroom.
The hotel also has it’s own garden within the grounds of the hotel which can be accessed by a small staircase in the lobby area. The hotel’s Garden Deluxe Rooms provide guests with the overlooking view of the garden, with it’s herbs, plants, tables and fountains.
The hotel has its own SPA, with indoor heated pool and treatments. There are a number of sophisticated SPA treatments, and two saunas which guests can indulge in. The fitness centre is well equipped with LifeFitness cardio equipment, weights, and machines.
We also got the opportunity to have some great food here. The hotel has two main restaurants:
Restaurant Coelln – This is a place for an excellent buffet breakfast with highly attentive and professional staff (even at busy times). I discretely arrived and took a seat amongst people in a busy restaurant environment in the morning, but it only a couple of minutes after collecting some food from the buffet, to beidentified and approached by one of the serving staff who asked me if I would like some coffee.
Relish Restaurant - The Westin Grand Hotel offers delicious creations out of the hands of Chef Peter Hampl. You can expect some impressive gourmet cuisine meals, including the option of “Trust Me” on the menu, where the chef will bring a new creation.
Rod: Hmmm… I think Westin Grand is a great luxury hotel with delicious food, beautifully prepared. I loved the experience of the wall picking too (see in a later blog). It was so amazing!
Adam: I think one of the important features for me is that the hotel is really well located, really elegantly designed, and extremely comfortable and the staircase is amazing to walk down especially knowing that so many famous people have walked down it.
Rod: That is absolutely true! You have that amazing feeling walking down that staircase don’t you? Fantastic.