Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
Berlin has been on our wish list for a long time so we were very excited to be travelling out to Germany to review the Motel One hotel. We decided to time our visit with the Christmas Markets which run from the 24th November and book a second room for my mum and have a family trip.
Motel One have over fifty hotels across Europe, the majority are in Germany but there are also several in the UK, Austria and Belgium. They have an impressive website describing each hotel location in detail making your choice much easier. We decided to stay in the main shopping district of Alexanderplatz but on booking we were advised that Spittelmarkt is a more suitable location for a family, so changed our minds and booked 2 rooms at Motel One Spittelmarkt for one night.
There are plenty of flight options to Berlin from Gatwick and Heathrow; British Airways, Easyjet and Norwegian all fly several times per day from very early morning to late evening, we chose our operator purely on flight times. On arrival at Schonefeld Airport we decided on the train which takes you directly to the centre of Berlin in 25 minutes, which is much cheaper and quicker than the taxi. You can purchase single train tickets at 3.20 euro’s each or a day train ticket for around 7 euro’s. Another option is the Welcome Card which provides unlimited free travel on trains, trams and buses, discounted travel on boat trips and 25% discount off attractions, selected restaurants and shops. The Welcome Card is available for 48 or 72 hours, we purchased a 48 hour one for 20 euros and set off for the train station which is only a few minutes walk from the airport.
The station is not particularly well signposted so we had to ask which platform the airport express left from, having found it we were soon on our way on a comfortable modern train. A quick switch onto the underground and we were outside Spittlemarkt station with Motel One directly in front of us. The pictures on the hotel’s website do not disappoint, the reception and lobby bar area is fresh and modern with a fabulous animated roaring fire in the centre and plenty of comfortable seating. We arrived fairly early and were informed by efficient and friendly staff that check in was at 3pm. We were immediately offered storage for our luggage, wifi password for internet access, a map of Berlin and given confirmation that a cot would be provided for us in one of the rooms.
After digging out our coats, hats and scarves we set off to explore. You are never far from a Christmas Market in Berlin and there was a fantastic atmosphere in the air as we combined walking, buses, trains and trams to visit the Cathedral, meander through the cobbled streets stopping to shop on the way and to sample the fantastic German pastries at a coffee shop. We ended up at the Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz where to my sons delight we saw Santa in his sleigh way up in the sky, people of all ages skating on the ice rink and riding on the big wheel. We stopped for dinner and then made our way back to the hotel.
We were both allocated rooms on the 7th floor by extremely friendly staff and on entering we were greeted by the television set showing a log fire complete with crackling sounds, a really nice touch when it’s freezing outside. The rooms were generous in size with modern furnishings and full height windows with lovely thick curtains. The temperature was just right and not overly hot like some hotels can be. There is no wardrobe but a hanging rail for coats etc… and plenty of shelves for storage. The bathroom is small but modern and clean with a large walk in shower with a huge head. One of my bugbears is weak water pressure but we were all impressed by the Motel One’s showers they had strong pressure and loads of piping hot water. After a wash and brush up we went down to the bar for a drink expecting it to be quiet, we were totally wrong and it was very busy in a relaxing way with a really welcoming atmosphere. We ordered some beers and rested our legs while we decided on our itinerary for the next day. Having all been up since 5.30am we retired early and arranged to meet up at breakfast.
There is not a restaurant at the hotel so breakfast is served in the bar/lobby area from 7-10am, however there is plenty of seating for all. Breakfast is continental but there was absolutely everything you needed from pastries and boiled eggs to yoghurts and cheese, you certainly won’t go hungry. The fruit selection was fresh and tasty and replenished swiftly when it got low. The breakfast staff were as helpful as the evening ones and soon brought us a high chair and hot drinks.
On check out we left our luggage at the hotel, which we were given tags for, and as it was raining made our way to the aquarium which whilst keeping us warm and dry was also extremely interesting with a huge variety of species. After lunch the rain had stopped and we managed to fit in some of the sights such as the Brandenburg gate and the famous Gendarmarkt square with traditional Christmas market before returning to pick up our cases from the hotel.
Cold, tired but happy we made our way back to the airport for our Easyjet flight back to Gatwick.
As a city centre hotel I can’t recommend Motel One highly enough, the rooms were clean and modern, the water hot and plentiful and breakfast fresh and tasty. Wifi is free throughout the whole hotel including rooms. One particular thing to mention about Motel One Spittelmarkt is the friendliness of the staff whether at reception, bar or breakfast nothing was too much trouble. The location is also good as it’s a short walk from the local sights but very close to an underground station so easy to get around to some of the more distant areas.
I highly recommend this hotel chain and I will definitely be using it again, next stop Vienna!
Rooms start from 69 Euros per night. For more information or to make a booking visit:
Motel One Spittelmarkt, Leipziger Straße 50, 10117, Berlin | +49/30/2 01 43 63-0