When I was looking up accommodations for Berlin, The Circus Group very quickly caught my attention because they appeared repeatedly whether I was searching for hostels, hotels or apartments.
Turns out that’s because they offer all 3 accommodation options, which makes them an obvious choice to look into regardless of your preferences and requirements.
AND they have something new brewing that I’m pretty excited about which we will reveal at the end.
The Circus Hotel and Hostel are separate buildings situated right across each other. The Circus Apartments are in the same area, just one street away. All of them are centrally located in Berlin-Mitte, which is surrounded by the major tourist highlight spots.
Situated right outside both lodging options, you will also find a U-bahn station (U Rosenthaler Platz) and several tram stops. The district itself has plenty of nice restaurants which left me debating on what to try during my limited time there.
Overall Hotel Vibe
The Circus Hotel is housed in a restored 19th century building and their interior design exquisitely captures the essence of that. It is tastefully set up with a classy touch that also takes you back in time.
All the different areas of the hotel exude a cozy vibe that’s just the perfect escape from the cold winter when I visited. The lobby area is definitely my favorite and made an immediate impeccable impression when entering.
Functioning as both the hotel breakfast area in the morning and a bar at night, the furnishings are not just classy but also versatile.
Room: The Medium Plus
I had a Medium Plus room that faces the interior garden courtyard, which makes it blissfully quiet. The warm tone lightings scattered around makes it perfect for relaxing at night, but the room also receives bountiful natural light by day.
One thing that really stood out for me is the blend of features which just reminds me of documentaries about past eras. From the interior decoration to intricate trinkets and display pieces around the room, they all fit in with the classic theme.
First thing that caught my attention is the cool old-school light switches that flips on and off. I pictured it like in war documentaries where communication operators are flicking switches to send/receive messages.
Another feature was the multiple types of glasses, vases and cups available, which makes it great to host a friend over drinks. It conjures images of when businessmen will talk about deals in their hotel room over drinks. And the in-room mini bar does facilitate that convenience as well.
That said, the room is not just about design, but also highly functional with modern features too. Starting with the big TV armed with a Bose speaker, and more importantly, Chromecast!
This is one of the few rooms where I really found a use for the TV. With the prevalence of streaming apps, I rarely ever watch local channels in hotel rooms.
Here, you can cast your Netflix, Youtube or other streaming apps onto the TV to enjoy quality entertainment. I took the chance to catch up on some content from other creators.
In addition, the bathroom had a long towel warmer which dries wet towels quickly. As someone who is not used to the cold winter, every heating element is a plus. It helped to keep me warm when coming right out of the shower.
Now you might be wondering if a hotel and room featuring a more classic design theme would be good for working. Turns out it is!
The Circus Hotel has strong wifi that features around 24/16mbps download/upload speed. I had no problem with signal strength from the room or common areas.
It is also sufficiently good for everything. I took the opportunity to backup my travel photos and videos to the cloud.
The room has a proper work desk set up that even comes with a pin board on the wall. And you can shift the table decorations away to make even more space. But it was already good for a laptop and portable screen.
There is also no lack of power sockets in the necessary areas, which makes it convenient to charge all my devices at the same time.
The hanging table lamp is great for working at night without disturbing others if you have a roommate that is sleeping.
It’s rather rare to find a water flask (in addition to the kettle) in the room. That came in surprisingly handy as I don’t have to keep leaving the desk to refill my cup while working.
Hotel Lobby And Bar
With a variety of seating, the lobby, bar area is equally great for working. My favorite is the corner sofa seat with round table and a view unto the streets. I am not sensitive to noise and love to observe the hustle of local life pass me by while working.
If you prefer somewhere quieter, there is also smaller room at the back of the bar, or even the garden during the warmer seasons.
BOOKING A STAY?
Be sure to check for any deals and promotions the Circus Group is running on their website. They also plant a tree for every direct booking made!
Relaxation And Entertainment
Lost My Voice Bar
When the light dims, the lobby is transformed into a nice high end looking cocktail bar, oozing with ambience.
This is not just a regular hotel bar which only guests visit. It is actually quite popular, credit to the central location. I always see “Reservation” signs being placed on tables as it gets later into the night.
What I loved about the bar is that the music stays at a reasonable level so you can really unwind after a full day. It is also easy to chat with others without shouting; a place I can convince my local friends to come hang.
This also means you are not hearing any noise from the bar while in your room.
There are a few signature drinks here, and the staff is very patient with explaining anything and giving recommendations. I ultimately went with a refreshing Smoking Kiss that was a great prep for bed time.
And if you’re staying in the hotel, you can just charge the bill to your room and settle it during check out.
An interesting thing is that they have a tray of treats that is filled with all sorts of personal beauty products. From shaving cream to perfume, if you forget anything, this is a good place to look. And even if you don’t see what you are looking for, just ask the staff; they have more items than what is displayed.
The tray is located at the reception but you can also ask them to bring it up to the room for selection.
I managed to find a hand cream for my hands that started peeling due to the cold winter; and even a face mask to moisturize the face. While I’m no personal beauty expert, that shaving kit I got was certainly of way better quality than typical disposable ones.
There is also a basket for fruits at the reception where I always grab one whenever I pass by. It really helps to keep up with healthy eating.
By now, you should know that I believe the small things matter. It might not seem like a huge deal to offer fruits or beauty products; but it’s not really about the items. These thoughtful touches go a long way in delivering the feeling that they truly care about your well-being.
Although Circus Hotel doesn’t have a gym right within the building, they have a partnership with John Reed Fitness in Berlin. You can get a day pass from the reception at just €10 for full day use of the facilities.
During the summer, they also host yoga lesson on the rooftop. This is definitely something I missed in the winter; but you can also borrow yoga mats from them for your own flow session. That said, the Medium Plus room had ample room to layout a yoga mat so you can get your workout in easily even if you want to stay in the hotel.
Tours And Events
The best thing about a brand that runs both hotel and hostel is that they have facilities and activities catering to both market groups. The hostel has events almost everyday from pop quiz and karaoke sessions at Circus Hostel’s in-house microbrewery. Even if you are staying at the hotel or apartments, you can easily hop in to participate,
The Circus Group also run behind-the-curtain tours where a local staff takes you around to explore a specific theme of the city. From museums to flea markets, it’s always insightful to hear things from a local perspective. You just need to reserve a spot at the counter, regardless if you’re staying the hotel or hostel.
If you have your breakfast included, you are in for a treat.
Circus Hotel runs a more ala carte breakfast menu. Before you complain about not getting a breakfast buffet, let me tell you my salmon avocado toast was sufficiently filling, visually appetizing and very satisfying.
Sure, a breakfast buffet always seemed more bang for buck, but almost every time, I feel like I overeat to make the most out of it. This ala carte breakfast hit the right spot which left me full and happy, without being bloated.
For set menus, you can choose either from the “Quick Breakfast Set” or the “Classic Breakfast Set”. Both gives you unlimited coffee/tea and access to the muesli buffet (so you can still fill up on these if you are really hungry, but a single round was enough for me).
The difference is main dish options which you pick from two different lists. I tried the Classic Breakfast, and highly recommend it because the dishes you get to choose from… let’s just say I had a real dilemma deciding which one to go with.
Alternatively, you can also just order individual items right off the menu, so there is a lot of flexibility.
Around The Area
Another convenient feature is that there are so many great food places surrounding the hotel that not only serve different cuisines but also cater to different price ranges and dietary needs.
Some of my favorites are:
- Zeit für Brot is located right next to The Circus Hostel; so it’s a street away from the hotel. This is the perfect spot for grabbing pastries if you looking for breakfast or snack.
- I met up with a friend for a soupy and hearty meal to warm up from the winter cold, the Cô Cô Bánh Mì Vietnamese Deli right next to the hotel is superb.
- For a quick grab and go meal, the small hole-in-wall Warpublic right across the street is very good value for money.
There are a few on my list that I didn’t even have time to try, so foodies will definitely be spoilt for choice. The streets spreading out from the U Rosenthaler Platz intersection are just lined with well-rated options from bars to restaurants.
Circus Living Serviced Apartments
Now, as if the hostel, hotel and apartments are not enough, The Circus Group has a project in the works that I’m very excited about – Circus Living.
This is a building featuring 207 service apartments, coworking space, and a cafe, all which facilitates a community bonding environment. Yes, it sounds exactly like the arrangement that digital nomads or remote workers looking to stay mid to long-term will benefit from.
The site is estimated to open in February 2024, and will be located at Krautstraße 30. Having stayed in this district on my first visit to Berlin, it is a relatively convenient zone with close access to the Berlin Ostbahnhof Train Station and also the bustling Alexanderplatz.
Berlin is a hot spot for the artistic and creatives, so it does draw a certain audience group. I imagine a lot of new ideas can come out of the connections. This is one project I am very keen to check out when it is ready.
But regardless if you are visiting Berlin for a quick trip or want to stay for a period, The Circus Group has diverse options that can cater to your requirements and budget.
I love that the hotel has a unique personality that comes with functionality; that always makes the stay a more interesting experience. But with the stellar reviews that they receive all round, you are in good hands whichever accommodation option you go for.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of The Circus Hotel. All opinions are my own.