Sofitel Kurfürstendamm Hotel Berlin – Good hotel right in the thick of it
General Info and Location
Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm is located in the western part of central Berlin, a stone’s throw from the luxury shopping street Kurfürstendamm and a short walk from Zoologischer Garten train station, where, among other things, you find airport buses to Tege Airportl, trains to Schönefeld Airport, and, of course, local trains and some long-distance trains.
The building was designed by architect Jan Kleihues with the intention for the exterior to resemble an ocean liner heading towards Berlin’s famous avenue. The hotel was opened in 2007 as a Concorde Hotel, but was taken over in 2014 by the French hotel group Accor, and in the summer became a hotel within the luxury brand Sofitel. Most of the work was able to be completed in the daytime and the hotel was not forced to close. A large part of the existing interior was integrated with Sofitel’s own design, like the various shades of brown wood.
An interesting aspect of the interior is the paintings on display in public areas; Accor gave very clear instructions to the artist as to how large the paintings would be and where they would sit. These clear instructions were not fully appreciated by the free thinking artist who countered these requests by painting on each picture the picture’s own order number used in the papers of the deal, as well as the exact measurements of the artwork. The odd and unexpected result is rather effective and the paintings are hanging with the picture number and dimensions on full display.
The hotel has 311 rooms consisting of 267 rooms and 44 suites. The standard rooms available are superior rooms and the slightly larger luxury rooms, all of which are between 40 and 50 squared metres. The 10th and 11th floors are executive floors where all the rooms are luxury rooms or suites. If you live on either of these floors, you also have access to the executive lounge on the 11th floor. We visited the lounge around lunchtime, there was a surprisingly good cold buffet and a friendly hostess serving drinks. The lounge is not very large, with space for just over 20 guests, but the view from the lounge is magnificent. Berlin has relatively few tall buildings and from the 11th floor you can see far and wide. It is also possible to check in and out at the lounge.
I stayed in a Luxury room. It had a frugal but elegant design and custom furniture made from American walnut. The room was generous in size and also had a rather special corner, an alcove, complete with armchairs and panoramic windows facing three different directions. The rest of the room consisted of; a work area with desk, a sofa and accompanying coffee table, a large double bed, and two armchairs. The bed was a ‘Sofitel My Bed’ and was very comfortable. The minibar was discreetly built into a bookcase, but was maybe somewhat too well hidden as the door was built into the short side of the bookcase. Once found, however, it was well stocked. Something I missed was a coffee maker, or at least a kettle. I mentioned this to the staff and something is apparently being done about this.
A big difference between a superior and a luxury room, apart from the fact the latter is larger and has a large wardrobe unit that separates the room and creates a separate cloakroom with fitted wardrobes and mirrors, is the bathroom, containing a bath and shower, located right after you walk into the room, with the entrance found behind the wardrobe unit.
Eating and Drinking
Next to the lobby and reception you find a lobby bar which serves afternoon tea, and later in the evening, snacks, drinks and cocktails. The tea assortment is comprehensive and teas are laid out on a table for guests to smell. The atmosphere in the lobby bar is very pleasant and the bar is situated in a kind of atrium. If you want a little more privacy, on one wall there is a nice library with a glass wall that isolates it from the open bar.
Next door to the lobby bar is the hotel restaurant ‘Restaurant Le Faubourg’, which recently had an extensive renovation. The food is modern French and created with local products. The wine list is noteworthy and comprises of 150 wines, and you would be further impressed after meeting head sommelier Mathias Brandweiner, who, at only 21 years old, is one of the youngest in Germany, and someone who undoubtedly knows his business.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant ‘St. Germain’, located on the first floor and adorned with a modern interior. A fresh breakfast is available from two large buffet tables, and offerings include several kinds of fresh fruit. The kitchen is partially open showing a team of cooks who make omlettes to order. Otherwise, there was a good selection of hot and cold dishes, with nothing particularly standing out.
There is a gym with a small spa on the second floor. The gym is also small and is split into two rooms which contain standard equipment; treadmills and weights etc. The spa area was also quite small. It offered a dry sauna, a steam room, and a small ice bath to cool down in. The hotel also offers massages and treatments for a fee.
The hotel has a large conference centre with 16 meeting rooms, the largest seating 350 guests.
Internet was available throughout the entire hotel free of charge and worked just fine.
Service and Status Benefits
Staff provided proper and correct service and greeted me in the usual spirited Sofitel style with a “bonjour” or “bonsoir”, and a leather mat was used at the front desk to go under forms that needed to be filled in. There was also a porter who helped with luggage to and from the taxi both on arrival and departure.
In the room, a personalised welcome was waiting for us alongside a white chocolate cake with three petit fours placed decoratively on top. Very pleasant. The hotel also operates a turn-down service in the evening, which means that the curtains in the room are pulled and the bed is made and prepared for use. A pair of slippers were also placed in front of the bed and a bottle of some kind of juice on the bedside table.
An excellent location, close to most of the entertainment, shopping and transportation. Fresh and spacious but the rooms are somewhat sparsely furnished. Otherwise, the hotel is equipped with a number of welcome facilities, such as a pleasant lobby bar. The staff were friendly but were busy due to celebrations in Berlin and the hotel being fully booked.