This "Boutique" hotel or B & B was not a good fit for us. The location is superb. There are lot of great and affordable restaurants in the neighborhood which is old West Berlin. It is steps away from Kurfurstendamm and Savingny Platz and major mass transit. We paid $980 in cash (at the request of the owner) for 7 nights. The owners did order and pay for tickets to the Berlin Filhamonic out their own pockets for reimbursement when we arrived so they had a lot of points in the goodwill bank before we arrived.
However, what we did not know was that Magritte is located on the 1st floor (which is the 2nd floor in the US) behind a heavy door which is buzzed and then a 20 or so steep marble staircase to the hotel door. There is no elevator. After 10 pm a code must be entered into a panel to enter the front door. There is no one in attendance certainly after 10pm and often earlier at least during our 7 night stay.
Our room was at the end of a long circuitous hall that wound around interior courtyards, it was surreal at every turn with the Magritte motif on the corridor walls. The room itself was furnished in a minimalist style with a desk, chair, a narrow double bed, two night tables, a small chest, and a rack to hang clothes and a few hangers. The pillows are really small, the mattress was good as well as the bed linens. There were good reading lights in the backboard of the bed and a dim light on the desk and overhead light in the center of the ceiling. The is a small wall mounted television. Wifi is iffy and because of the structure of the building the Vodafone signal on my iPhone was very weak in the room and useless. There are no phones in the rooms.
The two tall windows looked out on a barren courtyard with a tree that had dropped its leaves before the rest of the trees in Berlin surrounded by a dirt yard and trash containers and a bicycle rack on the edges. There were flimsy curtains which offered little darkness during daylight and were nearly transparent to the window across the way.
The bathroom had modern fixtures and a small shower enclosure with a slippery floor and fine Grohe fixture. The sink did not have a counter to lay out our toiletries and did not drain properly. There is good hot water. The hotel furnished toiletries consisted of soap in small pouches. Replacement towels were furnished on request.
The breakfast room in the fronting on Grolmanstrasse had great light with a balcony for smokers and in warm weather would be most inviting unless there were smokers. The breakfast served was average except for exceptional bread and several days had excellent croissants. There was an expresso machine in the kitchen off the breakfast room and a request for a cappuccino was filled begrudgingly.
There is no laundry service provided and a request for a laundromat was met with there aren't any nearby. After some discussion the one of the owners for whom English is not a spoken language begrudgingly took the laundry and said she would take care of it. It was as if a request for a laundromat was a strange request. Another request was for a place to buy over the counter drugs for a cold on a Sunday evening. This is in Charlottenburg in the heart of the city! After a brief internet search I was told there was nothing nearby. I went outside to Kurfurstendam, a half block away, walked a block and a half and found a 24 hour/7 day a week pharmacy in less than 10 minutes.
The concept of hospitality at Magritte was rather narrow and what seemed to me like common place requests were seemingly difficult. The theme and decor of the hotel only go so far and I don't have a lot of time to find a laundromat or drugstore or wait outside the hotel door for an hour when at 6 pm there is no one at the front desk and no room phone or cell phone service to get my wife to come to the front door to let me in. We are not high maintenance, but the services are not what we expect during our travel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A serene and small hotel dedicated to the spirit of René Magritte and the poetic aesthetics of surrealism. Family-run, assessable and welcoming. Located in a side street of the well-known Kurfürstendamm, just a few steps away from the legendary Savignyplatz, in a quiet area with many small cafes, art galleries and family-run shops. Every room has its own bathroom, comfortable box-spring bed and a TV set. The rooms are designed differently, but equally well equipped. ... more less
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