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“Great place to stay, even for those who are not really hostel people :)” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Raise a Smile Hostel Berlin

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Raise a Smile Hostel Berlin
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Weidenweg 51, 10249 Berlin, Germany (Mitte)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #80 of 319 Specialty Lodging in Berlin
Warrnambool, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great place to stay, even for those who are not really hostel people :)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012 via mobile

The wonderful state of German public transport makes it cheap to get to the hostel (although not super easy if you were lugging a huge suitcase like I was!). The website has a very comprehensive and useful guide (with videos!) on how to get there from the major transportation hubs. The owners and staff were hugely friendly and useful. Wifi is easily accessible. Well kept and very clean. Great location near the funky streets of Friedrichshain. A great choice, especially if you want to save some cash.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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12 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

Very friendly, courteous, and informative staff who are very eager to help at any time of day. Clean bathrooms and bedrooms with very comfortable beds. Felt more like a friend's apartment than a hostel. And it's for charity to boot! Would recommend again.

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Berlin, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2011 via mobile

Really cool place, easy to meet ppl, clean! And it's for a good cause! I would definatly stay here again!

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011 via mobile

At first glance, Berlin itself seems to appear so bleak compared to other great European/German cities.  Spent the first two days exploring and then I started to like it.  Changed hostels and checked into Raise a Smile and then I really fell in love with Berlin.  I now understand why this place is always rated #1 in hostelworld.com  Their website gave accurate, detailed to the t directions on how to get to the place, complete with a YouTube video!  There's no way you can possibly get lost: very assuring especially for solo travelers.  Located on the 5th floor of a 6-story building in the former East Berlin section, RAS is centrally located with cafes and nearby trams/U/S-bhans.  The place itself reminds me of a four-bedroom apartment in NYC complete with a balcony in the kitchen.  Gray, the co-owner was very helpful with my check-in and everything else hostel-related.  He pulled out a map and just marked significant spots around the neighborhood and everywhere else in Berlin.  

I stayed in the 8-bed mixed dorm, the Zebra room, with the usual wooden bunk beds.  I was super impressed with the quality of the bedsheets; they felt satin 600+thread count-ish.  I never expect much from hostels since I'm outdoors most of the time but it was a nice surprise.  What made the stay even better were the daily planned outings at night by Gray and his staff, whether to dinner/drinks, cool bars, lounges, etc. (Note: you don't HAVE to join the group at all if you don't want to or if you prefer to just be by yourself or just with your friends).  I say it's awesome for solo travelers because you get to go out with the other guests in the hostel and get to know each other while having fun at the same time.  

The kitchen is fully equipped should you go for a cook-for-yourself alternative.  Then again Berlin is pretty cheap so going out to eat all the time won't kill too much of your budget.  There is simple breakfast provided with coffee, tea, cereal, bread, butter, Nutella (mMm mMm) and jam in the morning.  The deal is, YOU decide how much you want to pay for it, whether breakfast was oh-so-worth  it or not at all.  You decide.  

The common room is pretty small but consists of comfortable, red cushions on the floor in the opposite end.  I've seen some of the guests fall asleep there for hours and claim that it felt  just like sleeping on their beds.  There is also one laptop provided on the table so Skype or Facebook away to your hearts desire! 

There are only two bath/toilet rooms in the hostel so everyone does have to act quick in the morning to get first, second, third dibs in the shower or the toilet.  Same goes at night after everyone comes back from a long night of drinking.  

Overall the hostel is uber uber simple and excellent and worth every penny!  When I go back to Berlin, I already know where to stay!

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2011

Staying at Raise a Smile feels like you're staying with a family. It's a welcome change from many of the more business-like hostels that can come off as quite cold. Nightly activities were planned with everyone in the hostel and it was a great way to all get together and know each other. The staff sits down with you when you first check in, gives you a map, asks what you're interested in doing, and shows you where everything is, how to get there, and gives great recommendations.

My boyfriend and I stayed in the 6 bed dorm and we thought it was wonderful. It's extremely tricky to find (definitely watch the video on the hostel's website) and keep in mind that the elevator does not go to the floor that the hostel is on - you'll either have to get off too high and walk down, or get off too low and walk up.

We absoloutly adored the area that the hostel was in - fantastic restaurants, great vibe, reasonable bars. It was very well connected to the rest of the city but we hardly wanted to leave!

Berlin was our favourite place on our trip through Europe, and Raise a Smile certainly contributed to that. Thanks for a great stay!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Yorkshire
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2011

I visited Raise a Smile as a rather nervous lone single traveller on her first solo trip abroad. From the beginning (and even when unaware of my nerves), Gray and Esther could not do enough to put me at ease.

Initial emails were warm, friendly and efficient, making sure that I knew how to reach the hostel and was all set for my trip. When I arrived (late and at midnight!), Esther met me with a warm smile and cup of tea, and immediately set about helping me to plan my stay.

The hostel is small – only 18 beds – which makes for a very sociable atmosphere, like a big family. Most nights, people ate and/or went drinking as a group, and people often hooked up in the daytime as well.

The hostel is in a Friedrichshain, a cool part of East Berlin, not at all touristy and well-connected to other districts by all-night tram. It is essentially just a large converted apartment, making you feel like a local.

I stayed in an 8 bed dorm which was clean and comfortable. There was no AC, which made things a little sweaty in the 36C June heatwave, but that weather is unusual for Berlin! There were two bathrooms, both modern and well-kept. There was also a living room and a kitchen (with balcony), the social heart of the hostel. A good breakfast was available for an ‘honesty box’ (pay what you think it was worth) donation.

I had an awesome time at Raise and Smile! It’s also worth noting that Raise a Smile is a charity-run hostel, with 100% of the profits going to aid work in Zambia.

Room Tip: Email them for any advice you need!
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  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Tel Aviv, Israel
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2011

I was in Berlin back in September.
This is the best hostel I've ever been in and I've been in quite a few.
The staff helped me plan my week in and around Berlin.
A kitchen with cereal, basic ingredients (bread, milk, etc.) and accessories is provided.
The staff organizes night outs if you want to familiarize yourself with the rest of the guests... Very good vibe and conductive for socializing with the other guests.
I would have no hesitations to book there again if I'm in Berlin.
Gray, Esther and Jamie, thank you very much for a wonderful time,
Maayan, Israel

Room Tip: Email them for anything, very communicative
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Raise a Smile Hostel Berlin

Address: Weidenweg 51, 10249 Berlin, Germany
Location: Germany > Berlin > Mitte
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #80 of 319 Specialty Lodging in Berlin
Number of rooms: 2

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