Miniloft Apartments managed to impress me from first sight. Located in Berlin's voguish Mitte neighbourhood, Miniloft is easily the most distinct apartment block in the area. The bold exterior makes it clear from the start that you’re in for something interesting, though Miniloft is more than just a pretty exterior. Described by The Guardian as one of Berlin’s “hippest apartments,” Miniloft combines the space and convenience of an apartment with some of the perks you’d expect from a standard hotel room. Its sleek aesthetic manages to meld the image of classic Berlin with a clean, crisp modern finish. It all comes together to create a package that puts the visitor in a state of mind I can only describe as gemütlichkeit, a delightful, uniquely German word that can be loosely translated as snug, warm and cheerful. Plus, the location is great, and the staff are even better.
As mentioned, Miniloft scores big on first impressions. Even just on the short walk from the train station, I somehow managed to fall in love with Mitte. It’s a bubbly, quirky corner of Berlin with everything going for it. On arrival at Miniloft, I was greeted by surprisingly friendly staff. Berlin can sometimes get a bad rap from travelers who complain of the typical big city cold attitude, but Miniloft welcomed me with open arms (well, technically nobody literally hugged me, but by the time I’d reached my room I felt very welcome). Needless to say, there were no problems at check in, and I found the room delivered everything as promised. Speaking of which …
Miniloft offers four main types of rooms, varying from fairly traditional hotel style accommodation to larger, apartment type options. The smallest room on offer is the Compact. Living up to its name, the Compact is just 30 square meters. They’re certainly not big, but some other guests I spoke to said they loved them. To me, they looked pretty comfortable, and certainly bigger than what you’d get for the same price range in a city like New York or London. However, their big selling point is the fact they’re located in a renovated 19th Century building. In terms of aesthetic, these rooms hit the perfect balance between modernity and preserved heritage. I loved the fact that they’ve managed to preserve the old brick structure, some of which have exposed stonework for added nostalgia. In a way, it feels like Berlin at its best: edgy and slick, yet draped in history, culture and classic charm. In short, the Compact gets a thumbs up, though steer clear if you’re exceptionally claustrophobic.
The second variation of room is the Classic. Like the Compact, the Classic is located in the older part of the block, and maintains the endearing mix of clean edges and 19th Century heritage. They sleep up to four people, and at 42 square meters they offer significantly more space than the Compact. They are far from the street and I couldn’t hear any traffic the whole time I was there.
The final two room variations are significantly different to the Compact and the Classic. Listed on their website as the Introverted and Extroverted, both these room types are located in the more modern part of the block. They lack that old-school charm that drew me to the Classic, but certainly looked quite nice. They’re slightly larger, and have everything you’d expect from a hotel room of this price range. Personally, while I’m a big fan of the older rooms, the newer ones do have one big advantage: elevator access, which is essential if you're visiting Berlin with kids or family. Yup, the older part of the building doesn’t have an elevator. As an avid hiker I wasn’t bothered in the slightest, and I doubt most travelers will break a sweat reaching even the top level. However, the lack of elevator might be something some travelers may want to take into consideration, especially those with a disability or health issue. If you fit into either category, consider going for one of the modern rooms.
Finally, there’s the question of service and other features. Looking at general amenities first, Miniloft delivers everything you’d expect from accommodation in its price range. All rooms are replete with high speed wifi, kitchenettes, cable television and microwaves. There aren’t too many other bells and whistles around, but more than enough for the average traveler to feel quite comfortable. The multilingual staff are wonderfully amiable, and I had nothing but overwhelmingly positive experiences throughout my stay. No problems arose, so I can’t attest to their troubleshooting skills, but I can say that everyone was helpful, easy going and just generally decent. I formed a particularly close bond with one staff member in particular. He’s a bit lazy, but adorable. Of course, I’m referring to Telegrau, Miniloft’s pet cat, semi-official mascot and self-appointed boss around the office. If you don’t happen to like cats, don’t worry, he isn’t intrusive at all, as he's always in at the rooftop garden. However, if like me you happen to love cats, then there’s nothing better than coming home to friendly Telegrau.
As far as I’m concerned, accommodation is only ever as good as its location. In this regard, Miniloft again excels. Public transport options abound, Miniloft is well connected. It’s just a few minutes to walk to the Hauptbahnhof, Berlin’s main train station. There's three supermarkets less than a 6 minute walk away There’s also an airport bus that leaves from a stop just 500 meters from the entrance, not to mention plenty of other buses for zipping around the city. The impressive Natural History Museum is less than a block away, and a must-see for anyone visiting Berlin for the first time. Another essential pit stop is Brandenburg Gate and the Pariser Platz. From Miniloft, the walk to the gate is very pleasant, and I’d highly recommend shunning public transport to see a bit of the city. Other noteworthy attractions within walking distance include the history buff’s Mecca of Museumsinsel (Museum Island), the Holocaust Museum and the nightlife hub of Hackescher Markt. So basically, Miniloft has everything going for it in terms of location.
So to sum up, Miniloft offers a wonderful experience, with a pleasant mix of heritage and modernity. It’s friendly, open and cheerful. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a top level luxury hotel, but instead strikes a good balance between the independence of apartment living and the services of a hotel. The staff are impeccable, and the overall picture is one that delivers on sincere German gemütlichkeit by the bucket load.
Miniloft Apartment Hotel Mitte Berlin
Address: Hessische Str. 5, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 8471090