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Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre

The Crowne Plaza is located in the heart of the former city centre of West Berlin near „Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächniskirche“, „Bahnhof Zoo“ and only a few metres to „Kurfürstendamm“.

The hotel is a seven storey building.

You enter the hotel and found yourself in a middle sized lobby with the check-in desks opposite the entrance and a few lounge chairs and tables on the left side. The entrance to the hotel bar is on the right side. Meeting rooms are located either on the further right side or on the first floor. The restaurant is in the rear part of the hotel.

I found this area somehow cold and unattractive. The ceiling is low and the lights are very cold and so is the furniture. I am not sure why I have this impression, perhaps there is a lack of any nice painting or the lack of some darker and warmer parts, it looks a bit like the 80ies with “energy saving lightning” and thus makes this area unattractive.

In the basement is a pool with a gym and sauna. One has to pay for it, even as Platinum, which is not announced on the international IHG homepage. On the local German side, there was no clear announcement, too. I complained to it after my stay in Februray 2007 and got the somehow funny answer, they are not listening this as free. Since they clearly announce the fees for garage and the use of the internet, it seems not the appropriate way to announce it without noting the fee. They have now changed it, but it is still a bit hidden. If you book Executive Level, which is only a special floor, they have no lounge or similar special areas; they list the free use of the Sauna as a room feature, while they did not list this as feature of the standard room.

However, the pool area is not that bad and the sauna area is while not brand new, okay for the use. The fee for the use of the Sauna is 7.50 EUR, which is the highest acceptable fee I would pay for it; from my perspective a fee of 5.00 EUR would have been more appropriate in terms of size and the limitation to only one working sauna.

Stays on 16 February 2007

direct link to hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Berlin City Centre-Nürnberger

Arrival Date: 16 February 2007
Departure Date: 18 February 2007
Room type booked: Standard
Rate Plan: Flexible Rate
Room Number: 447
Room Rate: 108.00 EUR

Status of Guest Program: Platinum

I had booked very late, but was able to get a 108 EUR rate for a room with two single beds.

I checked in around 17.00 and was greeted by one of the two check in agents on duty. There was no mentioning of my Priority Club status during check-in and I was not informed about the temporarily relocation of the gym and especially not about the booked room type and the number of beds in the room. I got my keycard and that was it. A very basic way to deal with a customer and nothing really special for a four-star hotel.

Our room was facing the back of the hotel, but we got a “Grand-Lit type bed” instead of the booked two single beds. I returned to the check in and requested a room change since this was not the room / bed type I have had booked, esp. since I was sharing the room with a colleague. I was told, I had not booked a special room, but I was able to show the confirmation and there was clearly standing two single beds. They told me they had no room with two single beds available in this category anymore and this was not their fault but mine, since I had not informed them. At this point I became a bit angry, and asked why on earth should I contact them when I have already booked a room with two single beds? I asked about two single in a higher category and it seems they have some available, but I had to pay the difference for 60 EUR / night. I asked for the manager on duty, but he was not available and it was promised, he would call me. Well, no call arrived during my stay. Since they were not willing to change anything and still blaming me, I decided to stay in the room and deal with it later on. So I complained later about this and got a letter also saying, that the bed preference was not in the booking and therefore not their fault. No real apologising, which was esp. not so nice, since we had the issue with the not clear announced fee for the use of the Sauna.

The room itself was okay.

The room interior is okay, a few scratches and some stains, but altogether the room was in good condition. The bathroom was large with sink, toilet and bath. The lights were bright and a hairdryer was available. Towels were provided for two persons, in addition we had two bathrobes. Shower head and curtain were in good condition.

The classical styled room was featuring a “grand lit” with two bedside tables with reading lamps. In front of the window were a lounge chair and a table, while the working desk was on the left side. A sideboard with tea and coffee facilities and the TV set were standing opposite the bed.

The mattress was soft, but not too soft.

The furniture was dark and together with the dark carpet the room had a dark appearance, but that was okay and probably better than the cold ambiance in the lobby.

A turndown service was offered on the first day, while I was taking a shower. I think, it is not okay to enter a room while someone is taking a shower, also I had not locked the key and not put the “do not disturb sign” on the door. On the second day, not turn down service was offered.

Check out was fast, but of course I was not asked if everything was okay and as I mentioned that I never got the call from the front desk, the agent looked embarrassed and asked if there was anything wrong. To me, a clear sign, that communication between departments in this hotel is an issue.

The hotels location is very good, but the service attitude of the hotel is bad and the dealing with an customer who had requested something and the hotel could not deliver this and telling it was the customers fault in unacceptable. If the rate is okay, I will stay there again, but it the nearby IC or any other hotel as a better value for money, I will stay elsewhere. Not honouring the bed type is to me a without asking if another bed type would be okay a “no-go”