Bleibtreu Hotel, Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany ***

Q: What is it? A: A quite affordable design-y Berlin hotel where the clock stopped in 1995.

"in einem renovierten Charlottenburger Patrizierhaus"

It’s quite a nice, tree-lined street. Locals seem to enjoy the Deli 31 café as well.

Clever options for storing your stuff and an eye for practical solutions. But modern?

It is not unattractive and it comes with some quirky details. However, you should be prepared to stay in a rather small early-90s time-capsule.

One star vanished when I discovered that this bathroom wasn't properly cleaned.

The Badezimmer. It was in need of an upgrade (or at least a facelift). It was not 100% well cleaned either. Schade. You lost some points there, Bleibtreu.

Nice little perk: Free minibar.

Nice surprise: The free minibar. More hotels should copy this idea. It will not cost the hotelier much and for the guest this convenience is worth a lot.

Concrete furniture in the Bleibtreu courtyard. How modern!

They certainly worked hard to make the courtyard feel modern-ish and design-ish. I have an opinion but will leave it up to the viewer to say if they were successful.

”In a design hotel the year is always 1998.”
That was the headline of an article in a Swedish daily the other day. And sure enough, quite a few design-y hotels got stuck in a moment just prior to the opening of the Sanderson in London. The sounds of the Thievery Corporation fill the room and all staff members wear black. Hotel Bleibtreu Berlin opened in 1995, and at that time there was still some room for innovation, but I’m pretty sure that interior designer Herbert Jacob Weinand made a few inspirational trips to Ian Schrager’s hotels.

This is a pretty OK hotel.
First, I was disappointed as I probably arrived with too high expectations. The promotional images were just too polished compared to reality and I must admit that expected a service level far beyond what was offered. Still, I would recommend this hotel to quite a few travelers. It delivers a bang in parity with the buck you invest per night, which is not much. I’ve seen rates from as low as € 68, (Christmas Day 2010), up to a maximum € 143, (New Years Day). It’s quite a nice alternative for everybody traveling on a budget, (and honestly, don’t we all?).

Entering a 90s time capsule…
I get the same feeling both when approaching the front desk and when entering the room: Time travel is possible! Prepare to be beamed back to the 90s with warp speed. I get a Superior room that is supposed to be 16-23 square meters. Sleek design-y lamp. Wooden furniture in a style that’s almost Scandinavian, (reviewers on other sites have been heard shouting “IKEA!” but I can assure you it’s not). Nevertheless, the interior feels slightly jaded. Nowhere else does that become more visible than in the bathrooms. My bathroom wasn’t perfectly clean. Hey, management! Did you feel a star getting ripped out?

Is the staff grumpy?
I prefer to get the feeling that I’m welcome to a hotel. Both on check-in and while asking for a good nearby restaurant, I get the impression that I’m interrupting something more interesting. Not cool. That’s another star going away with a loud Wooosch!!! An exception is the friendly breakfast crew, but the damage was already done by then. But arrive with low to medium-high expectations and you will probably be pleasantly surprised. This is a budget hotel rather than a boutique hotel.

Not too many people are able to call themselves P. Diddy anyway.

Bleibtreu Hotel Berlin
Bleibtreustrasse 31
D-10707 Berlin


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