Wednesday 3 September 2014

Mercure Hotel Berlin am Alexanderplatz, Berlin

A fairly grim hotel in a fairly desolate patch of Berlin, this branch of the Mercure chain does have the virtue of being only a five minute walk from the iconic Alexanderplatz, which hosted one of the largest demonstrations in the history of East Germany in 1989. The check-in process can be slow, cumbersome and bureaucratic. For dinner, the staff recommend a couple of local restaurants - one is a traditional Berlin outfit (Der Alte Fritz) which is okay, but can lack atmosphere - the waiters seem miserable. Still, the fried meat balls (bouletten, 13.80 euros) - served with a pile of potatoes and green beans in a decent sauce - is a pretty satisfying dish. 

The view from a bedroom window towards Alexanderplatz and the nearby TV tower - a symbol of Berlin

Decorated with wallpaper depicting black and white photos of the city, the Mecure's rooms can be large with several doors.  But there is no iron and the WiFi can be so slow as to be unusable (the bar of the nearby hostel is a better bet). You may find it stuffy, but if you open the window you may need ear plugs to block out the traffic noise. Still, the rooms do have balconies and safes. The 18 euro buffet breakfast has a passable selection of meats, cheeses, fruit, yoghurts etc., but the quality is mediocre and the coffee is from a self-service machine. A little soulless, this Mercure is a cheap and not very cheerful hotel on a busy and noisy intersection. 5/10