We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

“A Complete Letdown” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin
Ranked #20 of 662 Hotels in Berlin
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
London, UK
Level Contributor
154 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 271 helpful votes
“A Complete Letdown”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2012

I originally selected this hotel over others in Berlin – including Hotel Adlon – due to its top 3 Tripadvisor ranking at the time. I noted with dismay that ever since then its position had been continually sliding ever downwards! I really had hoped that the recent spate of less than good reviews was down to overly particular guests or the occasional bad experience, which can happen even at the best properties. As I’d booked it through a third party agent (I would advise using a price comparison web-site as I got a far better deal than if I’d booked directly with the hotel) and paid in advance there was no turning back!

Before I launch into the full review, I will note that the best thing about this hotel is the breakfast. It is superb, and any criticism would only really come down to very personal taste and would be nit-picking. Everything is catered for – a wonderful selection of fresh fruit, including berries, and cereals. Lots of different breads, rolls, and even bagels, and a toaster so one can toast whatever selectiong one wishes; there is also an equally large array of jams/conserves to enjoy with the bread. There is a good selection of cold cuts, fish, high quality cheeses, as well as the usual American style hot buffet complete with omelettes made to order. As if this isn’t enough, crepes, American pancakes, French toast, and waffles can all be made to order (at no extra charge). In short, this is an exemplary hotel breakfast in both terms of quality and variety. The service was usually attentive with glasses regularly topped up, but once it started to get busy (around 9.30 onwards, especially at the weekend) one did notice a drop in attention to detail, as well as a queue snaking its way into the bar area. If you are going to stay here, make sure you have breakfast included as it is the major redeeming factor of this property!!

Upon arrival, a fur caped doorman opened my taxi door, and swiftly removed the luggage and welcomed me to the hotel. If only things had continued like this… The girl at the front desk was polite, but far from welcoming as the doorman had been. Things went wrong when she asked for my voucher; I explained that whilst I had booked through a third party I had e-mailed the hotel directly to confirm everything was as it should be and they had never mentioned the need for any voucher. She was very persistent and went away to ask someone else, and still insisted on the voucher. I advised that I could probably dig out an email once I had access to a computer and print it off for them. She still wasn’t really satisfied, and a little huffily said that they would contact the travel agent for another copy. To add to this, I had been travelling since 4am that morning; whilst I did not expect the hotel to specifically know that, the front desk should always be wary that most travellers will always be somewhat weary from their journey! I’d have expected that she’d have checked me in and then contacted me if I had indeed needed to provide the voucher (which as it turned out I didn’t).

A bell boy showed me up to my room and was extremely friendly and professional and showed me the various features of the room, how to operate touch-panel light switches etc. This was a thoughtful touch, and much appreciated. The room itself was an huge letdown (I will discuss the rooms in more detail a little later) and the double glazing was far from top quality and a hissing noise could be heard where the window did not seal fully on the hinged side. I complained about this, and they advised someone would look at the window whilst I was out. I returned and the problem was as before and there was no note explaining what had happened. I went to shower and get ready to go out; the box containing the vanity kit was empty which I was not best pleased with. I spoke to the duty manager on my way out and he assured me he would resolve the issue with the window. I returned from dinner, still no note and the hissing sound ever more apparent. I called the guest service department yet again (I am sure they were bored of my calls!!) and they advised that maintenance considered the noise to be normal. I am not someone who requires complete silence, but it was a very particular noise and the room otherwise was pretty quiet so it would’ve been rather noticeable.

The next day I returned and was offered a change of room, and a complimentary upgrade, which was a thoughtful gesture. They sent someone up to help with my luggage, the very first room I was showed to smelt very strongly of stale cigar smoke, so that was not going to work! Then I was shown another room which on first impressions seemed to be fine. Whilst I was getting ready to go out for dinner I noticed a tapping sound coming from the entrance/air-con unit. I called guest services who promptly sent up maintenance who advised that it was just fan noise from the hotel’s central air-con which would stop at 10pm. This would of course have been acceptable to me, so I left it at that. I returned long after 10pm to find the air-con grilles covered in duct tape, and the tapping sound was still apparent in the hall. I called for a manager to come and speak to me. He arrived quickly and offered to move me yet again, bearing in mind that I had moved rooms 3 times already I was not best pleased, but left with little alternative. The final room was at least free of irritating noises.

Now a little bit on the rooms themselves… Like the rest of the hotel they feel extremely dated. Given the hotel only opened in 2004 I found it staggering how 1980s in style the décor was; 1980s style geometric “cascade” chandeliers in the corridors, and lots of similarly naff touches. The carpets in the rooms are now worn very thin; if one treads in the corners where hardly anyone walks, one can feel the original deep pile. The furniture is functional, but ugly again. The bathroom is also extremely dated in pink marble, and has some simply bizarre features. The bathtub features a separate hand-shower attachment which is supplied disconnected to the water outlet, and one has to fiddle around to connect it; why?!? This property was built in 2004, bath-tubs have long had retractable handshowers – hardly a cutting edge solution! The separate shower cubicle had a peculiar corner “seat” which no adult would be small enough to use! Also, the marble counter-top has a glass upper layer, presumably with the intention that the marble isn't marked so easily, instead hard water marks form around the edge of the basin as well as chips showing as light reflects off of the glass; it is yet another bizarre feature as marble on its can always be re-polished and filed down whereas this would need a new glass "upper". The beds are made up as standard with a duvet per person i.e. two single duvets on a king bed which might be the local style, but in an international hotel a single duvet as standard and two upon request would be sensible - I had to ask for one duvet in each of the rooms. The lighting was very poor in the bedroom, which is fine for “mood” lighting, but there was no overhead light to make it bright. Even the bathroom could’ve done with being a little brighter. The touch panel light controls are backlit by bright blue LEDs which do give out quite a bit of light when all the other lights are off and curtains drawn. The rooms were completely devoid of any thoughtful touches.

The so called spa area was diabolical. On their web-site they advertise it as a La Prairie spa, it no longer is. They have a few treatment rooms but these are all locked up, unless one books in advance and they order in a therapist as there are none employed full time in house. The pool is literally the size of a postage stamp; the jet stream - which would’ve enabled one to swim more than two strokes before having to turn - was not functioning with enough power to be effective. There is also a Jacuzzi, and sauna area with a hot and not quite so hot sauna. Most people went straight from their rooms to the “spa” in their bathrobes so changing rooms were not an issue… On my last day I was only given a late check-out until 1.30pm (I did not need to leave the hotel until 5pm) which was fair enough and the front desk had advised that I could use the changing facilities in the spa to shower. Foolishly I had never bothered to inspect the changing rooms whilst I had had a room of my own; this proved to be a big mistake!! The changing room is tiny, has a wall of lockers, and a loo and basin in a small cubicle together, and that is it. The shower that is across the corridor from it (how does that work?!) was out of order so the only showers available were those in the sauna area or by the pool. Hardly convenient. Furthermore the changing rooms open directly onto the pool area, so if you are stood in the wrong place people sat by the pool would get a full view into them! Again, given the hotel was built in 2004 the spa area is very poor indeed.

Other than the breakfast, there was very little I enjoyed about this hotel. How this property has consistently made it onto CN, T+L, etc. lists is truly beyond me, it just goes to show that those lists are really worth very little. Externally the architecture and style is very impressive, but internally I was staggered that a modern, purpose built hotel should be so un-user-friendly, and so clumsily conceived. The service was best from the door staff who without exception were friendly and welcoming. I think that the Ritz Carlton branding is this hotel’s own worst enemy; it raises expectations above what one would be happy with at a Marriott (directly around the corner), Hilton, etc. and it fails to deliver. The fact that this property sells its rooms at a discount through various third parties, again highlights that this is not a property at the top of its game. Berlin itself is a fabulous city, and I would like to think it has an equally fabulous city centre hotel… The Ritz Cartlon certainly isn’t it!

Room Tip: High floor with a view of the square are the better rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kingdom100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

2,334 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    1,707
    417
    153
    34
    23
See reviews for
380
911
127
558
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (268)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Oslo
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

Stayed here from Thursday Feb 2nd 2012 - Sunday 5th 2012. We were lucky and got an upgrade to a suite. The room was great, the breakfast was fantastic and the location was perfect. Short distance from everything we wanted to do in Berlin.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank knubjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

This was a last minute booking for me - at a very reasonable price via lastminute.com - so I was astounded to be upgraded to the most enormous of suites. Pure luck - the hotel was completely full and I guess they had nowhere else to put me. But much appreciated anyway.

What I liked even more were the staff: all genuinely friendly and helpful, from the concierge (who could speak not only excellent English but also threw in a bit of Greek when I confessed I spoke more Greek than German...) to the very welcoming doorman, to the receptionists, to the lady who brought Earl Grey tea bags and showed me how to use the coffee machine in my suite.

My stay wasn't long enough to explore the hotel fully or use the restaurant, but my room (or should I say rooms) were spotless, very well insulated from street noise, and had every known creature comfort. I counted about five TVs, at least three phones and one chandelier.

My only gripes about the room - and this is really clutching at straws - is that for a hotel in the business district it wasn't very modern-business friendly. it was very hard to find an electric socket to plug one's phone charger or laptop into, particularly in the bedroom and even in the study (where there was a fax machine, TV and phone no less but no obvious spare socket). I ended up unplugging lights and moving furniture to do it. This is by no means a problem unique to the Ritz Carlton though, it's pretty universal wherever you go. Secondly, I was disappointed that there is no free wi-fi in room - there's a hefty daily charge. Again the RC is not alone in this: the bigger and flasher the hotel is, the more likely it is to charge a fortune for internet access. When so many boutique hotels offer it for free, why do these hotels persist?

I was also impressed by two other small details: that the restaurant the concierge booked us a table in already knew that we were going to the Philharmonic, and so served us suitably briskly without even having to ask; and that I booked room service breakfast for 5am as I had an early flight, and it arrived absolutely on the dot, piping hot.

Overall: excellent hotel, excellent service, thoroughly recommend.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank blonde222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asia
Level Contributor
238 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2012

I'm a fan of Ritz Carlton, so i didn't do much research before booking. I got a prepaid rate of 166Euro for early February, which was great. The location turned out to be so central to us. It is walking distance to Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Gate, Berliner Philharmonic, Check Point Charlie and Topography of Terror. Since we didn't have buffet breakfast as part of the package, we could go to nearby place for breakfast, eg The restaurant in Riechstag roof terrace, Kaisersaal at Sony Center serve wonderful breakfast at less then 20 Euro and Einstein Cafe. There is a shopping mall connected through the Potzdamer Plaz subway, you don't even need to cross a road to get there. There are lots of F&B outlet in the mall.
The concierge in the hotel is disappointing, not only they hardly answer phone, don't speak English and don't understand points of interest in Berlin, they are also very arrogant. If you want to ask for direction, go straight to the door men, or if after 6pm ask the Beefeater (an Englishman living in Germany for many years) and they will help you with anything which the concierge is reluctant to do.
I highly recommend this hotel for its location, and if you can get a good internet price.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PFirst123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn New York
Level Contributor
77 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2012

It was a landmark birthday and anniversary so my boyfriend and I decided to visit wonderful Berlin and do it up at the Ritz Carlton. We were not disappointed! Aside from Berlin being a fabulous city, the RC was a warm and luxurious place to call home for the week. The staff is incredibly warm and friendly.....and we particularly hit it off with Terry, who man's the door, as he and my bf are both jazz musicians. I was concerned that there might be a pretentious vibe at RC, but that was so far off from what we encountered. Everyone was truly lovely and down to earth. We found an amazing deal at booking.com (250 euros/day) that included the buffet breakfast, which typically goes for 38 euros/per person. The buffet was amazing....unlimited freshly squeezed juices, lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, etc, and crepes made to order, eggs made to order, sundry lox and herring, assorted cheeses. fresh prosciutto, yogurts, exotic fruits,,etc. The room was spacious and immaculate, and elegantly furnished. We loved the feather bed and having a doorbell alert us to any visitors. The dark chocolate treat every night was a sweet touch :-) The bathroom was huge, and we loved the quad music system with music piped into the bathroom from the DVD player in the main room. The bathtub was a wonderful treat as was the shower. The water pressure was perfect and there was no shortage of hot water. Location was stellar as well...albeit Berlin is 8 x's the size of Paris so be prepared to metro it or cab it. It's a 10 minute walk to the Jewish memorial, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. All worth visiting. Postdamer platz is right out the front door, as is Sony Center. We saw a fabulous concert of the Berlin Philharmonic just a 5 minute walk from RC. Also- check out the Solar club/restaurant....also a 10 minute walk from RC. Museumplatz can conceivably be walked if there wasn't a cold freeze happening! Overall I'd highly recommend the RC and will gladly stay there again when I return to Berlin in a warmer season!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sheri H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Berlin hotels
Charlottenburg
Grand Hyatt Berlin
Grand Hyatt Berlin
#12 of 662 in Berlin
4.5 of 5 bubbles 2,557 reviews
Charlottenburg
The Mandala Hotel
The Mandala Hotel
#10 of 662 in Berlin
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,752 reviews
Mitte
Regent Berlin
Regent Berlin
#3 of 662 in Berlin
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,393 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Mitte
Hotel Adlon Kempinski
Hotel Adlon Kempinski
#21 of 662 in Berlin
4.5 of 5 bubbles 2,971 reviews
Charlottenburg
Hotel am Steinplatz, Autograph Collection
Charlottenburg
Berlin Marriott Hotel
Berlin Marriott Hotel
#26 of 662 in Berlin
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,566 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin
Address: Potsdamer Platz 3, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Phone Number:
Region: Germany > Berlin > Charlottenburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Berlin
#16 Family Hotel in Berlin
#16 Business Hotel in Berlin
#18 Luxury Hotel in Berlin
#20 Romantic Hotel in Berlin
Price range (per night): $255 - $588
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin 5*
Number of rooms: 303
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Berlin, on prestigious Potsdamer Platz, within walking distance to the Sony Center, renowned shopping galleries, the Brandenburg Gate, the Diplomatic and Government District and the heart of cultural Berlin. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia APAC, Agoda, Odigeo and Wotif.com so you can book your The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin Hotel Berlin
Ritz Berlin
Ritz-Carlton Berlin
Berlin Ritz Carlton

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing