Through an unfortunate series of mishaps, our stay at the City-54 Hotel / Hostel in Berlin was a disaster.
The room itself was marginal. It was large enough, with two comfortable twin beds as well as its own bath and mini-kitchen (cooktop, sink, and fridge). Large windows let in plenty of light and fresh air, even though the view was nil. But the price was reasonable, and it’s situated next to an U-Bahn station for convenience.
We arrived after walking from the Berlin Hauptbahnhof—a huge mistake, it was further than the person I asked at the Hbf led me to believe, and it was POURING down rain. It ended up being a good mile, and we were soaked by the time we checked in (it wasn’t supposed to rain!!!).
Things went downhill from here.
There was only one light in the room: in the ceiling, and was a fluorescent, so that it started out very dim and only warmed up after a bit. Also, the bathroom mirror lights weren’t all working—and neither was the light (or fan) in the mini-kitchen. Didn’t matter, though, because the kitchen wasn’t equipped—not even a glass or silverware, no paper towels or dishes, nothing. For breakfast, we smeared butter on our bread with our fingers.
I noticed when we arrived that the hotel offered T-Mobile Hot Spot access. Indeed, my computer detected the hotel’s wireless network—in the lobby. I quickly realized it was just that—network only, no internet. The gentleman at reception could only shake his head somewhat befuddledly—he could call T-Com the next morning. Or, of course, I could use the standing kiosks in the lobby. Ah well. No internet access until I get home.
Sheridan and I had great fun in Berlin, and came back to our room exhausted on Monday evening. We brought food back to the room with us so that we wouldn’t have to go out again for dinner, and plopped ourselves in front of the television.
Around 7 pm, while we were TVing and eating, I heard someone at our door. As I got to the door, it opened! Apparently another guest had been checked into our room! I explained to him that, yes, this was room 166, but we were to be in the room until Tuesday. We laughed at the misunderstanding, and he went back to reception to get another room. I wonder what he would have done if we hadn’t been there, and he’d come into a room with someone else’s stuff still in it?
Sheridan and I went on to bed around 9, never giving the incident another thought… until I was awakened from a dead sleep at 1 am by another man coming into our room! I shouted, and he quickly muttered something and pulled the door shut, then I heard him hurry down the hall and to the stairs.
This disturbed me. I had locked the door from the inside, but the key card still opened it—and there’s no safety chain. How’s that for feeling secure? I put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door for good measure.
I finally did get back to sleep, but it was hard.
This morning when I checked out, I told our friendly receptionist about the incidents. He smiled befuddledly, just as he had over the internet.
Lesson for the day: buy one of those safety doorstops for traveling. And don’t stay at City-54 again.