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Derag Livinghotel Grosser Kurfürst 3.5

Berlin, Germany

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Excellent Mitte location for easy access to Berlin sights
  • Right next to a U-Bahn stop (a two-minute walk away)
  • Spacious rooms and apartments; some with kitchens or kitchenettes 
  • Minibars with free drinks and flat-screen TVs in all units
  • Stylish, modern Arabic restaurant without door patio 
  • Daily breakfast buffet with hot and cold options (extra fee)
  • Small 24-hour gym with cardio equipment
  • Spa area with sauna, steam room, and plunge pool
  • Clean, nicely equipped self-service laundry room
  • Concierge and room service (limited hours)
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Decor can feel outdated and plain
  • No AC in most rooms
  • Some rooms overlook the lobby
  • Gym is small

Bottom Line

With 144 big rooms and apartments, lots of on-site amenities, and an excellent canal-side location near the U-Bahn in Mitte, Derag Livinghotel Großer Kurfürst has a lot to offer guests. The upper-middle-range hotel has a daily breakfast buffet (extra fee), on-site Arabic restaurant, and a well-liked lobby bar, plus a laundry room, small gym, and spa area with a sauna, steam room, and plunge pool. Rooms are spacious with minibars with free drinks, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi, while studios and apartments add kitchens or kitchenettes. On the downside, decor throughout feels dated and generic, and all but 15 rooms lack air-conditioning. Those looking for a more up-to-date look in the same area could consider the Hotel Gat Point Charlie.

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Scene

Pleasant, slightly dated upper-middle-range hotel with a business vibe and lobby bar

Großer Kurfürst is one of three Berlin hotels in the Germany-based Derag Livinghotel’s collection -- a second is directly across the street. This hotel, which opened in the late '90s, occupies an eight-story corner building with one side facing a canal. The lobby is situated in a central atrium, which rises eight stories and features a giant statue of a horse-riding Frederick William leaping from one wall. The combination of tiled floors, green accents (green marbled reception desks, dark green carpeting), and orange pleather feels at once outmoded and buttoned-up, but everything is nicely maintained. In addition to sitting areas, the lobby features a bar, staffed by a well-liked bar tender who has been at Großer Kurfürst for nearly two decades. 

Compared to the Derag Livinghotel across the street, this property has more amenities and a livelier bar scene, but guests of both hotels can use the amenities here. Tourists tend to prefer the more traditional decor across the street, while business guests choose this hotel for the larger rooms, though decor here feels less inspired.

Location

Excellent Mitte location, two-minute walk to nearest U-Bahn

This hotel is centrally located in Berlin’s popular Mitte district, situated right below the sightseeing epicenter of Museum Island where the Spree River splits into the canal. The immediate block is mostly occupied by other hotels, but Berlin’s major attractions are in reach either on foot or by public transit in five to 20 minutes. The Märkisches Museum U-Bahn stop is almost directly outside, just a two-minute walk from the hotel’s front doors. Limited parking is available nearby, but it costs an extra fee and should be arranged in advance. 

  • Eight-minute walk to Museum Island
  • Five minutes to Alexanderplatz via public transit (15-minute walk)
  • 11 minutes to Potsdamer Platz via public transit
  • 12 minutes to Checkpoint Charlie via public transit (20-minute walk)
  • 16 minutes to Brandenburg Gate via public transit
  • 20 minutes to Berlin Central Station via public transit
  • 22 minutes to the East Side Gallery via public transit
  • 22 minutes to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church via public transit
  • 45 minutes to Tegal Airport via public transit
  • 55 minutes to Berlin-Schönefeld Airport via public transit

Rooms

Spacious rooms with minibars and apartments with kitchens; but most lack AC

Guest rooms have plenty of positive characteristics: They're spacious, clean, and comfortable with high-end amenities. Decor, however, isn't a highlight. Red wall-to-wall carpeting, light wood furnishings, and salmon-orange or gray drapes feel tired and out of date, though modern framed art on the walls do lend a little pizzazz.

Rooms are spacious for a central Berlin hotel -- entry-level business rooms start at over 230 square feet. All rooms are also well-equipped with minibars stocked with two free bottled waters and two free beers, electric kettles with coffee and tea, flat-screen TVs, trouser presses, free Wi-Fi, electronic safes, desks, and wardrobe space. During our visit, mini packets of Haribo gummies welcomed us on the pillows. Bathrooms are generic but comfortable, with white tiling and fixtures, combination showers and tubs, and toiletry dispensers.

Deluxe Rooms add roomy sitting areas and kitchenettes, while one-bedroom Superior Rooms feature kitchens with dishwashers, stoves, fridges, and dining areas. In 2017, 15 entry-level Business Rooms were converted into Allergy-Free Rooms. In addition to having air-conditioning, which other rooms lack, these rooms feature wood floors and fresher, if still generic, decor. Rooms may look out over the canal, the street, or into the lobby. 

Features

Nice extras including a modern restaurant, lobby cocktail bar, and a spa area 

Guests are drawn to Großer Kurfürst in part because of it's full package of extra property features. The hotel serves a daily breakfast buffet -- for an extra fee -- in a mezzanine-level buffet area, with table service for coffee and tea. For buffet lunches and a la carte dinners, there’s Cana, a stylish and modern Arabian-Asian restaurant that’s not actually owned by the hotel but is connected to it via a door in the lobby. In warmer months, guests can dine on an outdoor terrace. The lobby bar is open in the evening until late, and the bartender is an institution in the hotel, famous for his exceptional cocktails. 

The hotel gym is open 24 hours, but it’s tiny, with just a handful of cardio machines. There's also a spa area, open in the late afternoon, with gender-separated locker rooms and a shared spa space with a steam room, dry sauna, and plunge pool. It’s not the chicest or most modern spa, but it’s nicely kept. 

Another on-site perk includes a nice laundry room with two washing machines, a dryer, an ironing board, and an iron. Soap products can be purchased at reception. Reception is open 24 hours, room service is offered during limited hours, and the hotel can arrange grocery or laundry service. Wi-Fi is free throughout, and a computer and printer is in the lobby for guest use.

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Address

Neue Rossstr. 11-12, Berlin 10179, Germany

Also Known As

  • Derag Livinghotel Grosser Kurfürst

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