Beautiful women usually don’t have great personalities. They can rely on their looks, so they don’t need to be particularly intelligent, funny or interesting. Plain-looking women, on the other hand, usually figure out that they need to have a great personality if they want anyone to pay attention to them.
The combination of both beauty and depth is rare and narrowly escapes the Hotel de Rome in Berlin. On questions of design and aesthetics the hotel is difficult to fault. Its designers have seamlessly converted a chunky old bank (and filming location of the movie Run Lola Run) into a sleek modern luxury hotel. A magnificently-lighted pool, spa and ample fitness facilities occupy the former vaults in the basement. Our room’s design and layout were also effortless, modern and stylish. The beauty is apparent at first glance and never fades.
Then you get to know her a little better, and the Hotel de Rome begins to disappoint. Underneath the bedspread are two twin mattresses pushed together, not a single king. In the bathroom, the marble, mosaic tiles, large bathtub, heated mirror and ingenious toilet-paper dispenser are delightful touches. But they are overshadowed by the shower’s reluctance to provide more than lukewarm water, even when ample hot water is available from other faucets.
The Italian food is colorful and flavorful whether served in the restaurant or promptly in the room. But characteristically, the vermicelli with shrimp lacks meat and substance, with only a single prawn perched on a bed of pasta. With passive-aggressive flair, the room service staff never fails to ask when they should return to retrieve your tray, and then consistently fails to actually return.
It’s unfair to cite that single example because the hotel staff was usually extremely courteous, helpful and unobtrusive. But sharing a bathroom proved complicated when the cleaning personnel left a bottle of cleaning fluid next to my mouthwash.
Finally, it became frustrating to be asked to pay for every little thing, particularly internet and phone at unreasonable prices (20€/day and 2.50€/call to a free 08 prefix, respectively). Even when paying with company money, a twinge of guilt accompanies the use of these basic services. When will luxury hotels realize that these services are, in the 21st century, analogous to indoor toilets in the early 20th century? Just as we don’t worry about fees to use the toilet, we should not have to deal with fees for basic communication services, particularly in luxury hotels that should make life easier.
Despite the imperfections under the surface, the Hotel de Rome is a beauty and worth the visit. After all, nobody’s perfect.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel de Rome is located on Bebelplatz, off Unter den Linden. It is a conversion of an existing building constructed in 1889 by architect Ludwig Heim (appointed master builder of the government), which housed the head office of Dresdner Bank until 1945. This is one of the few luxury hotels in Berlin located in an original building making use of its full architectural splendour and thereby offering guests an authentic Berlin experience.The ornate and classical design of the original building has been given a contemporary twist by designer Tommaso Ziffer, who also designed the Hotel de Russie in Rome. Tommaso Ziffer has been assisted by architects Aukett + Heese with Olga Polizzi and her design team at Rocco Forte Hotels. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- De Rome Hotel
- De Rome Berlin