Not that I'd ever choose a hotel because a brand makes nice ice cream, or anything, but when the name Movenpick popped up on the list of reasonably priced Berlin hotels, it certainly caught my attention. Turns out to be a different company to the ice cream, so my half-hopes of an ice cream bar in the lobby (or an ice cream minibar in my room!) were dashed. Nevertheless, it was cheap for a city centre place, and only a stone's throw from the S-Bahn station, which made it a very convenient base.
I was on the fifth (top) floor, in an adorable room with sloping roof and two Velux windows. I really liked the room layout, especially the way the headboard managed to divide the sleeping area from the desk, so it almost felt like having a microscopic suite. Everything was new and clean (apart from a bit of dust on the mirrors), and the bed was comfy with soft sheets and a choice of pillows. Unfortunately, having a comfortable bed wasn't enough to guarantee a good night's sleep: since the bed was directly under two large windows, I didn't get much rest on the two nights we had rainstorms. Since the building is a historic property, there's not much they can do about it.
It was a nice touch to always have fresh apples and mineral water available in the lobby, and the staff were incredibly friendly and always there to help. The gym was appalling, with creaky and broken equipment, but a note on the door said that this was being dealt with, and a new gym should be available by the end of the year. I also managed to get a package including free wifi, which had a good signal and was easily fast enough for my purposes.
The breakfast buffet had an extensive cold selection of fresh fruit, cereals, breads and pastries, cheeses, and salad. The hot buffet was of disappointing quality by comparison (aren't they always?), but a two-ring "live cooking" station meant that it was possible to get fresh eggs or pancakes on request. It was worth getting down to breakfast before seven, because one the day I went at half past, there were huge queues for everything and I ended up being late for my first conference session.
All in all, this is a cute and well-designed hotel and I'd definitely stay here again, but I think I'd prefer to be on a lower floor next time if there's any chance of rain.