I stayed in this hotel about 20 years ago, the last time I was in Berlin. I thought it was a great hotel. The lobby and the Friedrichstrasse location had been impressive. Years later, watching the Bourne Supremacy, I recognized the Westin Grand as Pamela Landy’s hotel from the portion of the movie shot in Berlin. Returning to Berlin, in addition to spending a few nights at the Berlin Marriott Hotel, staying at the Westin Grand again was a must.
Entering the hotel, I was again impressed by the lobby although it seemed smaller and slightly less grand than I recalled.
Things seemed to be getting off on the right foot when the clerk at reception said she was upgrading me to a suite. That opinion quickly changed when I got to my room, Room 674. The hotel website shows five types of suites from a junior suite to the Schinkel or Presidential Suite. My “suite” looked like none of them.
There was a separate living area and bedroom, so technically it could be called a suite, but it looked much smaller than and not as nicely decorated as the photos of a Junior Suite. Here are the photos of this disappointing room.
There is a small entryway with the bathroom on the right and a closet and minibar unit on the left.
The shower has rain shower and hand-held shower heads.
The closet and minibar is opposite the bathroom.
The entry opens into the living area.
The flat-screen TV and desk are positioned opposite the seating area as is the door to the bedroom.
The bedroom was a major disappointment in terms of size, decor, the bed… just about everything.
The best feature of the bedroom was the window which afforded a view of more pleasant surroundings.
In keeping with just about everything else with this “suite,” even the view was below par as normally lovely Friedrichstrasse (or the metro underneath) was under major repair. Adding insult to injury, from the bedroom it was necessary to go through the living room to get to the bathroom. That’s something I can’t recall in any other suite.
In short, this room was quite unusual. To see how it compared to other rooms, I looked at the 6th floor layout on the fire escape plan.
This Westin does not have an Executive Lounge. Therefore I selected restaurant breakfast as my Platinum Premier check -in benefit in lieu of points. The breakfast buffet was nice but not nearly as extensive as buffets at five-star Marriott hotels in Asia.
I had no complaints about the pool and fitness center.
Even though I visited in January, the hotel’s outdoor bar was still in use.
The Westin Grand occupies an ideal location at the intersection of Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden streets. Sights like Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall Museum, Brandenburg Gate, and new Reichstag are within easy walking distance.
A small section of the Berlin Wall remains at Checkpoint Charlie.
The day of the massive pro-immigration march, I took a stroll to the Brandenburg Gate. The march proceeded down Friedrichstrasse and up Unter den Linden. Again, not speaking German, I had no idea what the march was about, but the protesters were calm and having a good time. There was minimal police presence.
The Westin Grand Berlin failed to meet my expectations. Room 674 should not be called a suite or designated as an upgrade benefit for Marriott’s most elite members. A suite should never be designed where the bedroom lacks direct access to the bathroom. And the bedroom of the “suite” was tiny and dismal. While the lobby was still impressive, the hotel had a dark and depressing feel overall. Finally, the lack of an executive lounge is a serious drawback for a five-star Marriott hotel. The Berlin Marriott Hotel would definitely be the better choice if I return to Berlin. I trust Pamela Landy had a better experience.