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by Lisa Grimaldi | July 01, 2010
Less Taxing
The value-added tax (VAT) on hotel rooms in Germany has been cut from 19 percent to 7 percent.
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Berlin
Local Update:  The 557-room Andel's Hotel
Berlin opened last year on the east side of the capital city. The property has 41,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants and a fitness center.

Hilton Hotels Corp. will open the 242-room Waldorf Astoria in Berlin in 2011. The property is Hilton's first new-build Waldorf Astoria in Europe.

The 300-room Holiday Inn Berlin Inter­national Airport has reopened following a renovation and expansion. The property has a 3,400-square-foot conference center with 20 meeting rooms.

The city's Schöenefeld Airport currently is being expanded to become Berlin Brandenburg International, the new main airport for the German capital. Plans call for the facility to begin handling the majority of flights into the region by fall 2011; until then, international flights from the United States will continue to fly in and out of Tegel.

The Berlin Convention Office has appointed New York City-based John A. Cardona as marketing representative for the U.S. and Canada.

Meeting Hotels: Among the many properties in Germany's largest city are the 1,125-room Estrel Hotel, 1,006-room Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz, 701-room Hotel Berlin, 589-room Hilton Berlin, 584-room InterContinental Berlin, 557-room Andel's Hotel Berlin, 505-room Maritim Hotel Berlin, 427-room Radisson Blu Hotel, 423-room Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre, 403-room Maritim ProArte Hotel Berlin and 394-room Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin. For a complete listing of Berlin hotels, go to mcmag.com/meeting-facilities.

Convention Centers: Inter­national Congress Center Berlin; exhibit space, 1,728,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 80; (011) 49-30-3038-3000; icc-berlin.de

Berliner Congress Center; exhibit space, 108,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 23; (011) 49-30-23-80-67-50; bcc-berlin.de

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport with at least four months to go before expiration is the only requirement for visitors from the United States.

Time Zone: Berlin is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Airport Transit: Tegel Air­port, five miles from the city's center. Transfer cost by taxi, US$20-$25; by express bus, US$3

Currency: The euro. At press time, one euro was equal to US$1.22.

Taxes: Room tax (value-added tax), 7%; sales tax (value-added tax), 19%; total tax on hotel rooms, 7%

Group Venues: Ber­lin's celebrated Jewish Museum, which opened in 2001, features the Daniel Libeskind-designed Glass Courtyard, which can accommodate dinners for up to 320 and receptions for 650. (011) 49-30-25-99-35-69; jmberlin.de

The Berlin Wall, or what's left of it, is one of the city's most famous icons; treat participants (up to 60) to a dinner at the Wall Museum, just steps away from the old Checkpoint Charlie border crossing between East and West Berlin back in the days of the Cold War. (011) 49-30-25-37-25; mauermuseum.de

CVB Services: Berlin Con­vention Office, (212) 376-5222; berlin-convention-office.com

German Convention Bureau, (212) 661-4582; gcb.de