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“Home away from home in Berlin” 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 (Friedrichshain)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #117 of 334 Specialty Lodging in Berlin
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Home away from home in Berlin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

Staying at Raise a Smile was a highlight of a 6 week, 5 country trip for us. The staff here are just so amazing, especially Esther, and very helpful with places to go, things to do and what to eat in Berlin.

The rooms have animal themes and the whole hostel has African themed decor which is really cool.

It's a small hostel (more like a 5 bedroom apartment converted into a hostel) so there is a very cosy vibe. It's not five star accommodation, but the bathrooms and bedrooms are very clean. If you are looking for an experience that will make you smile when you think about it months later, stay at Raise a Smile.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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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
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We were in Berlin for three nights and decided to stay in the Eastern part, as that seems to be younger and hipper part of town. It's also cheaper! We had a great stay at the hostel. The staff were great, friendly and helpful. It's also a great charity, so go on and support them!

One thing though, you are best advised to watch the video on their website that shows you how to get to the hostel. It's in a tall building with a rear entrance and a (slightly) confusing elevator system. There are no signs on the street indicating that there is even a hostel there. Once you're there though, it's easy peasy. My girlfriend, who got there a couple hours before me, spent almost an hour wandering around the block looking for the entrance.

So again, watch the video on their site!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
55 helpful votes 55 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

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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011

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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 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
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 > Friedrichshain
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #117 of 334 Specialty Lodging in Berlin
Number of rooms: 2

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