Grant Bradley stays at Adina Apartment Hotel, Hackescher Markt, Berlin.
Check-in experience: I was in Berlin on the German club football final weekend so the hotel was busy, but Andre had me sorted out within minutes with a guide to the room and a rapid download on Berlin attractions.
The room: This is a neat combination between hotel and apartment, so the rooms have a great kitchen with a microwave, two elements, dishwasher and are stocked with crockery and cutlery for four. There are grocery stores a few minutes' walk away but Adina will do your food shopping for you for a minimum charge of €4.50 ($10.20). There's also room service. My dining area and a balcony looked east and being on the seventh floor, I had a great view of symbols of the former communist state - a 1960s-style 25-level apartment tower and the Berlin radio and TV tower. This place is less than 5 years old so the bathroom was nicely styled with good-quality fittings and materials. My bed comprised two singles pushed together and was extremely comfortable.
Other essentials: A very comprehensive room and hotel guide, and a work desk with good access to plugs. Loads of wardrobe space and there was an iron and ironing board. Some apartments do have washing machines, although mine didn't, so I did the Don (Brash) and washed my own socks in the bathroom.
Wifi? Not cheap at €14.50 for 24 hours but there is a 30-minute free period in your room and it's all free in the bar and lobby.
Breakfast: One of the pleasures of Germany: pancakes, pickled cucumber, bean salads, cuts of ham, piles of salmon, and for those who wish, plenty of artery-hardening sausage.
Drink: There's a minibar with a good range of beverages and snacks. The downstairs Alto bar is run by passionate mixologist Andreas Andricopoulos and there's a €5.50 cocktail hour(s) daily.
Recreation: A small, well-equipped gym, and a super-hot sauna and a couple of jacuzzis. Great for the footsore tourist.
Location: Superb for transport and entertainment. You can get a boat on the River Spree five minutes' walk away, you're even closer to Hersche Markt Station, on the city's main rail network. You're also well served by the tram network. Erich Honecker and his henchman did lots of very bad things but they didn't rip up the tram tracks and the eastern part of Berlin is better for it. Hersche Markt is packed with bars, boutiques and eateries - many significantly less expensive than New Zealand. It's touristy to a point but you're rubbing shoulders with busy locals too.
Bike hire: Adina can set you up with a modern comfortable bike with a lock in a cycle-friendly town.
Carparking: Yes, €20 a day.
Service: Couldn't have been more helpful. Lots of English spoken, and they even rustled up a phone charger.
The cost: Rack rates range from €129 for a studio to €269 for a two-bedroom apartment, which sleeps five. The city has imposed a 5 per cent accommodation tax, which is charged on top.
What I didn't like: A First-World gripe but the remote was slow to change among the 35 channels.
The bottom line: A great combination of what you'd expect from a quality hotel combined with the spaciousness and self-catering option of an apartment. For location it's hard to beat.