Lux 11, Berlin-Mitte, Berlin, Germany ***

Q: What is it? A: A hotel where you shouldn’t expect the service-level of a hotel. A moderately priced place to stay smack in the middle of the Mitte, the Berlin-Mitte district, that is.

The exterior. Picture taken on New Year's Day. Look closely and you'll see the Champagne bottles!

Rosa Luxemburg Strasse, a perfect location in Berlin-Mitte and a rather boring Strasse.

The bed at Lux 11 – complete with striped cover

As long as your travel companion is not taking a shower, (or starts to shave his/her legs), it’s quite likely that you will sleep well here.

Half the room at Lux 11 – the TV has been built into the room divider.

Rather spacious and this is only half the room. Well, it’s actually not a room but a junior suite.

Close-up of where du willst deine Hände waschen.

Close-up of where du deine Hände waschen willst.

A lot of mixed reviews. There’s a reason for that.
Check any site with traveller’s reviews. Like tripadvisor. Lux 11 typically gets so mixed reviews that it’s impossible to know whether it’s good or bad. First of all, the Lux 11 is not exactly a hotel. It refers to itself as offering ‘serviced apartments’. Consequently, front desk closes at 10 PM on weeknights and 5 PM on weekends, (don’t lose your keys at night!) and your room will be cleaned every third day. If this doesn’t sound like your kind of place, then you may stop reading right here.

A few of the good things then…
First, location is nothing but superb if Berlin-Mitte is your cup of Eierpunsch. If you’re then prepared to spend just a little bit more, and book yourself a junior suite you will have a much better stay. About 15 € extra meant that I was staying in a rather spacious room, with a shelf dividing it into a seating area with kitchenette and a sleeping area with a bathroom, (Note for travellers who are no more than friends: Check the picture above. The bath comes with no privacy at all, while the toilette is of course separate).
You will serve yourself breakfast in what used to be the Shiro i Shiro Italian/Japanese restaurant. Since October 2009 it has been transformed into Luchs, (concept: Italian with a südtiroler influence or… well… “features local classics and the best of meat and fish”. Get it?).

A few notes on design.
The hotel opened in July 2005 with rooms designed by London-based architect Giuliana Salmaso at Silvestrin/Salmaso. Magazines and websites often refer to it as trendy, stylish or even cutting-edge. In my opinion it is not. Also, walls throughout the hotel are scuffed and scraped. If a hotel is playing the minimalistic design card, signs of wear and tear get more visible. The architects claim that the interiors of Lux 11 ”play with opposites: warm and cold, smooth and rough”. But design and function don’t always go hand in hand: If you go there in the summer, check the weather forecast before booking. As rooms lack air condition, a Berlin visit during a heatwave might offer you the same heatwave while trying to sleep.

Do you like to be taken care of? Avoid it.
Style and design is mostly a matter of personal taste, but what I miss the most at the Lux 11 are efficient and knowledgeable staff. They may mean well, (especially those tending the breakfast area) but if they have any experience, they are highly successful at concealing it. Concierge services are kept to a minimum. A ring scribbled on a map plus the comment ”There are plenty of places where you can eat around here”, is their answer to a restaurant question. With only 72 rooms, huge crowds shouldn’t be a problem, but both check-in and check-out felt like rush hour. So is it a bad choice for a stay in Berlin? Yes and no. If you appreciate round-the-clock service this is simply not your place. If you’re the more independent traveller type, you might like it for the same reasons. And as long as you are not paying their rack rates, you will also find it quite affordable.

Lux 11
Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 9-13
D-10178 Berlin


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