Berlin is considered one of the most culturally and historically significant cities in the world. Once divided by the famous wall and tarnished by war, the city is awash with sights and monuments that captivate and absorb even those with the shortest attentions spans and deepest detest of history lessons.
When searching for the best rated hotel in the German capital city all the usual suspects crop up, all respectable in their own right, but, there is one name that stands out from the crowd – Regent. The Regent group of hotels are known to not try and reinvent the wheel but instead show others how they should roll. As classic goes this is the standard that others look up to and the Regent Berlin is no exception as I recently found out.
Luxury aside, the hotel location alone is a reason to warrant further investigation. There are clusters of hotels in Berlin, such as the Postdamerplatz, but the Regent is arguably better being placed on The Gendarmenmarkt with its gorgeous architecture that comes courtesy of cathedrals and the desperately pretty Konzerthaus concert hall that is seconds away. The must see postcard sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building and the UNESCO-heritage Museum Island are all no further than a 10/15-minute stroll away.
Back to the hotel, they say first impressions are everything and if they are to be believed the Regent Berlin scores impeccably, or should I say, opulently. There is the house Rolls-Royce which rests proudly outside the entrance and sets the tone just so before walking into a marble emporium. Attention is quickly drawn to a giant chandelier that reflects in the polished stone walls. Decadent.
The Service & Staff
The service from check in to check out was impeccable, staff are at your beck and call whether you require fresh towels, ice or another bottle of champagne. The concierge staff were outstanding going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure I was equipped with a substantial knowledge of the city before I set foot out of the lobby to explore reminding me of opening times and arranging reservations at the most exclusive places to be seen in the city. Having visited Berlin on a number of previous occasions, I was surprised to discover so many more hidden gems that the concierge staff shared with me.
On to the rooms and the words classic and opulent crop up yet again, and when I say classic I mean floral print, frills and walnut. I would be lying if I said it was to my preference, but that it coming from a child of generation Y born into a world of glass and metal. Although the style is more vintage, there is nothing aged about the fit and finish. Everything from the bathroom seals to the table edges are first rate and fatigue is yet to set in. There are 156 rooms and 35 suites at the Regent, all of which are spacious and ooze luxury. The Regents boasts the largest standard rooms anywhere in Berlin. Comfort was clearly the main aim of the designers. The mattresses aim to please everyone and there is both a bath and stand alone shower that should be mandatory in every hotel.
Being directly on the square, most of the rooms and suites have brilliant views of Berlin and the Gendarmenmarkt, particularly on higher levels and out of rooms that are on the corners of the building.
Food & Dining
As fine dining goes, the Regent continues to excel with one of the most famed German restaurants housed within its walls. The double Michelin starred Fischers Fritz restaurant, helmed by Chef de Cuisine Christian Lohse, is an exceptional establishment famed for its execution and selection of sea food.
Breakfast is another great affair, the a la carte options are broad. The Regent chain is famous for its lavish breakfast spreads and it did not fall short of the claims. Afternoon tea is a royal affair, a fabulous experience with personal trolley service. There is a bar that keeps with the classical style very well.
Facilities & Spa
As you would expect, the Regent offers a comprehensive selection of spa offerings as well as gender segregated saunas for guests to enjoy. There is a 24 hour gym with all the equipment you could want. One thing is, however, missing – a swimming pool.
The Regent Berlin is a hotel that stands in a class of it own given its style and decor combined with the location and quality. The hotel is extremely comfortable and the cuisine is second to none. I would have been happy to have spent a couple more weeks in the executive suite I enjoyed. That being said, competitors in the city offer swimming pools and perhaps would be favoured by avid aquanauts. As long as you can live without getting your toes wet, which is not asking for much, the Regent Berlin lives up to its reputation as one of the most luxurious and desirable places to spend time in Berlin, and rightly so.