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California am Kurfurstendamm 3.5

Berlin, Germany

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • On Kurfurstendamm, close to dining options and public transportation
  • Simple rooms with minibars and flat-screen TVs 
  • Fitness room with one cardio machine and some weight equipment 
  • Spa with saunas, showers, and massages
  • Restaurant, bar, and Haagen Dazs cafe 
  • Breakfast buffet included in some room rates
  • Meeting rooms and business center
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Not within walking distance of top sites
  • Dated decor throughout
  • Breakfast is not included in Standard Room rates
  • Reports of poor Wi-Fi signal
  • Rooms lack coffee- and tea-making facilities; not all have AC
  • No room service

Bottom Line

The 163-room California am Kurfurstendamm is an upper-middle-range property offering decent value and a location on Kurfurstendamm Avenue, Berlin’s most popular shopping street. Though it's not within walking distance of top sites, it's well serviced by public transportation. Rooms are dated, but come equipped with flat-screen TVs and minibars, but no coffee- and tea-making facilities -- plus only some have air-conditioning. With a modern restaurant, bar, and Haagen Dazs cafe, this hotel is a decent pick for tourists, plus it has a small fitness room and a spa. Though it has several meeting rooms, they're dated, as are the public computers, and Wi-Fi is spotty -- so it's not an ideal pick for business travelers. One nearby alternative is Citadines Kurfuerstendamm Berlin, which has rooms with kitchenettes, though it doesn't have any on-site eating options except for breakfast.

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Scene

Classic hotel with traditional -- if dated -- interiors, attracting leisure tourists for its convenient location 

California am Kurfurstendamm draws mostly tourists thanks to relatively affordable rates and a prime location on its namesake shopping street. The hotel sits in a brick building and has a large outdoor patio with plastic white chairs and Haagen Dazs-branded umbrellas that provide shade. The lobby aims for traditional elegance, with glossy brown floors, golden chandeliers, antique paintings, and wooden armchairs and couches with black leather padding. It's a look that works well under the lobby's molded ceilings or by the carved fireplace, but it veers toward tired and drab in the hallways and meeting rooms, which could use a refresh. The breakfast room, however, is pleasant enough with large abstract paintings and plain wooden tables and chairs with black seat cushions. 

Location

Located on Kurfurstendamm, close to the zoo and within walking distance of public transportation

The hotel's location is perfect for the tourist who likes to shop, as it sits on the touristy and popular shopping avenue of Kurfurstendamm, which is filled with high-end boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. The Berlin Zoo is a 17-minute walk from the hotel, but most of Berlin's top historic sites and other attractions are not within walking distance, though they can be easily reached by public transportation. The nearest U-Bahn stop is a two-minute walk from here and gives access to places like the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Museum, Museum Island, the Reichstag building, and Checkpoint Charlie in 25 to 30 minutes. Berlin's Tegel Airport is a 15- to 20-minute drive or around a half-hour by public transit, while Schoenefeld Airport is a 30- to 40-minute drive, or around an hour by public transportation.

Rooms

Rooms with dated decor, flat-screen TVs, and minibars; some lacking AC

The hotel's 163 rooms try for elegance but fall short, with dated decor that includes red carpets with gold fleur-de-lis designs, gold curtains, black leather armchairs, and streamlined wooden furniture. Tall ceilings, chandeliers, and abstract chain-like art pieces can be found in some of the rooms, but they don't pull together into a unified look. Standard amenities include free Wi-Fi (though guests complain of a slow connection), flat-screen TVs, minibars, and safes, but no coffee- and tea-making facilities. Only Superior Rooms and Suites have air-conditioning. Suites are spacious and have living rooms, plus some have multiple bathrooms. Some rooms also have furnished balconies. Tan tiled bathrooms are clean and appealing, with glass showers, shower/tub combos, or separate showers and tubs, as well as hairdryers and an array of toiletries. 

Features

Restaurant, bar, ice cream cafe, breakfast service, small spa, and dated business facilities

The hotel offers a decent set of amenities, including a modest spa with a sauna, showers, and massages. There’s also a fitness room, but it has just one exercise bike and a few weight machines. A breakfast buffet is provided in the mornings, but it's not included in Standard Rooms rates -- only in Superior Rooms and Junior Suites. The hotel's other dining options include the California Grill and the Bridge Bar, which offer international meals and drinks throughout the day, while the Haagen Dazs Ice Cream Cafe has a good selection of ice cream and desserts, as well as an outdoor patio. Note that room service is not available. The hotel also offers some business facilities, including four meeting rooms, but they're dated, as are the two desktop computers in the business center. Free Wi-Fi is available, but some guests have complained of connectivity issues. The parking area has limited spaces (so book in advance), and it incurs a daily fee. 

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Address

Kurfuerstendamm 35, Berlin 10719, Germany

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