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International Film Festival Berlin
In front of the Berlinale Palace © KARSTEN THIELKER

Concierge tips for the International Film Festival

Be there when one of the film industry’s biggest events takes place in Berlin from 7-17 February: the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale for short). For these concierge tips we didn’t ask just any hotel for insider tips regarding the film festival, but rather we asked a hotel which transforms into a true VIP hotel, otherwise referred to as a press office for the Berlinale: the Grand Hyatt Berlin. Look forward to four tips for this big event.

First of all: Who is Sebastian Schönfisch?
The head concierge of the Grand Hyatt Berlin, who at the same time is also a board member as national webmaster of the concierge association Les Clefs D´Or, has been looking after the concerns and wishes of international guests at the Grand Hyatt Berlin with his team for 15 years already. What he particularly appreciates about his job is the fact that no two days are the same. “When I get to work, I never know what lies in store for me on that day and that is exactly the reason why I found my place in the hotel industry very early on. The diversity of requests, the opportunity to meet different personalities and this great, lively city make my job so extraordinary and exciting.”

Can you give us three tips for the Berlinale?

Make sure to watch a film in the Berlinale Palast. It really is a tremendous experience with a very special atmosphere.

Stroll through our lobby and treat yourself to a coffee or a drink – there is always something going on around the clock during the Berlinale.

Book a table in the Restaurant Grill Royal in good time, preferably for around 9 pm– you will see at least one celebrity here every evening.

Does your hotel also put on private parties for the Berlinale or can you invite guests to a closed event?

Every year we host the Berlinale Press Office and are thus right at the heart of the action. Accordingly, we do not hold parties here. Naturally, however, we do put on a number of private dinners in our restaurants. We always try to keep up to speed with events happening at the Berlinale and the city’s hotspots, and as concierges we can make many things possible.

Can I book a meet & greet with a star at the Berlinale with you?

Unfortunately even we cannot arrange this, as meet & greets with the stars of the Berlinale are exclusively coordinated by the production companies as well as the office of the Berlinale. But if you really don’t want to miss your favourite star you will find the Berlinale Palast red carpet right in front of our door. If you have some time to spare, here no-one will slip by unseen.

How do I get on the red carpet at the Berlinale?

You can purchase tickets for the premières of the Berlinale films, however you are not allowed to walk on the ‘actual’ red carpet, instead you walk on the pathway beside it to the Berlinale Palast. Nevertheless, right beside the red carpet and in the cinema you are very close to the stars.

Personal question to the concierge:

Can you reveal the names of any celebrities that stayed with you over the past year?
Unfortunately, I can't share the names of people who have resided with us, as all our guests appreciate the highest degree of discretion. But I can assure you of one thing: During the Berlinale every star without fail enters the Grand Hyatt Berlin, since this is where the press conferences and photo calls for all premières take place. With a bit of luck, you might be able to get yourself a photo or even an autograph when the guests arrive at our side entrance.