This was my 3rd visit to the Intercontinental hotel in Berlin, I just love this hotel as it’s such a great place to be! The first stay was after booking a junior suite at a really cheap rate and getting upgraded to a 2 room senior suite. The second time I booked a club room with the IHG Ambassador certificate and that’s what I did for this stay as well as my free night certificate would expire at the end of the year…
I managed to book a cheap flight to Berlin and was surprised to find availability for a club room at this beautiful hotel!
The club floor is located on the 8th floor in the right part of the building, the left tower mostly has the junior and 2 room senior suites. The right tower also houses the park suites on the 8th floor and some of the diplomatic suites on the 7th floor, both which I have not visited or stayed at.
As soon as I arrived in Tegel (TXL) airport I took a taxi to the hotel which is only about an 8 km drive, depending on the taxi driver if he decides to take you on a detour. The cost of the taxi will set you back between 20 and 25 euros. While if you would fly into Schönefeld (SXF) airport, the ride is longer and you will pay anywhere between 30 and 40 euros. You can either take a regular taxi at both airports or you could use the UberTaxi but that would be a major pain in the ass to pick you up at arrivals cause of the massive number of taxis already waiting there. Just remember that UberTaxi will charge you an additional 1.5 Euros as creditcard surcharge.
The roads were quite busy for a Friday afternoon so the ride took about 30 minutes before the driver could pull up in front of the entrance of the hotel. While I was paying, the doorman of the hotel (complete with high hat) already took out my trolley and suitcase from the trunk and put it onto a luggage cart and then escorted me to the check in desk.
I pulled out my IHG Ambassador card and free night certificate and as soon as the employee saw these he said: “Mr. Jansen, welcome again to our hotel, let me just call upstairs to announce you will be checking in and somebody will take you up to the designated Club check in desk.”
You gotta love getting treated like this, I mean they would basically do anything for you to make you feel welcome! A bell boy took my luggage and brought me upstairs to the 8th floor where I was welcomed again in a very friendly way. “Mr. Jansen, please take a seat, would you like a drink while we check you in? As you are a Platinum Ambassador we have upgraded your room to a deluxe club room with a view on the park, is that ok for you?”
Who am I to say no to an upgrade? Of course I didn’t mind! “Oh I’m sorry to tell you that you’re room is not ready yet sir, would you mind waiting in the club lounge and have something to drink and eat lunch?” Another retorical questions for which my smile already revealed the answer, as my luggage was put to the side I finished the paperwork and walked over to the lounge area.
I knew my way around the lounge and what to expect so I headed straight to the bar and went to get some freshly made sandwiches after. As I didn’t have a room key yet, I could not logon to the wifi, but no problem either as a call was made to the guest relations office downstairs to get me a free login to the high speed internet. Again, great service!
After only about 20 minutes they brought my room key and a voucher for a free drink at the Marlene Bar downstairs or 1000 points for free, this is a benefit you get as IHG Platinum member. At first I said I would go for the free drink, but afterwards I decided that was stupid as I could get everything for free in the club lounge bar haha. So I exchanged the voucher for the free points.
During this stay my room was number 828, which is on the right side when you come out the elevator on the club floor. A very nice room which had everything in it to make my stay comfortable, the best 3 things of the room? The comfy bed, the powerful rainshower and the free minibar!
The IHG Ambassador voucher for a free night at any IHG hotel, sometimes also called BOGO (Buy One Get One), allows you to book a weekend at an IHG hotel of your choice and you only need to pay for 1 night. So if you play this smart, you will get a great deal out of it! Now the business club room at the Intercontinental Berlin hotel usually go for a price between 230 and 290 Euros per night, depending on the time of the year. I managed to book it at 257 Euros, ok that is a steep price for 1 night but with the upgrade to a deluxe room, breakfast, lunch, dinner and all drinks included it makes it one heck of a deal to spend the weekend!
Once I got my stuff into my room it was already mid afternoon and I decided to go for a stroll around the neighborhood of the famous Berlin Zoo as I noticed there was a big Christmas market setup. Now usually I’m not the Christmas market kinda guy, but in Germany they tend to takes these to a whole different level. The atmosphere is always friendly and cozy with plenty of gluhwein and schnapss! As this one wasn’t too big I was soon back on my way to the hotel and decided to take a taxi to Alexanderplatz to see how it would be there. It was spread out from the train station to the Park Inn hotel and really crowded with people, but all very laid back…
After a couple of schnapps and a proper meal accompanied by some red wine I headed back to the Intercontinental hotel where the open bar in the club lounge had opened. Now it would be foolish to pass on a free drink… I bumped into my good friend Jack and he accompanied me till the club bar closed at 10 PM but I wasn’t ready for bed yet, well maybe I was but my brain told me I wasn’t as its internal clock was still screwed up from flying around the world!
The hotel has a great bar downstairs at the end of the lobby, the Marlene bar, named after the famous actress Marlene Diettrich. Most of the times they have a live band playing here, but music isn’t too loud so it’s enjoyable and the service is always outstanding.
Although almost all tables and sofas were taken I still managed to find a place to sit down and soon after a waiter showed up at my table.
“What would you like to have sir?”
“Well I think I’ll go for a Jack Daniels and coke.”
“Would you like a single or double?”
The smile on my face gave away the answer! Even before the drinks arrived I already got a small platter with freshly cut Parma ham, olives and same cheese crackers, just what I needed. When the drink arrived I was surprised to see the huge glass, almost half a liter and I thought most of it would be ice and cola, but heck no they had been very generous with the JD! That probably explained the price of 22 Euros haha… After the last sip I felt it was time to head upstairs, the flights from the previous weeks, walking around in the cold weather, the schnapss, the red wine and the previous JD I had upstairs slowly put out my candle…
I felt pretty fresh the next morning after a solid 9 hour sleep and decided to have an early breakfast in the club lounge. You could either get a fresh selection of food from the breakfast buffet or you could order à la carte, again service was outstanding with every employee greeting me personally by name. It just makes you feel at home and that they really about their customers! I was not even allowed to make my own… “Please sit down Mr. Jansen and enjoy your breakfast, which tea would you like?” Now during my previous stay here I found a great tea from Ronnefeldt, Get The Power which is really fruity but loaded with vitamin C, a great start to the day!
The rest of the morning was spend relaxing in the lounge because for the afternoon I had booked a guided tour with Original Berlin Walks to go and see all the historical Third Reich monuments. A review from this tour will follow shortly on my blog as well.
After the 4.5 hour walk through the cold city I was in need of a drink and a hot shower and although the shower revived me a bit, I lacked the energy to go out for dinner, so I decided to stay in the lounge and enjoy the evening buffet there with some more drinks before heading down for a cocktail at the Marlene bar. It didn’t take long before I was ready for bed and I was able to catch up on some more needed sleep!
Sunday was a laaaaazy day because besides having breakfast and pack my stuff, I didn’t do much else but relax in the lounge. As I have the IHG Ambassador membership, I was entitled to a late check out, meaning that I could stay at the hotel until 4 PM which is a real nice benefit if you have a flight out of Berlin in the evening.
If you ever get the chance to stay at this hotel, please don’t hesitate and do it! Even if you’re not able to get it through any tricks, the stay is just worth the money! So far this is my favorite hotel to stay in Europe as the staff just makes you feel welcome and they’ll do anything to make you enjoy your stay. This is definitely a 5 star hotel that deserves its rating!