Review: Hotel Axel Berlin – stylish, “straight-friendly” hotel in the heart of Berlin

Hotel Axel Berlin is located near the Ku’damm in Schoeneberg in the Western part of Berlin. It caters to the gay community and describes itself as “hetero friendly”, inviting all open-minded travelers for a fun trip to Berlin. You’ll get sexy-stylish rooms, a nice gym and wellness area on the rooftop and above-average service. It was great value during my weekday-stay, but prices can soar during weekends, and standard rooms are small’ish. Find out if it’s right for your visit to Germany’s capital Berlin

Location: The Axel Hotel Berlin is located in Western Berlin, a short walk from the famous KaDeWe department store, the memorial church and many shops and restaurants along the Ku’damm street in the heart of the city. The subway station at Wittenbergplatz is only a short walk away. You are also only a short walk from the many bars, clubs and restaurants of Schoeneberg, Berlin’s gayborhood. The trip to Berlin Tegel Airport is about 20 minutes by taxi or 30 minutes with public transport. The historic sights of Berlin Mitte are about 30 minutes by public transport.

Service: I arrived early on a weekday at the reception and was not only able to check in ahead of time, but I also received a multiple-level upgrade from a standard room to a Junior Suite. The lady who was processed the check-in was friendly (not a given in Berlin) and provided all the necessary information about the hotel and the city.
Housekeeping had done a good job preparing the room and everything was clean, supplies and towels stocked as appropriate.
The restaurant staff in the morning was just as friendly, almost cheerful, something that is certainly not the norm in Berlin!
Overall, I found staff to be more friendly and helpful than even at luxury hotels in the city, making this a standout for a friendly welcome!

Room: My Junior Suite was a great upgrade and I liked it. On entry, you’ll have the closet with bathrobes on the side and a laptop-size safe.

Past it is the open floor-plan bathroom, held in all-black. There is a shower with rainfall-shower head that has red-tinted glass to the room. You’ll also get a double vanity, a separate toilet cubicle and a deep soaking bathtub with jacuzzi jets. It also has a red-tinted glass window to the bedroom. It’s quite sexy, but you better like the person you are with, because there is no shade for privacy!

In the corner by the window is a small desk and chair, so you can get some work done. Space is tight, so don’t expect to spread out a lot of paperwork!

The comfortable king-size bed is set in a half-round room with floor-to-ceiling windows. The gold-framed windows go with the black and red in a boutique-kitsch kinda way. The hardwood floors are nice and the red-topped nightstands and side-table continued the color scheme.  I thought it’s fun, but might be borderline for anybody with a conservative taste. The windows have floor-to-ceiling blackout-blinds that’ll keep the room pitchdark if you plan to sleep in! A TV is mounted high on the wall to watch from your bed.

While the room amenities didn’t include coffee/tea facilities or an iron/ironboard, you’ll find condoms in the nightstand – so there is that…

Restaurant & Amenities: The Axel Hotel has a fitness room and wellness area on the top floor. There is cardio and weight equipment for a basic workout. It’s located in an open space next to the wellness area, an odd set-up and a little warmer than I’d want it for a workout. The wellness area includes a dry sauna and steam room, as well as an outdoor jacuzzi tub with a view over the city.

Axel Hotel Hottub, photo provided by Axel Hotel

There are showers and loungers to relax as well. I had it to myself during my visit and it was nice to relax after a day of traveling.

Axel Hotel Wellness, photo provided buy hotel

The breakfast is served in the restaurant on the ground floor. It’s a typical German breakfast, with a selection of breads & pastries, cold cuts and cheeses, fresh fruit, yogurt, as well as eggs and some breakfast meats. You’ll get coffee and juice as well. I thought it was ok and fairly expensive for what it is, but will get you started into your day.

Value & Rewards: I had booked the room for $80/night without breakfast and received a nice Junior Suite, making this excellent value considering the room, service, amenities and location. I’d expect it to be a lot more expensive during a weekend or one of the many gay events in town, at which time other hotels in the area might offer better value.
While there are several Axel Hotels in Europe, there is no rewards or loyalty program. 

Bottomline: The Axel Hotel Berlin caters to the gay community and describes itself as “straight friendly”. The clientele was mixed during my stay, from gay couples and single travelers to elderly straight couples, basically a wide range of open-minded travelers, matching pretty much what I’d to expect in most hotels in this part of Berlin. While some booking sites describe it as “adult only”, I’m pretty sure a family would be welcome too. You get stylish rooms with open layout bathrooms and a full gym and wellness area. The breakfast was ok and service was well above average for Berlin. I got great value on a weekday stay, but watch out for busy weekends – prices can quickly rise above other comparable properties. You can find current prices here!

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