Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm Formerly: Hotel Alster-Hof

 
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Airy-fairy Scandanavian in a great spot
A medium-sized, 217-room, nicely gay-positioned hotel opened in 1967 as the privately owned Alster-Hof, which upgraded and reinvented itself in 2013. A year later it was taken over by the reputable and design-conscious Scandic chain, started in the 1950s. The breezy but semi-mainstream decor belongs to the previous tenant, but Scandic have tweaked where possibe, most noticeably in the foyer and breakfast area, with murals of trees and other 'funky natural' detail. The Fuggerstraße — home to many key gay landamarks — is visible from just outside the front door, and likewise the hotel's deep red exterior Scandic logo is a clear and welcome standout when walking back from the bars in a blur. Breakfast is very reasonably priced and much better than average, especially if you ask for a bespoke omelette. The one downside is the rather spongey mattresses and the fact that double beds feature not one big mattress but two twins. Because it was built in 1967, when small single rooms were all the rage, the hotel has a high number of these, which are a great deal — including free non-refill use of the mini bar — and which include mattresses that are actually wider than the twins found in the bigger rooms. There's an airy but basic gym, and no bathtubs. In short, an excellent option for anyone wanting a very decent hotel on the fringes of the gay ghetto, but within crawling distance. The Scandic's purpose-built Berlin flagship is located at Potsdamer Platz and showcases much more of the chain's signature Scandanivan-flavoured decor. U-Bahns: Augsburger Straße and Wittenbergplatz.

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