I have found the perfect hostel. Actually, it is more like a hotel, only much cheaper. This magical hostel is located in Berlin, Germany. It is The Grand Hostel. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Hell yes!
Berlin was not a city I particularly wanted to visit. I’m not sure why I felt this way but I did. However, flights into Europe were considerably cheaper if I chose to land in Berlin, hence, my need for a hostel in the city. Since I was landing there, it seemed senseless not to make the most of my visit and use it as an opportunity to see some historical sites. The Grand Hostel became my Berlin home base.
Using HostelBookers to make my two-night reservation, I was assured to have a place to stay. Unlike a lot of travelers, I prefer to have my initial stay covered. It makes me feel more comfortable. I chose The Grand Hostel based on one thing and one thing only.
No Bunk Beds!
Yes, you heard me right. They have dorm rooms with no bunk beds. Hallelujah! It truly is a majestic idea especially if you have stayed in a 10 person dorm room with creaky metal frames and crunchy sounding mattresses from the protective plastic some hostels use to cover their mattresses.
These beds were like sleeping on clouds. They were soft and comfy with a heavy duvet. AND two pillows! Not just any two pillows, they were incredibly comfortable and in different sizes so you could stack them or use one as a cuddle pillow, whatever your pleasure. It was a perfect combination for a weary traveler in need of a good night’s rest.
The beds – fantastic. The service – equally as fantastic.
Upon arrival, the front desk staff tells you to drop your bags and sit at their community table. ”Make yourself comfortable, we’ll bring the paperwork to you,” they said. Um, how many places do that, even in a hotel? Not many! That is some great customer service. Then to make it even better, they ask you what you would like to drink for your welcome drink. It does include an option of beer if you are so inclined. I choose hot tea, my personal favorite.
Before sending you off to your room, they go over a map of the area and point out a few of the main historical sites within walking distance as well as a nice area of restaurants for dinner. The staff is available 24 hours a day for questions and help. They went out of their way to be helpful.
Look at this freshly prepared room! Don’t you want to stay here?
The next day after a full day of touring, I came back to my bed looking the same way. The housekeeping staff remade the beds. I felt so special. Usually in a hostel, your bed is as trashed as you left it in the morning. It was refreshing to come back to a made-up bed like in a hotel. There is also a night stand and light for each bed as well as 1 or 2 separate plugs. No more sleeping with your phone and book or whatever else you normally have to set on your bed. One thing to be aware of is the hostel charges for linen as in bed linen. There is a one-time bed linen fee in addition to your nightly fee. It is 3.85 Euros, currently.
Another fantastic thing offered by the Grand Hostel is an in-house bar. After a long day of walking around, it was nice to unwind with a cup of hot tea or if you prefer beer, wine or a mixed drink. They play music and have several cozy chairs and couches in which to relax.
Other services the Grand Hostel offers:
- Discounted day pass (6 Euros) for the metro and buses (request one early because they have a limited supply)
- Daily free activities: tours, free happy hour, German language class, etc.
- Discounted breakfast buffet (6.50 Euros) at a local restaurant a few doors down from the hostel. Yes, it is worth the money for at least one day. I wouldn’t partake of it every day as I like to sample several restaurants during my stays.
- Towels for 2 Euros
- Free fast wifi
- Enormous individual lockers. They are large enough to hang clothes if you want and come with several hangers.
One drawback – they do not have a kitchen. Do not go there expecting to cook your own food or store food in a refrigerator. In that respect, The Grand Hostel is a hotel. Trust me though there are plenty of inexpensive restaurants to dine. Several are within walking distance.
You know how sometimes the restrooms are sketchy in hostels, not at this hostel. The restrooms are perfectly clean with plenty of shelves and hooks for your clothes, towel and personal items while taking an amazing hot shower with good water pressure. There is nothing I dislike more than going into a hostel restroom and having no place to set my clean dry clothes. Urgh. So frustrating. The Grand Hostel has you covered!
Another thing I loved about this place was the quiet factor. Yes you could drink and be loud while the bar was open but the rooms were quiet. My dorm room was directly above the bar. While I could hear some music, it was not loud or annoying. My room also faced the road. Again, it was not loud or annoying. You could not hear the other rooms on your floor or above you. I would not classify it as a party hostel.
How to Reach the Grand Hostel
It is incredibly easy to find from the airport. From the Schoenefeld airport, hop on the X7 or 171 bus towards Rudow station. You can buy your bus ticket from the driver. Exact amount is not needed to purchase ticket. The driver will actually give you change. This was very unusual to me because in the United States most buses require you to have exact price or lose the difference. Get off at the Rudow metro station. Take the U7. You are at the end of the line so the train only goes in one direction. Get off at the Mockernbrucke stop. Follow arrows to exit train station. Turn right and walk to the corner. Turn right and walk over small bridge. Hostel will be on your right side and is visible at this point. To enter, press the Hostel button on the buzzer panel.
On my reservation confirmation from Hostelbookers, the hostel provided directions from several locations which I found to be extremely helpful. I took a screenshot of the directions as I do not use an international data plan or buy local SIM cards.
A few days prior to my arrival, The Grand Hostel emailed me directly to inform me of a few specials they had available for breakfast etc. It was a nice reminder as I did not remember them from my searching through Hostelbookers.
Verdict: Stay here anytime you are visiting Berlin!
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