Great for: City stays with a focus on art and culture
What is it? Large hotel
Will set you back: From 198 euros p/n
It’s nearly impossible to go to any major city on the planet and not find a hotel from the world-renowned Hyatt group. The Grand Hyatt is the second most prestigious tier after the Park Hyatt, catering to both the business and leisure clientele, and yet what makes the Grand Hyatt one of our go-to city hotels no matter where we are in the world is its consistent, near-perfect execution. Its immaculate service and sense of luxury are pleasingly predictable, and yet what isn’t is the architecture and design of each hotel. In Berlin, the lobby is oversized, spacious and confidently introduces you to this historically-rich and culturally-soaked German city. Through the numerous, bold artworks found everywhere you look, this sleek hotel seems to shout from the balustrades, “We are the coolest and most exciting city in Europe and we want you to know it.” Intimidated? Us? Never. Well, maybe just a little…
The thing about the Grand Hyatt is, wherever you are in the world, the hotel will make an effort to distinguish itself from not only other brand hotels, but other Hyatts in its group, by its unique design features which reflect and honour its specific locale. In Berlin, of course, it’s all about the art. The lobby is spacious and impressive with sky-high ceilings and sharp-angled, geometric shapes that reflect the impressive 3-dimensional skylight. To contrast from this are the smooth lines and warmth attributed to the use of natural elements such as plenty of wood and greenery. Breaking all this up are bright, bold pops of colour introduced through expansive wall paintings and the city’s mascot, the Berlin Bear in bright red.
Every floor of the Grand Hyatt Berlin is a treat, and the hotel is an art gallery in itself, with dozens and dozens of sculptures and artworks everywhere you turn. In a smart design move, the elevator landing of each floor features a different, oversized sculpture so you will never again accidentally get off on the wrong floor because “they all look the same”. The hotel holds the works of many esteemed artists throughout each communal space, and the effect of all this art is a hotel in which you forget that you are in fact, in a mega-hotel. Its use of personal and warm design touches make it feel boutique and simply put, it’s not only luxurious, but it’s also pretty darn cool.
The rooms continue this design narrative, with plenty of wood detailing alongside a neutral colour palette that caters to just about any taste. Where the artwork in the communal areas of the hotels could be perceived as polarising, seducing some and scaring off others (as art should), the rooms are smart, elegant and totally user-friendly. The Grand Club room is a great option, with its large windows that allow the room lots of natural light as well as a view over the city, and we witnessed a gorgeous Berlin sunset sitting on the comfy couch in this room. The bathroom is accented in black, and although I’m not usually a fan of dark bathrooms, it works due to its juxtaposition to the airy, light-coloured bedroom alongside it.
The layout of our Grand Club room made for a very comfortable stay. We loved the welcome hamper of fruit and the complimentary water in the room. The little lounge area at the foot of the bed meant we could enjoy a little extra space, and allowed us to have a comfortable spot to read or watch TV, when often you are stuck with sitting on the bed in other rooms. The bed itself, well, it wasn’t the most comfortable we have slept on, however we are the first to admit we have the highest standards when it comes to bedding. The mattress wasn’t firm enough for our liking and the pillows were unsupportive. In comparison to the comfort we experienced at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur (which is a much newer hotel, mind you), the bed left a little to be desired.
There isn’t a Nespresso machine in any of the Grand or Grand Club rooms, only regular coffee and tea making facilities (very hidden away in the cupboard). For this added luxury you will have to book a Suite – in our opinion, an oversight for a five star hotel. Something we did love, however, and which seems to be a constant throughout many Grand Hyatts, is the separate elevator to take you to the gym and spa. This is fantastic for the discerning traveller who values privacy, and allows for discrete robe-and-slippers or swimwear-clad journeys from the spa right back to your room. This architectural detail means you will never have to endure the experience of sharing an elevator with people in suits while you stand there dripping in sweat after a workout. This is something many five star hotels do not think of, but at the Grand Hyatt, they think of everything.
Something the Grand Hyatt always gets right is the amenities. The gym, pool and spa have ridiculous views over the city and share some of the largest square meterage for a recreation area we have ever seen in a hotel. There is also an oversized indoor pool, perfect for doing laps.
Like the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, if you book a Grand Club room at the Berlin hotel, you are given complimentary use of the exclusive Grand Club during your stay. The idea of the lounge is to give guests a space to relax that is quiet and exclusive, while giving them access to all day snacks, espresso, coffee, tea and cold drinks. Think of it as the Business Class Lounge of the hotel world. Between 5 and 7pm each day they also have complimentary wine and beer to pair with a small selection of cheese and small plates. The lounge itself is not nearly as large or impressive as the one in Kuala Lumpur, in fact aesthetically it’s a little on the bland side and could use a design overhaul, however it’s a great place to work or just relax without the throngs of people you often find in hotel lobbies.
The check-in process was smooth and very friendly, the service at Vox restaurant was superb thanks to the fantastic sommelier, and we were welcomed to our room with warmth and courtesy. If you book a Grand Club room you will also have access to the Club Lounge and the staff there are suitably attentive. I cannot fault any of the staff at this hotel, which is a massive achievement for an area that can make or break a hotel visit. The only thing we found average was the housekeeping, a department which would benefit from utilising a little more patience before opening the door to guest rooms unannounced (not ideal when you’ve just gotten out of the shower!). Unlike other hotels, housekeeping here will not come back to do the turn down service if they arrive at your door when you are busy, even if you turn the housekeeping switch on. If you miss the turn-down, you miss the turn-down. A small criticism in what was otherwise faultless service overall.
If you stay at the Grand Hyatt Berlin, you cannot pass up a meal at the outstanding Vox restaurant, located on the ground floor of the hotel and open to the public. This restaurant boldly claims it has the “best sushi in town”, and believe us, they aren’t exaggerating. With its large, open kitchen the restaurant appears fairly restrained during the day, but really comes to life in the evening with a beautiful ambience. And, if the sushi has left you hankering for a night cap, the Vox bar with the largest selection of whisky in Germany, won’t disappoint.
We had a beautiful three-course dinner at Vox and were more than impressed. We aren’t easy to please, but the food was quite sensational. The sushi and sashimi was fresh and melted in the mouth, and was accompanied by 100% pure wasabi root, as rare as it is delicious, which will make the watered-down wasabi you are used to pale in comparison for sushi experiences to come. If you like a good drop, be sure to utilise the outstanding knowledge of Vox’s sommelier, who was outstanding and provided us with the perfect pairings for our meal. For our main, we tasted the halibut and beef fillet. Both were outstanding and were particularly large serves, so if you’re planning on having sushi as well as a main, be warned: you definitely will not have room for dessert!
The breakfast buffet is also served in Vox restaurant and the Grand Hyatt has done an amazing job of making the buffet feel elegant – not an easy feat. The open kitchen makes for a really inviting morning scene and the food is fresh and very tasty. Aside from Vox, the hotel also has a casual German tapas restaurant that has a massive selection of beer and is perfect for relaxed lunches or casual dinners. Lastly, adding to the already impressive list of dining options at the hotel, is the gorgeous-looking Tizian lounge with its curved, wooden tables and artwork by Mat Hennek. Here, they serve casual food and drinks from a menu that changes daily.
The Grand Hyatt Berlin is ideally located in the newly created city-centre at Potsdamer Platz, in Berlin Mitte. Right on your doorstep you have plenty of shopping malls, and with just a short walk you will arrive at Tiergarten Park, the mind-blowing Reichstag and the epic Brandenburg Gate.
reliable and slick city-stay with a strong artistic influence