When I recently visited Berlin, I was really looking forward to a night at the Westin. Why? Because it is a brand that I love and know very well, as I have stayed in many, especially in the USA. It is a brand that not many people in Europe are familiar with, so it is great to introduce it to a few more people. Everything is heavenly at Westin – or so the brand calls is. The Heavenly bed, the Heavenly shower.. you get the idea! I stayed at this hotel during ITB, which is possibly one of the busiest times of the year in the city. I used my SPG points and was expecting (kept every finger crossed) for an upgrade… and well, it may be fair to say that I did well!
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
Yes indeed. We started a little twitter friendship a couple of months before I even booked my room and it was quite interesting to see how responsive the hotel’s social media team where, over time.
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
It got to a stage where I was drooling over the weekly cocktails (which is a fab idea – a twitter cocktail, huh?) and I knew which one would be available on the week of my stay. It is all about the small details. I was impressed.
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
Very discreetly yes. Very nicely played, I thought too!
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
The hotel has a large lobby, which is a nice mix of old and new. I was quite intrigued as wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
Absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t help notice the Montblanc mats where you signed your paperwork. Why have I never noticed them before?
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
Yes, Ms O’Reilly this and that, and I noticed that the exact same thing was happening to the gentlemen checking-in next to me. It is such a nice touch and so easy for hotels to do it…
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
I did, I used my SPG points which technically entitle me to an upgrade to junior suites (or suites if I use the new suite nights), and I was delighted to get the “Spa Suite”.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
Very much so, everyone (in Berlin, to be honest) was so smiley and friendly – not exactly what I was expecting!
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know
I had a carry-on bag only and was “allowed” to take it to my room.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
As platinum SPG I did get free internet (as do Gold SPGs), but sadly not for all hotel guests.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
It was lovely – really quite modern, in contrast with the rest of the hotel. I loved it. It was spacious and I loved how open it was – you could see through the rooms!
– Welcome amenity
I had some lovely champagne, strawberries and chocolate. Always a lovely touch.
– The bed
Heavenly, as they call it. It was huge and all mine that night. And comfy.
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
It was spacious and had individual hangers. Interestingly the clothes faced forward, rather than sideways. Not quite sure what to make of it (I love a good first world problem) – but it was kind of nice to see outfits from a different perspective!
– Iphone Charger/Dock
I had all my chargers with me for a change, so I just used them and didn’t have a problem with plugs.
– Bathrobes and slippers
Yes and lovely!
– Coffee and Tea
But of course.
– Free bottled water
Indeed. All SPGs do get free water in the rooms.
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
I didn’t see any, but to be honest I didn’t spend as much time in the room as I would have liked!
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
There was a definite wow factor – it was huge and really quite something.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
You can see the bath and if you scroll up, you can the see amazing 1 sqm shower head. I didn’t need to wash my hair that day, but I couldn’t resist!
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
There weren’t the best I ever had, which was quite strange. They were a little bit on the small side and not as soft as I would expect. Some room for improvement there.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
It was good to see some Korres, which is a Greek brand I quite like. I think the shower gels are always fab (love basil and lemon), but the shampoo is not fab. But quite refreshing to see this!
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
All the standard Westin goodies, as needed.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
It was quite good and I used it.
It is quite embarrassing but I missed breakfast. I had a very lazy day ahead in Berlin.. and I slept until almost 12pm, which I needed. I went to Galleries Lafayette instead (not just for breakfast!).
The bar was actually really quite nice and had really good service. I love how we now get more and more interesting cocktails in Europe – one of the great things about Globalisation. I had a lovely Coco Fresh pre-dinner, and I continued to have them when I came back to the hotel after dinner.
Something really interesting happened! I tweeted a photo of my fab suite, which was picked up by another guest, who was staying at the “other” suite (and quite disappointed!). We decided to settle it over a drink at the bar, and it was lovely to meet Vanessa and Markus, who run a very interesting fashion and travel blog in Germany. We have been in touch ever since and the hotel has jointed in the banter, which a couple months later, still makes this stay really quite special.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
I used it and was absolutely fine
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
They did indeed and it was great fun. The hotel did this with a lot of guests and I strongly believe this really is the future…
Absolutely fantastic, right on Friedrichstraße and its lovely shops…
Rooms start from €125 (room rates are very good in Berlin, I must say) and the suite from €500. I did not see any other rooms, so I cannot comment on them.
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
Yes, and she’d love it!
– Would I stay again?
Without a doubt, this Spa suite would be slept in and enjoyed tremendously!
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: Thank you to Starwood and the Westin Berlin for this upgrade during such a busy time. For more information about the hotel, visit its official website.