What could be better than to walk off the train in central Berlin after a long journey (in my case three hours longer than it should have been due to cancelled train), to amble across the road into a modern hotel with warm rooms without having to bother with a taxi or another half-hour transfer by public transport. Well, the Meininger Hotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof offers exactly that. It’s the only hotel anywhere near to this newly developed district of Berlin.
On my day of arrival, I’d travelled all the way from London by train, via Brussels where my ICE train got cancelled, Liege where I was able to admire this wonderful 300m Euro station – in sub-zero temperatures, and Aachen where I finally managed to get on a train to Berlin again. By the time I arrived in Berlin there was barely anyone left in my carriage and I had just about had enough of the journey.
When I reached the door of the Meininger Hotel, I’d already developed chilblains, so why were there drunken teenagers messing about outside the door – in their t-shirts! Is it my age, or is it kind of stupid to be doing that? The reception and bar area of the Meininger was like a student common room, full of life, yet I was handed over my keys literally within seconds and was in my room on the fourth floor not long after. To my great satisfaction, the room was beautifully warm, and the shower piping hot. The bed was crispy clean and boy, did I sleep well. The activity downstairs was but a distant memory.
Breakfast time was one for gloating at all those wayward teenagers who’d obviously had a little too much to drink the night before. The buffet breakfast was informal, unfussy, ample in quantity and choice, and best of all packed full of eye candy. What a great choice of digs.
When it came round to my working day walking the streets of Berlin to gather video and photo for this site, the Meininger’s proximity was so very convenient. I could see the Reichstag from my hotel room window, the walk could not have been more than 10 minutes, even after stopping on numerous occasions to look back the impressive vastness of Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Brandenburg Gate is just five minutes further and you continue towards the Museum Island in less than 20 minutes and Potsdamer Platz in less.
On the way home, when I had finally succumbed to the intense cold (minus 8 in the day – not funny) I jumped on the train at Alexander Platz and was back in the hotel room in ten minutes, simply brilliant. If you are in Berlin for just a couple of days and want to make the most of the visit, I highly recommend the Meininger Hotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof, it’s well-managed, clean, low cost, not noisy at all, and most importantly, warm.