Getting there:

The hotel is in the Mitte district in the heart of Berlin. It's a little over 10km from Tegel Airport and about a $31 taxi ride. It's about 3.5km from the central railway station, a $12.40 ride. Cabs are reasonably priced in Berlin and public transport is readily available — there's a U-Bahn station right outside the hotel.

Check-in experience: Seamless. You're in Germany, language is not a problem. My bag turned up in my room within five minutes.

Room: I stayed in a twin guest room. I was there to work and it had an excellent set-up with a big desk, comfy office chair, plenty of plugs for electronic gear, ultra-fast Wi-Fi and an iron. It was reasonably spacious with plenty of closet room and very quiet.


Price: Room rates start at $210 a night including an excellent breakfast.

What's so good about this place? Its proximity to history you can feel, staff who are perpetually cheery, great value food and drink and a very good space to work.

And the bad: I was only there for two nights so hard to find much wrong.

Food and drink: Plenty of dining options in the lounge lobby and three restaurants. I had a three-course, quick business lunch (soup, cod, fruit) for $22.50 — try finding the equivalent value of that in a top hotel in central Auckland. The accompanying beer was $9.30.

What's in the neighbourhood? It is right on the edge of the Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin. There is the city's concert hall and the fine, matching French and German cathedrals. In a two- to three-hour walk you can get down to the River Spree, along to Museum Island and then west to the Reichstag, the beautiful city park, the Tiergarten, the Brandenburg Gate and the sea of stone blocks that makes up Holocaust Memorial. Even closer is Checkpoint Charlie, the massive Mall of Berlin and some great restaurants are nearby.

The bed: Two roomy singles; very comfortable.

The bathroom: Nicely styled, plenty of nice toiletries and a deep bath.

Exercise facilities: On level one, there was a gym over 800sq/m with Precor fitness equipment, weights and a Concept 2 rower. A deep and not overly warm pool, a steam room and a sauna. Obliging staff.


Perfect for: Leisure travellers who want to spend a bit more to be in the heart of the city. Business travellers.

Would I return? Too right.

Hilton Berlin is at 30 Mohrenstrasse, Berlin, Germany. Phone: +49 3020 2300.