Since early 2020, the pandemic has kept us at home for long periods. Many of us refrained from traveling most of the time, which is why we really feel like getting out. How about a little holiday in your home city?
Sofia/Bulgaria, February 11th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Here we are, two years after it started. The entire world is a high risk area, meaning traveling to nice tourist destinations is not a good idea. That is why we are not enjoying the Mediterranean in an inflatable boat. We are not munching Sushi rolls at some nice place in Tokyo or looking at the Washington Monument from all sides. Obviously, we are not even climbing the Austrian Alps.
There are ways to change our scenery anyway. Since hardly any tourists come to Berlin, for the same reason we, the Berliners, are hardly ever leaving our city these days, ‘Visit Berlin’, the state-owned company that promotes Berlin as a tourist destination, is taking a different approach. It is trying to fill some of the city’s empty hotel rooms with locals. This is no joke. At least it was not intended to be one.
Actually, the annual promotion ‘Erlebe Deine Stadt’ (‘Experience Your City’) was initiated before Corona, when it made even less sense, because people traveled all the time before the virus hit. Today, we have a good excuse to move into the Grand Hyatt in our own city. A luxury weekend during which they pamper and seduce us with the most delicious dinners does sound good. Who would not want to be saved from doing the dishes or vacuum cleaning all weekend long?
Around the Corner
There is another advantage of escaping to a hotel in Berlin as a Berliner: In case you forgot to scrub your kitchen floor, you can go back home for a few hours, fix this issue, and return to the Marriott afterwards. You left your dentures or phone cable on your nightstand? Go home, get your stuff, and return. No problem.
Berliners who follow this link to the rather unconventional offer (in German only), will be lured into booking hotel rooms around the corner from where they live. They are being told to book even more rooms for other family members and friends. “Spend the night and experience your city as a tourist”, the offer reads. “You can also book a single room or a family room with your family.” The text on that website looks like it was written by the intern.
This is about hotel packages that include a one-night stay “in a three- to five-star hotel”, breakfast and dinner “or a compensational service”. More detailed information about the latter is not being volunteered. Is it a massage? Will they send us to a psychic or a beauty parlor? We will never know unless we accept the offer.
The price depends on the number of stars the hotel has. For 98 Euro (112 U.S. Dollars or 82 Pounds Sterling), we will get a double room at a 3- or 4-star place, which we get to pick. How about the ‘Vienna House Andel’s Berlin’ in Landsberger Allee 106? No? Maybe the ‘Grimm’s Hotel Berlin-Potsdam’ is the right place, a three-star spot which is neither in Berlin nor in Potsdam, but in Teltow. Yes, this whole thing obviously extends into Brandenburg province.
A Few Bucks More
For a few bucks more, 118 Euro (134 Dollars or 99 Pounds) to be exact, we get to move into 5-star hotels. At the Grand Hyatt or the Crowne Plaza we will feel like millionaires. But when we leave the building and notice we are on Berlin’s Nuernberger Strasse, we will be reminded of the fact that we are still in Berlin and that we will have to go back home in a few hours, in order to produce more useless Powerpoint files in our home office, and scrub the floor once a week. At least we will have helped the Berlin economy survive the crisis, right?
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