Movenpick reception

Movenpick bar


A blend of upscale modern hotel and Siemens history

By Don Heimburger
Photos by the author

Movenpick Hotel

Rated #4 out of 552 hotels in Berlin by Trip Advisor, the on-line travel site, the 243-room, four-star Movenpick Hotel-Berlin at Schoneberger Strasse 3 comes up with some surprising visitor pleasures. says the hotel is one of the most popular hotels in the world and is in the top three in Germany.

Checking into the hotel, which opened in March of 2004, I found it a bit out of the way on Schoneberger Strasse. I took a sedan to the front entrance which was unremarkable in its simplicity. The lobby was modern and upscale but dark except for the multi-colored lights on the wall behind the registration desk. The desk staff was pleasant and helpful, and soon I was in the elevator and in my room.

The room was small but adequate and clean, and the bathroom/shower featured glass blocks instead of a solid wall, thus the light from the bathroom could be disturbing to someone else sleeping in the room. The corridor walls of the hotel were brightly lit, along with wall designs every now and then.


The history of the Movenpick is a bit surprising. Constructed in 1914, it was the former office building/showroom for Siemens & Salske (now Siemens) founded in 1847. Carl Friedrich von Siemens, who headed the company starting in 1919, used several rooms on the first floor for meetings. The original building was built after the Neoclassic style with elements taken from the Renaissance.

During World War II the building suffered extensive damage but was repaired in 1947. During the war the entire Anhalter Bahnhof area where the structure is located suffered widespread bombing. Two Swiss architect/designers, Pia M. Schmid and Karsten Schmidt-Hoensdorf, combined the industrial aspects of the original building (glass blocks and poured asphalt) with the creature comforts of a hotel. "The strength and the most important characteristic of this...project is its pure individualism," says a hotel brochure.

Combined with fabrics and woods, such as the European walnut of the reception desk, a balance has been struck between.

Movenpick dining room

Some things surprising:
The restaurant is great. The food is terrific and tasty, and the wait staff courteous. With the restaurant's glazed sliding roof, it can be opened in the summer, and in the winter presents a "cozy conservatory" atmosphere. A wall of water, hard to see actually, is located on one wall.

Breakfast, in the German buffet style, consisted of 10 cereals, 10 different cold meat, fish and cheeses, 10 different yogurts, dried fruits and nuts, fresh-cut melons and fruits, an assortment of tasty breads with jellies, eggs (scrambled and hard boiled), cooked tomatoes, bacon, Nuremberg sausages, Rosti, coffee and tea, and juices. If you're a traveler who burns carbs, you'll enjoy the large, well-prepared and delicious morning breakfasts here.

breakfast buffet breakfast spices

Glazed, illuminated insulators from French high-voltage electricity pylons support the downstairs bar counter and resembles a dragonfly. "The bar is reminiscent of the fragility of night-time beauty," says designer Schmidt-Hoensdorf.

I found the hotel quiet; it's far away from noisy squares, but it is a walk to Berlin's attractions, although cabs are out front all the time. Plus, the Anhalter Bahnhof train station (trains and buses) is just across the street. The hotel is several blocks from Potsdamer Platz. Several bars and restaurants outside the hotel are within walking distance, but there's not a wide variety to choose from.

The Siemens Hall in the hotel (originally the office of the grandson of the founder) has been refurbished according to its original plans, all with wooden panels, stucco decorations and choice furniture. Perhaps you can get a look at it when you're there.


Movenpick details:
43 single rooms, 200 double rooms, 1 tower suite, 18 deluxe rooms. All air-conditioned, TV, mobile phone, public wireless LAN, hairdryer, minibar and safe. A garage is in the hotel. Sauna, solarium and gym. Eleven multi-functional event and conference rooms for up to 300 people.

Movenpick Hotel Berlin, Schoneberger Strasse 3, 10963 Berlin, Germany

Phone: +49 30 230060
Fax: +49 30 23006 199


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