With Berlin set to resume its formal role as Germany's capital
after the federal government moves there from Bonn by the turn of
the century, the city remains a magnet for hotel development.
While plenty of hotel construction continues in and near the
capital, a fair amount of lodging investment is also going into
major cities in the eastern part of the country, which still
suffers from a shortage of quality accommodations. And wherever the
action is, the big chains are rushing in to operate the new hotels
or put their flag on existing properties.
Among the most significant developments in Germany's lodging
Kempinski Hotels this year opened a showpiece property, the
337-room Hotel Adlon Berlin, built on the site of the historic
Hotel Adlon, which was destroyed by fire at the end of World War
Located next to the Brandenburg Gate along Unter den Linden, the
new luxury hotel's guest units include two presidential suites, 13
Adlon suites, two handicapped-accessible rooms and 39 rooms and
suites with living/working areas and special amenities for
Public areas include a fitness center/spa with pool, whirlpool,
steambath, sauna, solarium and massage facilities; a gourmet and a
casual restaurant; a dozen function rooms for groups of 10 to 500;
several bars, and a business center.
Kempinski Hotels bought the rights to the Adlon name from the
widow of the man who owned the original Adlon Hotel, and decided to
build on the same site, because of the illustrious history of the
Originally built in 1907, the first Adlon was considered one of
the world's premier hotels for decades, attracting royalty, heads
of state, film stars and corporate titans.
All of the new hotel's guest rooms are at least 430 square feet
in size; an electronic key card system turns on the lights, air
conditioning and music in the room when the guest opens the
Guests are each assigned a private fax number, and each room has
its own fax machine, as well as a cellular phone, CD player, two
ISDN phone lines with voicemail, personal safe, minibar and
dataport. Some rooms will have hypoallergenic fabrics and pillows.
The hotel's ballroom is surrounded by two winter gardens similar to
those in the original Adlon.
Kempinski also opened a country property, the 162-room Kempinski
Hotel Sporting Club Berlin, a sports and fitness resort 45 miles
southeast of Berlin.
Located on the banks of Lake Scharmutzel in the Bad Saarow
region, the property offers a wide range of sports options and
instruction, including two 18-hole golf courses, with a third to
open next year; two golf schools; six indoor and eight outdoor
tennis courts and a Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy; the Alwin
Schockemohle Riding Centre, and the Peter Overschmidt Sailing
School and Club.
All guest rooms at the hotel have air conditioning, TV, two
phones, voicemail, fax and PC connections and an in-room safe.
Hyatt International will make its presence felt in Berlin late
in 1998, when it expects to cut the ribbon on its new 346-room
Grand Hyatt Berlin, part of the Potsdamer Platz redevelopment
project in the heart of the city and the first Grand Hyatt in
The Grand Hyatt will have a Regency Club with 52 upgraded rooms
and suites and a private lounge; it will also offer two
presidential suites, five executive suites, 10 junior suites, a
rooftop fitness center with indoor pool, gymnasium and beauty salon
as well as sauna and steam rooms, whirlpool and massage.
The Hyatt's grand ballroom will hold up to 660 persons and offer
views of the Potsdamer Platz. A variety of restaurants and bars
will include a 24-hour cafe; a specialty restaurant with open
kitchen and sushi bar, bookable for special groups; a lobby lounge
and cafe, and a Russian deli.
Another fast-growing U.S. chain recently gained a foothold in
Berlin without waiting to build: Seattle-based Westin Hotels has
taken over operation of the 358-room Grand Hotel, located near the
Brandenburg Gate at the intersection of Unter den Linden and
Friedrichstrasse, and renamed it the Westin Grand. The hotel was
built in 1987 by the former East German government as a luxury
showplace for East Berlin. Westin said it will spend $10 million to
make improvements to the hotel's lobby, guest rooms and hallways,
to reconfigure its meeting space and to install technical
Westin did the same thing in another hot hotel market, the eastern
city of Dresden, where it put the Westin flag on the 339-room Hotel
Bellevue. The largest hotel in the city, the newly named Westin
Bellevue is on the left bank of the Elbe River, with views of the
city skyline. It was built in the early 1980s around a restored
Westin's $20 million renovation plans for the Bellevue include
refurbishment of all guest rooms, public areas, restaurants and
meeting rooms along with an upgrade of its spa/health club and
installation of technical improvements.
Germany's Steigenberger Hotels also moved into Dresden this year
with the acquisition of the six-year-old Flamberg Hotel. It's now
called the Steigenberger Parkhotel Dresden-Radebeul.
The four-star property, built in the style of a northern Italian
villa, has 202 rooms and suites in the main hotel building. It also
has a conference center with 14 meeting rooms. The extensive
recreational area is highlighted by a 25-meter swimming pool
surrounded by a whirlpool, sauna, solarium, Turkish bath, fitness
room and "vitamin bar."
The Steigenberger complex also includes 216 one- and two-bedroom
apartment units built into nine villas adjacent to the hotel.
Another new Dresden hotel this year bears another chain's
banner: Radisson Hotels opened the doors of the 98-room Radisson
SAS Gewandhaus Hotel Dresden. The hotel is located in the Old
Town's Altmarkt, next to the Rathaus and the Kreuzkirche and a
short walk from the Semer Opera House. The hotel features an all
new interior. The structure was built in 1770, and although its
historic facade has been preserved, the interior was left as an
empty shell after a World War II bombing.
Its rooms and suites are furnished in the Biedermeier style, but
come equipped with air conditioning, TV, two phones with ISDN
connection, fax and dataports, coffee machine, safe, trouser press
and large marble bathroom.
The hotel also has a restaurant, bar, five conference rooms with
current meeting technology, a business center, heated pool, sauna,
solarium and fitness center and round-the-clock room service.
A lower-priced option that opened this year in Dresden is the
132-room Ramada Hotel Garni Dresden, located in an office/retail
complex 15 minutes' walk from the city center and about a half-mile
from the ICE railroad station. All rooms have a TV, large desk,
minibar and separate fax connection.
In nearby Leipzig, Marriott Lodging opened a five-star hotel, its
sixth property in Germany. The 231-room Leipzig Marriott is located
in the center of town across from the main railway station. Guest
rooms are equipped with modem ports and minibars, and the hotel
also has executive rooms and an executive lounge on its sixth
The Leipzig Marriott has a business center, two restaurants,
room service and a health club with pool, whirlpool, sauna and
exercise room, along with 5,400 square feet of meeting space.
The hotel takes up about two-thirds of an office complex that is
within walking distance of such attractions as the Grassi-Museum,
Gewandhaus Concert Hall, zoo and St. Thomas Church.
Meanwhile, its sister company, Courtyard by Marriott, is making
a major push into Germany as part of a new development deal with
Germany's Seidler Hotels Group-Unicon GmbH. The venture calls for
Unicon Hotel Consulting to develop and franchise 15 Courtyard
properties in central Europe over the next five years, mainly in
The first of the 15 new Courtyard by Marriott hotels is now
under construction in the spa town of Baden-Baden, with an opening
slated for August 1998.
The Baden-Baden Courtyard by Marriott will have 149 rooms, 10
executive suites and a presidential suite, as well as an
American-style restaurant, a cafe, a reading room and six meeting
rooms for up to 150 people.
Health-related facilities in the hotel will include a fitness
center, whirlpool spa, sauna and massage facilities.
Another Courtyard by Marriott, with 160 rooms, will open in
Essen in 1999. The Essen Hotel will be on Kruppstrasse, about a
half-mile from the central train station.
Hyatt International is moving into more than just Berlin next year.
It plans an early 1998 opening for the 252-room Park Hyatt Hamburg,
the chain's first boutique-style property in Germany.
The Park Hyatt will occupy the top five floors of the
Levantehaus, a structure dating back to 1911, when it opened as a
combination warehouse/office. The Levantehaus is located along the
Monckebergstrasse, a major retail area; the building's lower floors
will house an upscale shopping arcade.
The hotel's 252 rooms will include 21 junior suites, three
executive suites and a presidential suite. Upscale Regency Club
rooms with their own private lounge also will be available.
All rooms will have three phones, dataports, TV, safe, minibar
and coffee machine; some will also have Jacuzzis.
The Park Hyatt's health club features a pool, saunas, steam
baths, beauty salon and exercise room, and meeting facilities can
accommodate groups of up to 225.
Marriott recently made an innovative change at its Frankfurt
Marriott Hotel, where it has set aside 20 of the 588 guest rooms
specifically for women travelers.
The rooms, available at no extra charge, have such amenities as
plush bathrobes, women's magazines, bath and cosmetics products
from Lancaster, skirt hangers and nightly turn-down service.
Frankfurt is the venue for one big, new hotel: Construction has
been under way for the past year on the deluxe Frankfurt City
Hilton, a 345-room property going up on the site of the old
municipal baths on Frankfurt's Eischenhaimer Turm.
It's due to open in 1999, operated under a long-term lease by
Hilton International, which already has properties in Berlin,
Dusseldorf, Weimar and Dresden, and two hotels in both Munich and
Located within five minutes of Frankfurt's financial district
and its Old Opera House, the Frankfurt City Hilton will have a
business center with 10 meeting rooms; a health club with indoor
pool; two restaurants; two bars and a ballroom accommodating up to
Hyatt International's third new entry in the German lodging market
next year will be the 269-room Hyatt Regency Mainz, set for a
It is being built as part of historic Fort Malakoff along the
banks of the Rhine, and will be linked by a shopping arcade to a
The lobby and most guest rooms will offer views of the river,
and so will the hotel's Cafe Restaurant, which features a large
outdoor terrace; and most of its meeting rooms.
The hotel will have a large business center, nine suites and 35
Regency Club rooms and suites with private lounge. Its fitness
center will offer a lap pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, massage
facilities and exercise room.
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Hilton: (800) 445-8667
Hyatt International: (800) 223-1234
Kempinski Hotels: (800) 426-3135
Marriott Lodging: (800) 228-9290
Radisson Hotels: (800) 333-3333
Ramada: (800) 272 6232
Steigenberger Hotels: (800) 223-5652
Westin Hotels: (800) 228-3000
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Brochures available from the German National Tourist Office in
connection with some of its 1998 promotions include:Castles, Royal Palaces and Stately Homes in Germany. This
40-page publication lists the country's most notable landmark
The German City Experience. This 106-page booklet offers travel
tips, sightseeing highlights and other information on 39 German
cities most popular with tourists.
Welcome to the German Spas. This brochure explains the
differences among the four types of spas in Germany and includes a
map showing the locations of major spas.