The third and final hotel that I visited during my trip to Berlin was the Grand Hyatt. It was sandwiched in between the Hilton Berlin and the Westin Grand Berlin, which didn’t make a lot of logistical sense because it’s in a completely different part of town, near Potsdamer Platz. I initially thought this would be an issue, as the area has a lot of relatively new construction. (It was destroyed during World War II, and then the Berlin Wall ran through the middle, preventing redevelopment.)
Some pictures make it look like a boring financial district not unlike parts of London or lower Manhattan. It definitely has a more modern look than the historic core along Friedrichstrasse. However, this was actually my favorite hotel of the three once inside, and it’s more convenient than I expected to reach Brandenburg Gate, the Tiergarten, and transit options — particularly Potsdamer Platz Banhof.
I checked out of the Hilton Berlin very early and dropped my bag off at the Grand Hyatt before continuing to ITB Berlin. My room wasn’t yet available at 8 AM. However, the agent kindly took my bag and let me know they would prioritize housekeeping so it would be ready once I returned that afternoon.
This is a Category 4 hotel, so I booked my one-night stay using the free night award that comes with my Hyatt Visa. Alternatively, you could redeem 15,000 points. Room rates were roughly $200 per night, consistent with the Hilton and Westin. (Update: A reader pointed out that my room was a suite, which escaped my notice at first since the living and bedrooms are not separated. I would likely redeem a suite upgrade in order to secure the same room type.)
Elements of the lobby reminded me of the Park Hyatt Zurich, which I’ve visited a few times. Like the Hilton, the bar area at the Grand Hyatt was busy at night and occasionally taken over by various tourism delegations in town for ITB.
The modernism was kicked up a notch once I got upstairs. Alternating panels of grey and white allowed the doors to blend into the wall. (I actually had trouble finding the buttons for the elevator.) Big metal locks, along with red and green lights to request or decline housekeeping, gave the hotel a unique look. Was I at a luxury hotel or a high-security asylum? I guess institutions don’t have burgundy carpet.
As you can tell from my jokes about the contemporary and modern design (the line between them is too subtle for me), I wasn’t quite sure what to expect inside the room. But I was pleasantly surprised. The room was noticeably brighter, and while the straight lines continued there was also more use of wood and stone to add some warmth to the surroundings. Small plants in the sitting area and in the bathroom were another nice touch.
I especially loved that small bowl of chocolate covered almonds sitting on the ledge just inside. That’s the kind of sweet surprise you don’t expect at most hotels. As far as I know it’s just a standard feature of the room — my actual Diamond member amenity was the typical bowl of fruit you’ll find at most properties outside North America.
Around the corner from the entrance was a large sitting area and the bed. Both were very comfortable. Remember my comments about the design of the public spaces? It starts to make more sense. Rooms are decorated with art from the Bauhaus Archive, also located in Berlin. My wife is an architect and loves modern and contemporary design, so I think this hotel would absolutely be on her list when I return with her.
Opposite the couch is a large Bang & Olufsen television, with a well-stocked minibar underneath. I never watch television when traveling, but I think it’s the first time I’ve seen B&O electronics in a hotel.
The bulk of the room formed an L-shape around the large bathroom. Inside were double sinks, a separate shower and bathtub, and a small walk-in closet. A small pamphlet advertised spa services ranging from €35 to €300+.
Amenities were the standard June Jacobs brand used at other Grand Hyatt properties. The green tea and cucumber scent is not my favorite, but it’s not overpowering. There were also bath salts, a sponge, and other amenities for taking a bath.
And how can you go wrong with a rubber duck?!
The Grand Club is relatively small, but it was never too full. Guests mostly arrived for canapés or breakfast and then left immediately after. The evening selection was quite good — everything was served in individual glass jars, and I felt a little embarrassed as I went back to taste all eight of them along with a delicious Riesling.
Breakfast offered a pretty typical buffet, but with a better selection than you would find at a U.S. property. The agents on duty (always two or more) were very attentive, refilling beverages and clearing plates while I was up getting seconds.
Before my late check-out, I spent the afternoon taking a walk around the surrounding area, heading in the direction of the S-Bahn so I could visit the East Side Gallery along the Spree. But first, here’s a view from the room.
Immediately outside the hotel is a performing arts center and casino. This area was very quiet at all times of day and night, so I wouldn’t worry about it. However, a block away you can find the Sony Center, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and an IMAX theater. The Mall of Berlin, Dali gallery, and a few other attractions at Leipziger Platz are also nearby.
Me? I appreciated a quiet walk along the river.