Germany expands, fine-tunes its accommodations

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NEW YORK -- As it prepares to host a new millennium of visitors, Germany's tourism accommodations are undergoing a host of enhancements. Among them are:

Accor SA
The French lodging giant that includes the Sofitel, Novotel and Mercure brands, increased its presence in Germany to 234 properties as result of two recent deals.

In the first, Accor took over management of eight hotels formerly operated by U.K.-based Queens Moat Hotels, including properties in Stuttgart, Sindelfingen, Nuremberg, Hagen, Hamm, Friedrichsdorf and Ludenscheid, to be converted to either the Mercure or Novotel brands.

Next, Accor created a joint venture with a German company called Baumhogger, in which Accor holds a 51% stake.

As part of that deal, Accor will take over management of another 27 German hotels, adding them to its Mercure chain this year.

Two of the most notable are the Europa Congress Hotels in Dortmund and in Wuppertal.
Phone: (800) 763-4835
Web: www.accor.com

Candlewood Suites
Midlantic Hotels Ltd. said it plans to open the first Candlewood Suites property outside the U.S. in Berlin some time later this year.

The Berlin property is the first of a half-dozen extended-stay Candlewood Suites hotels that Midlantic plans to develop in Germany and Switzerland during the next six years, the company said.

Located in east central Berlin at Greifswalder Strasse and Erich Weinert Strasse, near Alexander Platz, the Candlewood property will have 130 to 140 rooms, 70% of them studio suites and the rest one-bedroom suites.

Each guest unit will have a kitchen, a large work desk, two phone lines, a dataport, 25-inch television, a VCR and a CD player.

Midlantic said it is considering other sites in Hamburg and Stuttgart for new Candlewood Suites locations.
Phone: (888) 226-3539
Web: www.candlewoodsuites.com

Dorint Hotels
Dorint added two properties in Berlin last year as part of an ambitious growth plan to become Germany's largest hotel operator by 2001, with 100 locations. Its first new Berlin hotel was the Hotel am Gendarmenmarkt, a member of Dorint's five-star Select category.

About one-third of the 92 rooms are suites; it is next to the historic Gendarmenmarkt square in the eastern part of the city.

A reconstruction of the old Hotel Charlottenhof, the Hotel am Gendarmenmarkt has rooms for guests with disabilities, nonsmoking rooms and some rooms designed especially for female guests.

More recently, the company opened the Dorint Hotel Schweizerhof on Budapester Strasse near the city zoo, the Kurfurstendamm and the Europa Center. The new Dorint Schweizerhof is a four-star convention hotel with 386 rooms and suites, as well as meeting space for groups of up to 1,000.

Elsewhere in Germany, Dorint's new properties include the former Holiday Inn Frankfurt/Main-Taunus Center, reflagged as a Dorint; the renovated Parkhotel Quellenhof in Aachen, rebranded as the Dorint Parkhotel Quellenhof; a new three-star budget hotel in the center of Stuttgart; the five-star, 16-suite Hotel Sol'ring Hof, located among the sand dunes on the island of Sylt in the North Sea, and a franchise property, the Dorint Budget Hotel Cologne-Junkersdorf.

This year, Dorint will add the five-star Dorint-Messmer Hotel in Baden-Baden; the 256-room Dorint Hotel Hamburg-City, in the heart of town; the 186-room, four-star Dorint Messe-Hotel Koln, at the entrance to the Cologne Fairgrounds, and a 217-room hotel in Rheinsburg, north of Berlin.
Phone: (800) 650-8018
Web: www.dorint.de

Merchant Court Hotels
Raffles International of Singapore announced plans for the first hotel in continental Europe operating under its Merchant Court brand, a 300-room property in the center of Berlin.

Due to open in 2002, the Merchant Court Hotel Berlin will offer "cutting-edge technology and spacious bathrooms," the company said.

The hotel will offer a Raffles signature restaurant, a ballroom seating 400 and a full-service spa and fitness center with indoor heated lap pool.
E-mail: [email protected]

Ritz-Carlton is expected to reopen the Breidenbacher Hofin Dusseldorflate next year.Ritz-Carlton
Ritz-Carlton plans to open its second German hotel in May: the Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg.

The town of Wolfsburg is about 40 miles east of Hannover, and the new Ritz-Carlton is being built as part of a mixed-use project at the site of Volkswagen's main plant and headquarters offices.

Ritz-Carlton expects the Wolfsburg hotel to be open in time to handle guests planning to visit the Expo 2000 in Hannover.

Meanwhile, Ritz-Carlton is expected to take over operation of the Breidenbacher Hof, formerly a Rafael Group hotel in Dusseldorf, which closed last summer for renovations.
Phone: (800) 241-3333
Web: www.ritzcarlton.com

Sheraton
In March Sheraton reopened the 636-room ArabellaSheraton Hotel & Towers in Munich, which closed last July for a $56 million renovation during the first quarter of 2000.

Work on the hotel, located in Arabellapark near Munich's trade fair, includes the creation of four executive floors and the installation in all guest rooms of modern communications technology like ISDN modem lines and voice mail.
Phone: (800) 325-3535
Web: www.sheraton.com

Steigenberger
German-based Steigenberger Hotels is expanding this year with the recent opening of midpriced InterCity hotels in Gottingen, near Kassel, and in Stralsund near the Baltic coast.

In July, the company expects to open the Hotel Regent, a four-star, 200-room franchise property in Munich.

And in the spring of next year, Steigenberger will add a 200-room franchise property in Bavaria's Bad Worishofen with extensive spa facilities.
Phone: (800) 223-5652
Web: www.steigenberger.com

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