Berlin’s Adlon Kempinski, a stately property with a unique location
Considered as one of the global flagship properties of the Kempinski Hotels & Resort, The Adlon Kempinski in Berlin, has been emerging like a phoenix, throughout its turbulent history. Yet irrespective of the times, The Adlon has maintained the reputation of one of the European capital’s Grand Dame, overlooking the Branderburg Gate and adjacent to all major embassies in Berlin.
Although seen from the outside, The Adlon would not appear as such a large property, the selection of medium to large suites and probably the largest conferences, banqueting and events venues in the German capital, renowned for stately receptions, welcoming heads of state, royalty but also numerous celebrities from around the hotel. Today, the hotel is equally attracting, depending on the season, both leisure and corporate guests.
Despite the fact that there have been no renovation of rooms / suites in the past years, the property is reasonably well maintained, urgent updates being required on technology (I found the Ipad in the room difficult to use in case of interaction with certain departments, Tv (some suites already feature UHDTvs). Bathroom amenities must be changed – for a hotel of this calibre at least some natural (not necessarily organic) toiletries could be included.
As this is such a large property, unless one is a returning guest, do not expect staff to make an effort to remember your name. At any time of the day and throughout all departments, you are a room number.Therefore, at busy times, such as breakfast or lunch, service may appear robotic, and, I experieced ”disconnected”While service in Housekeeping, Concierge, Front Door, PR and room service are warm and genuine, the Front Office, which I approached for a simple cash advance on a small amount said ”no, can’t be done”. On a second approach, they seemed even busier than before and again the same ”no”.
I also pointed out within 10 minutes of my arrival in the suite, that I felt cold. The Front Office Agent who escorted me, said raising the temperature would not be an issue and will take up to an hour. Six hours later, I was still very cold, and the only solution they could provide was an electric plug-in heater (which, to me, was embarasing for a hotel of this caliber. The AC system needs to be changed and proper cooling and heating should be introduced.
I was priviliged to stay in The Pariser Platz Suite, one of the suites with the most spectacular views. I loved the fresh flower arrangements, abundant in the entire suite. The VIP welcome was a treat and so was the evening relaxing tea, not to mention the soak in separate bathtub, which was a perfect to end a busy day.
The hotel also has a large indoor pool and a Spa, however, at the time of my stay, I did not have time to enjoy. The was classicaly appointed and dominated by an elevant ivory and light color palatte, which lent an feel of a cocoon. Like the terrace of the maint restaurant, the Spa also has a separate direct access from the street, together with the lobby attracting a good selection of travellers, expatriates and local patrons, especially for the Spa, Gym and F&B outlets.
You will love: the afternoon tea in the lobby, the ultra comfortable beds, the quietness of the hotel as well as attention to details such an an abundant flower bouquets and installations.
The Adlon Kempinski features three exceptional restaurants:
Sra Bua by Tim Raue: Crafted to astonish your senses with distinct Asian flavours and spices Tim Raue’s culinary concept for the Sra Bua proves that for the diverse Asian cuisine there is no end in sight when it comes to compiling innovative and creative modern dishes.
Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer: The 2 Michelin-starred fine dining temple is the culinary atelier of Hendrik Otto, Cook of the year 2013. According to their motto “tradition eats modern” Otto and his team perform magic that leaves no gustative nerve asleep. If you seek truly European inspired cuisine a simple table reservation at the Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer will turn into a dining experience that lasts.
Restaurant Quarré: The place for authentic regional cuisine with local specialties such as the classic “Berliner Currywurst” is called restaurant Quarré. Offering Sunday brunch and Business lunch on weekdays restaurant Quarré becomes a true all-rounder for every occasion. With its number one corner spot on Pariser Platz the window walls reveal a magnificent view of Berlin’s landmark the Brandenburg Gate and the famous boulevard Unter den Linden.
Lobby Lounge Bar: Considered for decades ”the living room of Berlin”, you can enjoying a cockail prepared bartender Franz Höckner who spreads the lobby bar spirit as if he opened the place himself back in 1907.
From a more business perspective, I believe creating a second, ”upscale” brand, would bring back the consistency which is so important for a chain with such a global reach. I believe inconsistencies are only likely to grow. The arrival of new luxury hotels in Berlin, such as Waldorf Astoria, followed by the newly renovated Sofitel and the new Das STUE – are all putting pressure on a very sensite RevPar luxury hospitality market, which is ”avoided” by many major international players due to the real estate schemes one would need to put in place for such a roperty.
Oliver Petcu in Berlin