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REVIEW – Cathay Pacific : Business Class – Hong Kong to London (B77W)
April 8, 2017
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May 4, 2017

REVIEW – Sofitel Kurfurstendamm Berlin

sofitel berlin bar

Sofitel

  • Location: Berlin
  • Rate: €93 per night
  • Room Type: Superior King Room with Club Millésime Access
  • Loyalty Program: Le Club Accor Hotels
  • Status during stay: Platinum


Intro


After starting the year with an absolutely amazing trip to Bali, we had one week to adjust to London time (and the cold!) before heading off on another trip. Why were we travelling again so soon? Because the crazy BA Indonesian airfare deal that we had bought, actually originated and ended in Berlin. This meant that we still had a one way business class flight to Berlin to use 🙂

I didn’t want to take any more time off work so decided to fly out of Heathrow on the Friday evening, returning on Sunday evening via a super cheap Ryanair flight.

 


Arrival


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The flight in Club Europe was rather uneventful, the views on the other hand were excellent!

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‘Dinner’ was a take it or leave it affair. No choice whatsoever. A fairly unusual and disappointing cheese and cheese (with extra cheese) salad.

Our cab ride from TXL airport only took around 15 minutes and cost €20, very quick and convenient. We picked this hotel over the other Sofitel (in Gendarmenmarkt) as the room rates were cheaper, it has a club lounge and it was located closer to the hotel where we would be spending the majority of our time on this trip : Das Stue.

The lobby of the hotel is more functional than grand, although it is quite stylish. We were the only guests checking in at the time and were helped by a very friendly front desk associate. We were told that we’d been upgraded to a room with a better view and had been given Club Millésime as thanks for our loyalty (or rather thanks to Amex Platinum providing us with Accor Platinum status), we were also provided with vouchers for two drinks at the bar.

The Platinum status really provided an outsized value here. If we had just come to the hotel bar for two drinks, that would have set us back €30; two breakfasts (which we got free in the lounge) would have been another €60. So we would have ended up spending €90 just on that. For €3 more we got the room for the night thrown in as well!

We were also proactively offered late check-out until 4pm which we didn’t need, as we were moving to Das Stue the next day.

It is worth noting that there have been many reports of Platinum members being denied Club access here, so perhaps we were lucky on this occasion. As it turns out this was the front desk associate’s first day at the hotel and he did not hesitate whatsoever in offering us the full Platinum benefits. He had just moved here from the Ritz Carlton and it showed. He was very professional, very polite and very friendly. An excellent start to our stay.

 

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Sofitel Kurfürstendamm Lobby.

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Sofitel Kurfürstendamm Lobby.

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The hallways are very brightly lit and the primary colours don’t exactly convey a feeling of luxury.

 


Superior King Room


The entry level rooms here are a minimum of 40m² and go all the way up to 50m². This is the same size as you would expect at a Park Hyatt, so very impressive for a hotel at this price point.

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Walking into the room, the first thing you notice is that colour scheme on the floor!

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The space is quite cleverly designed, with a large wardrobe and minibar serving to divide the space and provide a warm touch of natural wood to the white, clinical walls.

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Minibar.

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The lighting and artwork are very modern, but the sofa chair and table look like something out of an old student apartment.

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The room feels very spacious, even with this enormous bed in the middle of it.

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Valrhona chocolates and mineral water were left as part of the turndown service. Always good to see plug sockets next to the bed, although international sockets are always preferable.

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A nice touch, slippers left on a linen cloth as part of turndown. We didn’t get a chance to use the Bose sound system but nice to see the Sofitel providing high end in room entertainment.

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Quite a small television, given the size of the room.

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The Nespresso machine came stocked with 6 capsules and I am very pleased to report that, unlike the Sofitel Bali, these were free of charge 😉

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Platinum fruit amenity.

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On the other side of the dividing cabinet, there is an ample dressing area.

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Open style wardrobe.

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The bathroom had a very clinical feel, which was somewhat alleviated by the use of elegant green marble.

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The shower was very powerful but visually unappealing. You would expect to see a rainfall shower head at a 5* hotel.

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Lanvin toiletries are very nice and a distinct improvement over the own brand offerings we received at the Sofitel Bali, the previous week.

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The bath looked like somewhere you might hose down animal carcasses. Very uninviting.


The Bar


After dropping our bags off at the room and quickly freshening up, we headed down to the bar with our free drink vouchers in hand 😀 The bar is located in a courtyard at the centre of the hotel and was still buzzing at 11pm. It always feels good to know that your hotel bar is strong enough to be pulling in a local crowd as well.

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The Bar at Sofitel Kurfurstendamm Berlin.

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The bar also features a very fashionably designed cocktail lounge, which wouldn’t look out of a place in an Andaz or a W.

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Cocktail lounge at Sofitel Kurfurstendamm Berlin.

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We took a seat next to the main bar, which looked like it could double up as the bar on the USS Enterprise.

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Kamara ordered a chamomile tea, which was served with madeleines. I opted for a dry German Riesling, which came with a selection of olives, almonds and cheese.

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We were still a little hungry after the cheese salads on BA so decided to split a main course of scallops. These were brought out very quickly and I have to say that the presentation and flavour were incredibly good. Not many hotel bars are operating at this level.

 


Club Millésime Breakfast


After a fantastic sleep on our supremely comfortable Sofitel bed, we made our way to the Club Millésime lounge for breakfast. Given how small the space is, I can see why access is restricted when the hotel is busy.

The receptionist was very friendly and actually doubled up as a server for made to order dishes, teas and coffees etc.

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Cereals, pastries, salad and cold cuts. Eggs and bacon were available on a separate table, at the top left of this image.

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The scrambled eggs were very creamy, the Spanish ham was delicious, the bacon was perfectly crispy and the in-house cured salmon was very generously cut with a beautifully sweet flavour.

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The room has an abundance of natural light and almost every single table is located next to a window. The service was very prompt, plates were proactively cleared and new cutlery and drinks were offered each time our table was visited. I really like how the tea is served too, with a small flame heating the pot from underneath.


Conclusion


For a quick overnight stay, this property is absolutely ideal. The location is very convenient if flying from TXL, the rooms are spacious, the staff very professional and courteous and elite status benefits bring real value (assuming the hotel doesn’t deny you lounge access). The bar is also very good and you don’t feel like you’re missing out if you opt for a nightcap here, rather than exploring the area nearby.

I would definitely not classify this as a luxury hotel however, the room decor leaves a lot to be desired and the harsh clinical feel of the white walls and bathroom tiles do not make you want to spend a great deal of time in your room.

If you are looking for an indulgent experience you’ll need to look elsewhere… as we did 😉


Winter Weekend in Berlin
Part 1:
Sofitel Berlin Kurfurstendamm
Part 2:
Das Stue – Berlin

3 Comments

  1. Aspirational Flyer says:

    Hey Jarvis – just to say that I really enjoy reading your blog/site and seeing your pictures. I spent several days at the Sofitel Gendarmenmarkt last year – whilst it doesn’t have an executive lounge, I had a great stay. Great location, boutique style feel, very good staff and rooms with views over one of Berlin’s most well known locations. The hotel’s Austrian restaurant is a great shout too. Safe travels.

    • Aspirational Flyer says:

      Sorry – another thought – I’d be really interested to read your thoughts/review of the new Club Europe catering. I’ve tried it several times in the last month, but would be interested in the views of someone more active in the travel/points collecting community (I’ve read the articles on HfP and Business Traveller).

      • JarvisMarcos says:

        Thanks for the kind words, always glad to see that somebody is reading 🙂

        I’ve actually done very well when it comes to avoiding CE and BA in general this year.
        In the past couple of months I’ve had the opportunity to try shorthaul J catering on NZ and VA J and both were spectacular, particularly when compared to the old CE.

        I will be trying the new catering to BUD next month though (I’m almost exclusively picking destinations based on the T3 CX F lounge these days). I will report back immediately on instagram and probably some time in the next two years on here 😀

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