Sleeping Under the Berlin Wall: A Review of Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz

Jun 3, 2018

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To The Point

The Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz is a solid choice for tourists visiting Berlin who want a destination-inspired chain hotel. Pros: central location, friendly staff, comfortable rooms. Cons: not the quietest rooms and expensive breakfast options.

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During a recent visit to Germany’s capital, I stayed at the Hotel Indigo on Alexanderplatz, one of the city’s most iconic public squares and the heart of a central, historic neighborhood. Each Hotel Indigo property is boutique yet approachable and inspired by its local neighborhood.

The Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz is in former East Berlin, close to where the Berlin Wall once stood. This location makes it ideal for visitors to Berlin, as it’s well connected to most popular sights.

Here’s a look at my recent stay at the Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz.

In This Post

Booking

I needed to stay in Berlin for four nights before traveling to Munich. A nonrefundable rate for a standard king room at the Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz was 359 euros ($440) for the four nights I wanted to stay. Alternatively, I could’ve spent 25,000 IHG points per night, which would’ve been worth $600 for my four-night stay under TPG’s latest valuations. Since this wasn’t a good use of points and I was staying four nights, I emailed the Citi Prestige concierge to book a fourth-night-free stay. After a fourth-night-free credit of $106, my four-night stay effectively cost $334 — just $84 per night

Confirmation from the Citi Prestige concierge.
Confirmation from the Citi Prestige concierge.

The stay coded as lodging, so I earned 1,320 Citi ThankYou points from the room rate. On the IHG side, I earned 4,176 base points plus 2,088 bonus points because of my IHG Platinum elite status — which I got through my IHG Rewards Club Select credit card — for a total of 6,264 points. TPG’s latest valuation rates 1,320 Citi ThankYou points at $22.44 and 6,264 IHG points at $37.58, though it’s worth noting that the IHG points earned on this stay alone were more than enough for a 5,000-point PointsBreaks night.

Location

The hotel is just a three-minute walk from Alexanderplatz and a seven-minute walk from the Alexanderplatz S-Bahn station. Alexanderplatz was a great base for a tourist in Berlin, as most of the popular sights were nearby or easy to reach. On previous stays in Berlin, I’d gone on both walking and biking tours that departed from Alexanderplatz. On this stay, I took walks to the East Side Gallery and the Tiergarten, both of which took 30 to 45 minutes to reach by foot.

The view of the Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz from Alexanderplatz square. The Hotel Indigo is the center-most building with blue lettering on its roof.
The view of the Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz from Alexanderplatz square. The Hotel Indigo is the center-most building with blue lettering on its roof.

The area around the hotel was bustling, with malls, restaurants, late-night food options and bars all within a short walk. It took a slightly longer walk to reach Prenzlauer Berg, with its boutiques, bars and hip restaurants.

Arrival and departure were easy with the Alexanderplatz S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations and a FlixBus stop. The TXL express bus ran from Alexanderplatz to Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) while regional express trains RE7 and RE14 ran between Schönefeld Airport (SFX) and Alexanderplatz.

Check-in

I was initially confused when I saw a Holiday Inn where I expected the Hotel Indigo. In fact, the Holiday Inn Berlin Alexanderplatz and Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz — as well as Vision Apartments Berlin and ONE80° Hostel Berlin — were all in the same building. Each establishment had its own entrance and took up about a fourth of the building, which had an interior courtyard.

Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn are in the same building.

Staff greeted me immediately as I entered, and was thanked for being an IHG Platinum Elite. And, they informed me that I’d been upgraded to a deluxe king room.

There was a minor hiccup at check-in regarding my cat. Although I’d updated my details on IHG’s website to include my cat for this stay, the hotel staff didn’t know this. The two front desk staff conferred in German before telling me everything was OK but that the pet fee was 15 euros ($18) per night. The IHG website noted a 20-euro ($24) nightly pet fee, so I felt like I came out ahead.

Room

The hotel features 112 standard rooms, each between 172 and 194 square feet; 33 deluxe rooms between  258 and 301 square feet; and six 10th floor executive rooms with balconies, each 226 to 269 square feet. All of the rooms had “allergy-friendly” flooring — meaning no carpet.

I had a deluxe king room on the ninth floor overlooking the courtyard. I was disappointed at first to have a courtyard view, but later realized the exterior rooms were stocked with earplugs because of the street noise. The courtyard views weren’t totally immune from outside noise, though: Guests in the hostel’s courtyard area sang and yelled until 11:00pm one Thursday night. When I mentioned this to the front-desk agent at check-out, he seemed concerned and said the hostel had an agreement with other building occupants to prevent noise in the courtyard after 10:00pm.

Courtyard view from my room.

The living room had a full-size couch, and I appreciated its bright, spunky design and found it surprisingly comfortable for both sitting and lying down.

The king bed sat near the windows in the L-shaped room. The bed looked smaller than a king, but it was still plenty big for me on my own.

The bed had four large but flat pillows as well as two decorative pillows. The bedding consisted of two separate comforters on top of a fitted bottom sheet, common in Europe.

The bed’s headboard was inspired by the Berlin Wall, and the lights on either side of the headboard and artwork to the left of the headboard were inspired by Berlin’s Neptunbrunnen fountain.

The work desk was big — and I loved the touch of green — but the chair was uncomfortable for long periods. It was more suited to slouching and lounging than sitting up and working.

A welcome pastry and note were waiting for me on the desk when I arrived, thanks to my IHG Platinum elite status, I presumed.

Between the couch and the bed was a large flat-screen TV on a turntable, allowing me to watch the TV from the couch or bed. The TV stand doubled as storage.

There was complimentary coffee, tea, cocoa and cookies, though housekeeping only replenished the coffee and tea. The minibar held a couple beers, a small bottle of wine, sparking water and a pair of Cokes. The prices weren’t prohibitive, but certainly weren’t budget-friendly either (3.90 euros, or nearly $5, for a Coke).

The room included additional storage space, a safe, hair dryer, robes, slippers, extra blanket and full-length mirror.

The bathroom had only one sink, but it had adequate counter space and a makeup mirror.

Toiletries included rosemary-mint-scented Aveda shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body wash and hand soap. The bar of hand soap was substantial enough to last my four-night stay, and the shampoo smelled particularly nice.

The shower cabin was plenty large for one person and certainly passed the TPG shower test. There was both a rainfall shower head and an adjustable-height handheld shower head.

The shower wall facing the bed was transparent, with an image of the Alexanderplatz Neptunbrunnen fountain covering most of the shower. I thought this complemented the room and made the shower feel more open, but some guests might not have appreciated the lack of privacy.

The shower wall was semi-transparent.

Strangely, the chain lock on my door had duct tape around the base. I tugged hard on it and it held, though.

The room’s windows had mesh curtains as well as blackout curtains. Although most of the blackout curtains attached to the walls via Velcro — a great idea — one wall didn’t have Velcro, so light streamed in each morning.

Light streamed in each morning.

Although there was only noise from the courtyard one evening, the rest of my stay wasn’t exactly quiet: Room doors closed loudly, the streetcars caused the hotel to rumble and the walls between the rooms were thin. I heard housekeeping in surrounding rooms each morning as they vacuumed, closed doors and seemingly pushed around furniture.

Food and Beverage

A sign on the knob in my room said guests would get a voucher for 5 euros ($6) for the hotel’s bar or restaurant by forgoing any housekeeping on one day during stays of two nights or longer. I hung it on my door before going to sleep the first night and easily claimed my voucher at the front desk the next afternoon.

The White 5 Bar was a small but attractive bar just off the lobby and open from noon to 1:00am (the kitchen closed at 10:30pm).

I wanted to use my voucher, so I had an early dinner and drink at the White 5 Bar around 6:00pm on a Wednesday. When I walked by later in the evening, the bar was much more lively.

I had the 7.50-euro ($9) Berlin currywurst and a 0.3-liter bottle of Berliner Kindl Berliner Weisse Himbeere for 4.20 euros ($5). Although this currywurst was more elegantly presented and contained higher-quality meat, it had the same spices and flavors as other currywurst I’ve had in Berlin from hole-in-the-wall shops. Service was quick and friendly.

La Maison de L’ Entrecôte was attached to the White 5 Bar and offered business lunches from noon to 2:30pm on weekdays and dinner daily from 6:00pm to 10:30pm. Set menus were the best deal, starting at 12.90 euros ($16) for lunch and 34 euros ($39) for dinner.

Street entrance to La Maison de L’ entrecôte.

The hotel served a 19-euro ($23) buffet breakfast with warm and cold offerings, juices and coffee drinks. You could order breakfast to your room, but you had to pay a 10-euro ($12) delivery fee.

The hotel had 24-hour room service, although that only included the soup of the day, tarte flambée, a basic pizza and crème brûlée if you ordered anytime outside of noon to 10:30pm.

Amenities

The hotel amenities were limited. There wasn’t a hotel information booklet but instead was presented on the TV. Speaking of the TV, when I flipped through the channels at 2:00pm on a Thursday, five out of 37 channels featured content in English, all of them news programs.

The lobby featured limited seating, including comfortable hanging chairs.

In the basement was a small fitness center with an exercise bike, two elliptical machines, three treadmills, free weights, a full-body weight machine and a stretching area.

Directly above the fitness center was an equally small business center consisting of one computer. The computer was easy to use, though, with a language toggle at the bottom of the screen. I was able to quickly print a PDF file from a USB, which is all I assume most guests would need to do.

Complimentary Wi-Fi was provided throughout the hotel. I found the speeds to be consistent and adequate to do work and watch videos. The hotel’s website noted that Wi-Fi was only free up to 5 MB, but though I’m sure I went over this limit daily, I wasn’t charged and I didn’t experience any slowdown.

Overall Impression

I enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz. It was close to many sights, and I was able to go for long strolls to different neighborhoods. My room was well-decorated and comfortable, and I enjoyed the fresh minty smell that greeted me every time I returned. The front desk and bar staff were friendly; I was greeted verbally or with a smile every time I returned to or left the hotel. I appreciated that the lobby bar offered drinks and food at prices similar to nearby restaurants.

My stay was solid, but there could be a few possible improvements: First, the doors closed so loudly that I could hear seemingly any door on the ninth floor from within my room. Second, it’d be better if the blackout curtains blocked out light completely. Finally, if the hotel allowed you to skip multiple days of housekeeping for multiple vouchers, it’d be great for extended stays. None of these complaints would keep me from returning, though — if the price were right.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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