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Old Mar 11, 08, 11:20 am   #1
 
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Arrow Westin Grand Berlin, Germany post 2008 renovation [Master Thread]

Stayed for one night this weekend, went into the hotel to check out the situation before deciding to chance it. The good news is, the renovations in the lobby and on the 4th floor (where I was assigned) are finished, and the physical plant is in pretty good shape. The bad news is, the front desk manager doesn't have a clue and his/her staff is inept at best - every part of it, from concierge to Service Express to the people manning the desk is in need of training and education (although Eva, a more experienced person than most, was able to rectify my room assignment following my question, "Is 421 the best available room in the property tonight?" 416 turned out to be much nicer, a jr suite in fact ... while 421 was somewhat smaller than the foyer of 416.) Prices in the lobby bar are very high, even for Berlin.

Apropos nothing SPG, I moved to the Westin Grand from the Mandala in Potsdamer Platz, a little-known but really nice property with a staff that could make the Westin Grand into a 5 star property instead of the 3.5 stars I'd give it today.

Last edited by SportsTech; Mar 11, 08 at 11:25 am..
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Old Mar 16, 08, 8:36 am   #2
 
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I had my frist stay after "facelift" has been more or less fully completed. I still can't believe what they have done to this hotel. It is a mixture of styles, of coloures and of "old" and "new" - I would certainly fire my designers.

I had a junior suite assigned and gave it back after inspecting it - in the old days this type had a nice setting, a small dinner table and was like a living room. Today: A more or less empty space with one (!) sofa-chair in it and two single beds. Front office confirmed that most of the junior suits will have two single beds (for what reason ever).

Surprisingly or not, most of the staff I know from the old days (including Eva mentioned before) appears not to be happy to see what Blackstone (yes, the owner of Hilton own this hotel) has done to the property. I have reactivated my IC membership and will have quite a few stays in the Zoo area soon.
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Old Mar 16, 08, 1:05 pm   #3
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Surprisingly or not, most of the staff I know from the old days (including Eva mentioned before) appears not to be happy to see what Blackstone (yes, the owner of Hilton own this hotel) has done to the property. I have reactivated my IC membership and will have quite a few stays in the Zoo area soon.
Now I understand why we were sent over to The Hilton for use of the Pool and Spa. The Hilton wasnt bad nice lobby , nice Club Lounge, nice P&S, only the hallways of the floors didnt look as if they had any work done on them and seemed to be what things were like before unification. Didnt see what the rooms were like.

But w/o a Club Lounge looks as if I have spent all the time I will at The Westin. Agree with some others too many nicer hotels to stay here again.
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Old Mar 16, 08, 2:49 pm   #4
 
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Now I understand why we were sent over to The Hilton for use of the Pool and Spa. The Hilton wasnt bad nice lobby , nice Club Lounge, nice P&S, only the hallways of the floors didnt look as if they had any work done on them and seemed to be what things were like before unification. Didnt see what the rooms were like.

But w/o a Club Lounge looks as if I have spent all the time I will at The Westin. Agree with some others too many nicer hotels to stay here again.
The Hilton is actually the nicer hotel: Very good lounge with full free bar and good food (no junk food) in the evenings, good choice of restaurants, free full breakfast for elites and spectacular views. However, the big and one advantage of the Westin used to be reliable suite upgrades (compared to rather small rooms at the Hilton).
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Old Mar 16, 08, 4:18 pm   #5
 
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I agree that the Westin is much worse after the renovation than it was before. Also agree on the badly trained staff. Strange to see them waste money on a renovation that is the opposite of an improvement.
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Old Mar 17, 08, 10:59 am   #6
 
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I agree that the Westin is much worse after the renovation than it was before. Also agree on the badly trained staff. Strange to see them waste money on a renovation that is the opposite of an improvement.
We asked ourselves whether or not this facelift was paid for by a direct competitor....
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Old Mar 29, 08, 10:48 am   #7
 
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The renovations are (for the most part) completed at this hotel. It's a bit of an odd mix of old and new - the rooms have a somewhat modern feel to them now except for the dark wood doors/closets/entryways which have not changed. The bathroom is quite nice (although those half-glass-covered shower/tub combos eupropean hotels seem to be in love with are present. Water gets everywhere when you shower ). The color palette is much more neutral (no more red carpet).

All in all, still a very nice hotel I would recommend.

- T

Last edited by TonySCV; Jul 23, 10 at 5:42 am..
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Old Mar 30, 08, 3:36 pm   #8
 
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Unhappy

Just found some pictures of the " new " Westin Grand Berlin:

http://aktuelles.westin.de/berlin/

Breakfast only with a pair of sunglasses
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Old Jun 19, 08, 10:57 am   #9
 
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I just spent four days at the Westin Berlin and found it was just fine. A lovely lobby, good service, a great (if, expensive) breakfast. The spa/gym was still undergoing renovation, but otherwise I saw nothing still under repair.
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Old Jun 19, 08, 3:02 pm   #10
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I just spent four days at the Westin Berlin and found it was just fine. A lovely lobby, good service, a great (if, expensive) breakfast. The spa/gym was still undergoing renovation, but otherwise I saw nothing still under repair.
was there for a 1 nighter and the day I checked out, later that day is when they reopened the Lobby to be used.

Did you stay there before they started their renov project? It was my 1st time there, it was nice but I would rather stay at a Hotel with access to a Lounge, be it Hyatt,Marriott, Hilton etc.

Also seems some of those who were regs at the Hotel, have posted that they will be staying away, not due to the construction, but that the Hotel is worse off then it was before the renov.

So for a 1st timer everything might seem Great, while those who were regs and know what it was like beforehand see it in a totally different way.

I cant compare it to what it was before I wasnt there, so as good as it may be its very possible its been lowered from what it once was.
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Old Jun 19, 08, 3:18 pm   #11
 
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So for a 1st timer everything might seem Great, while those who were regs and know what it was like beforehand see it in a totally different way.
Quite true. Although it's not like I've never stepped foot in a hotel or never been in a Westin. I have a frame of reference, even if it isn't the exact hotel.

We don't really know what derpelikan liked or hated about the hotel before or what is scaring him about the current complaints, which largely seem to be about construction and service.
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Old Jun 20, 08, 5:58 am   #12
 
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Hi,

the new Westin Berlin is now a really good Westin Hotel. There is nothing wrong and if you've never stayed there before you will be happy with your choice.

The Westin Grand is the former Grand Hotel of the GDR. It was renovated for the last time at '87. And it was something special. You've loved it or you hated it, now it's a just Westin (without a lounge).

The Hilton in Berlin is also a great Hotel with a great view if you're in the one of the right rooms.
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Old Jun 20, 08, 11:10 am   #13
 
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Ach! Beige!

Hi all,

For what it's worth: I have been staying some times in the past in this property. When I was not lucky I got what I deserved (what I paid for), and it was not very nice. When I was lucky I got a junior suite, and it was not very nice (but less so).

I returned of couple of weeks ago after refurbishment. I am a big fan now, because I was upgraded to a Spa Suite and they are kinda great. Front Desk was nice, they waived Internet fee because connection sucked (beware!), and concierge was very concierge-ish. Meaning managing to be airy, professional, polite, kinda nice and condescending at the same time. How do the guys manage THAT?

A quick exchange at check out informed me that all the people who used to come to the hotel to have a drink or a tea during the day left like flees leave a corpse following renovation. The person I talked too obviously regretted that and appeared quite anxious to get my feedback on the "new" Westin.

Well, check out person, the new suites are great BUT the lobby/atrium got beige, and this is unexcusable! RED ruled in Berlin for 50 years, and this shalt have been kept!

Frankly, the lobby sucks, but for staying guest I am sure the hotel is now better (albeit more expensive, but what is not?). Move on
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Old Jun 20, 08, 4:27 pm   #14
 
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I have a tendency to agree. I returned today from a short stay (after a two month vacancy from this hotel). It is no longer the old place, but just "another Westin".

The mixture of colours tends to hurt the eye and the mixture of old and new style in the rooms is not my kind of taste: Pale wood, red wood, brown wood....

The breakfast restaurant is a pain. If you knew the old FRIEDRICH you were used to a posh place with nice tablecloth, a wonderful buffet and great service. And now: It is something like a canteen with a horrible mix of colors. The price however, is still the same.

This time I stayed the first time in the "new" wing facing Unter den Linden. The rooms there had still been 1987 style and they did a full rennovation of these rooms. I had a -72 suite and this was a true two room suite - not bad at all and new style ONLY. I a liked this much better than the old-new mix eg of the -21 suite type.
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Old Aug 5, 08, 6:44 am   #15
 
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The breakfast restaurant is a pain. If you knew the old FRIEDRICH you were used to a posh place with nice tablecloth, a wonderful buffet and great service. And now: It is something like a canteen with a horrible mix of colors. The price however, is still the same.

This time I stayed the first time in the "new" wing facing Unter den Linden. The rooms there had still been 1987 style and they did a full rennovation of these rooms. I had a -72 suite and this was a true two room suite - not bad at all and new style ONLY. I a liked this much better than the old-new mix eg of the -21 suite type.
the new "restaurant" relish or so has "nice" garden chairs and the dimensions is roundabout a third of the old FRIEDRICH.

the prices of the room service are sometimes lower than in the bar and the restaurant

there is no more the closed restaurant in the seventh floor, now there are rooms and one ore two suites. 668 is no more a duplex suite and the old Bibliothek ( 7th floor unter den Linden ) will be part of a multiroom suite.
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