Hotels in Berlin: Adlon Kempinski

Hotel Berlin: Adlon The “ackselhaus & blue home” is to be found as recommended accommodation side by side with the “Hotel Adlon” in the following publications: Cool Hotels Germany (Edition 2008), GEOSAISON (February 2009 edition). The Hotel Adlon Kempinski is one of the most luxurious and most famous hotels in Germany. It is one of the top addresses in Berlin and it is located in the Dorotheenstadt in the district center at the boulevard “Unter den Linden”, right on “Pariser Platz”, just a few yards away from the Brandenburg Gate.
The hotel was opened in October 1907. The original building was partially destroyed at the end of the Second World War, only one wing was used until the final demolition in 1984. The new building at the original site was opened on 23 August 1997.
Around 1900, it was very modern for the European upper class to celebrate balls, dinners and other festivities on big public stages. These stages of society were hotels, which - following the American model – had all the luxury which the world could offer. In previous centuries, hotels, and here Germany was no exception, were seen as a pure “accommodation”. A celebration or an even bigger event, was at first inconceivable, because both the nobility and the rich bourgeoisie were accustomed to celebrate in a cozy atmosphere at home or on a country estate.
In the United States, there was not such a development. Very early, luxury hotels opened in big centers like New York or Boston which could not only be reduced to sleep opportunities. They also offered space for private pleasures, such as games rooms, smoking lounges, libraries and cafes. This new type of hotel life reached Europe. In Paris and very soon in London as well, the Ritz opened, in St. Petersburg the Hotel Astoria opened, in Vienna opened the feudal Hotel Imperial. Also in Germany, there were elegant hotels such as the Bristol or the Grand Hotel de Rome, but these were old-fashioned and outdated in comparison to the new world-class. It is therefore not surprising that, during the imperial period, Berlin was so excited to host one of these major addresses, like the other metropolises. Finally in 1905, the hotelier Lorenz Adlon bought two sites at “Unter den Linden” which was the birthplace of one of the best hotels in Germany.
On this day the history of the most popular hotels in Berlin started, which by its extravagance and luxury became a legend. Now, after more than a hundred years, it belongs to the city like the Brandenburg Gate and the “Reichstag”.
The opening was a resounding success, and already in the first years the Hotel Adlon became an institution. Families of the nobility sold their winter palaces in Berlin to stay in the hotels´ suites. Wilhelm II. went to the luxurious and well-heated rooms of the Adlon. Even the Foreign Office used the hotel as an “unofficial guest house” because there were no suitable accommodations for high-class visitors from abroad. Under the leadership of its founder, the Adlon developed to a house of seeing and being seen. European kings and emperors, the Czar of Russia, the Maharajah of Patiala, but also industrialists and politicians such as Edison, Ford, Rockefeller, Rathenau, Stresemann and Briand were famous guests in the early years of the hotel.
At the end of World War I only the guest list changed. Now, rich Americans who were on holiday in Europe came to the hotel Adlon and soon the name of the hotel was brought over the Atlantic Ocean. The “Golden Twenties” also brought golden times for the Adlon. Only in 1943, the number of visitors increased, as the emperor court was destroyed in a bomb attack and the SS had to find a new place for festivities. The legendary luxury hotel burnt out in the night of 2nd to the 3rd May 1945 for somewhat unclear reasons but not through war. Only one rear wing of the hotel survived the fire. Until the 1980s the hotel and restaurant was used. In his last years, the building served as a school for professional students. In 1984 the building was demolished due to the sharp decline.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall the “Fundus-Gruppe” built the hotel Adlon at the old location. From 1995 to 1997 it was built due to the design of Patzschke, Klotz & Partner. The new building is not an exact repetition of the old hotel building, but a free neologism in classic designs. For example, the new Adlon is two floors higher than the old one. From April 2005 to September 2006 Thomas Klippstein was director of Berlin’s Hotel Adlon. His successor was Stephan Interthal, managing director of the hotel. The hotel belongs to The Leading Hotels Of The World. In the Adlon Palais there is a restaurant and a nightclub or disco Felix (2004 reopened). Owner of the club is the Jagdfeld group.