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Hotel Ostel - Das DDR Hotel Hotel 1 star
Easyexperts
Wriezener Karree 5 Berlin, Germany -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Shaking up all the rules of conventional hospitality, The Ostel is the brainchild of 2 friends who have created a delightful mixture of a hotel, hostel, and apartment building, which has been offering a return to the times of former East Germany since its inauguration in 2007. The Ostel's level of comfort is therefore very basic: no television, no telephone, and no lift! The period decor, however, is enough to make you forget about these small 'inconveniences'. Many are the journalists who have extolled the charms of this curious Berlin hotel, which offers a fun-filled experience, adapted to couples, families, and groups of friends alike.

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    • Hotel Ostel - Das DDR Hotel

      Ostel - Das DDR Hotel   -   © EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Ostel - Das DDR Hotel

      Ostel - Das DDR Hotel   -   © EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 6.5 /10

    Not far from ultra famous Alexanderplatz and its tourist attractions, The Ostel enjoys the tranquillity of a district not yet busy with tourists, based in former East Germany. Rare are the restaurants or boutiques to have set up residence in the area, except for in the nearby Ostbahnof railway station... The Ostel nonetheless enjoys proximity to 2 highly celebrated sites in the capital city: on one side sits the largest 'chunk' of the Berlin Wall styled by artists from around the world (East Side Gallery), and on the other side, The Berghain, a fashionable night club hailed the best in the world...

    Accommodation 6.05 /10

    The Ostel can take pride in offering 280 beds distributed in 35 double and single rooms, 7 dormitories, and 10 apartments. Only 7 rooms have their own bathroom, but 5 have a balcony. Fans of luxury: this is not the place for you! Every room is different from the next, in terms of size and layout, and even though the style is generally similar in most rooms (a kitsch decor from the 1960's, typical of former East Germany), it is nevertheless impossible to give an exhaustive description of their overall interior: some display books, whereas some others benefit from a radio or a coat rack for example. Note that although the beds are comfortable, not one room offers the usual amenities of a hotel: no air conditioning, no television, no safe, no mini bar, and no bathrobes! The most spacious of the rooms has a floor area of 20m² and is equipped with two double beds, a sofa, a closet, some shelves, a table, chairs, a radio, lighting fixtures of yesteryear, and - the hotel's trademark - a portrait of Honecker. The apartments display the same decor as the rooms, albeit more exaggerated, in their kitchenette, bathroom, and two bedrooms. They can accommodate up to 6 guests.

    Overview 7.70 /10

    It is impossible to miss the multi-coloured buildings (yellow, green, and orange) dating from the 1980's, which stand out from the surrounding gray tower blocks, and on which you will find the name of the hotel displayed in huge letters... Not to mention the sign indicating the way to the main door, concealed on the other side of the street. After having passed a door typical of a block of flats and walked up a few stairs, you will enter a lobby decorated in a style reminiscent of former East Germany: psychedelic wallpaper, clocks giving the time in China, Cuba, and Russia, an old television set broadcasting extracts from programmes dating from bygone times, period furniture, ornaments, etc. As you walk up and down the stairs to your room (there is no lift), you will pass photographs of the Ministry of Construction of the former GDR. The hotel may not have a spa or a gym, but it does have a beach-volleyball court, open as soon as the weather permits, a table tennis table, and a terrace with a barbecue. There is no computer at the guests' disposal but - the height of luxury - wireless Internet access reaches up to the 4th floor! This building isn't the only one that is part of The Ostel, which also takes up some of the floors in the neighbouring buildings, in addition to 10 apartments located a 10 minute walk away.

    Food and drink

    The breakfast room was due to become - in May 2010 - a proper restaurant and bar. Open for lunch and dinner, it will serve traditional cuisine of former East Germany and Russia. Breakfast consists of hard-boiled eggs, cold cuts, bottled fruit juice, bread, and hot drinks. The real attraction resides in the period decor and crockery rather than in the choice of dishes, such as the oilcloth tablecloths and egg cups in the shape of roosters! Note that you will need to walk out of the main building to access the room from the other side of the building - a detail which doesn't go unnoticed in winter.

    To know

    The young manager is a former circus performer who now spends all of his time developing his hotel. He goes about antiquing himself for (original) pieces of furniture and objects in specialised boutiques located in North Berlin or on the Internet. The name was chosen in reference to the word 'nOSTALgia'.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Sports equipment

      beach volley, mountain bike, sports

    • Animals allowed
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium

    advantage

    • The world of the former GDR
    • The apartments
    • The very affordable rates
    • The beach-volleyball court in summer

    disadvantages

    • No amenities (television, telephone, or lift)
    • No restaurant at the time of our visit
    • The tiny single rooms
    • The shared bathrooms

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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