< GERMANY | BERLIN: Hotel Adlon Kempinski
The legendary Hotel Adlon, named after its founder Lorenz Adlon, has been constructed between 1905 and 1907 and was designed by architects Carl Gause and Robert
Leibniz. Adlon, born in Mainz in the South of Germany, already had a good reputation in the Berlin gastronomical scene. He invested 20 million gold marks with vision to create the
most opulent hotel in the world, setting standards previously unseen in the hotel industry.
Guests were amazed by the sophistication and comfort: facilities included hot and cold running water, gas and electricity and a refrigeration and cooling system linked into a fountain. There was even a power plant which provided electricity to the 110-volt lightbulbs produced specially for the hotel. Elegant guests from all over the world praised the hotel when it was officially inaugurated by Kaiser Wilhelm II on October 24th, 1907; architects and artists joined the general eulogy.
Kasier Wilhelm II was the Adlon's first guest and its most loyal patron. He demanded no one put a foot in the door before him and treated the hotel as one of his palaces. He paid an annual
retainer of DM 150,000 to guarantee rooms for his personal guests as required. Everything about the Adlon delighted the Emperor and there was hardly anything that he did not want to have
in his palace.
The hotel quickly became the most fashionable meeting place in Berlin. Embassies moved thier offices to the hotel, complete ministries preferred the majestic Kaisersaal (Emperor's Hall) to their own ballrooms while some illustrious noble families sold their winter palaces in Berlin in order to reside at the wonderful suites of Hotel Adlon during the ball season.
In 1921, Lorenz's son Louis took over the management of the hotel. Under his guidance, the Adlon became an increasingly popular meeting place for leading figures from the world of politics, trade and industry, culture and science. The guest list of the Adlon can be read as a “Who’s who” of the old Europe: Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings, Mary Pickford, John Davison Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aristide Briand, Paul von Hindenburg and Friedrich Ebert. Congresses, political dinners, international conferences and society celebrations took place at the classically designed facilities. Hotel Adlon became the hub of international relations, which at that time was absolutely new. In reference to its air of international neutrality, the Adlon was known as Berlin's "Little Switzerland".
Notable visitors to the Hotel Adlon included Greta Garbo, who whispered her most famous catch phrase "I want to be alone" during the filming of 'Grand Hotel' which was based upon the property. Albert Einstein often waved to passers-by from his corner window on the Pariser Platz overlooking the Brandenburg Gate. Charlie Chaplin always stayed in suite 101-114 and nearly lost his trousers as a crowd of fans jostled him when trying to enter the hotel on the occasion of the premiere of 'Lights in the Big city'. Other famous guests have included tenor Enrico Caruso, ballerina Otero and Thomas Mann, who stopped at the Adlon en route to Stockholm to receive the Nobel prize for literature.
Hotel remained open and fully functional during the Second World War, operating to the professional standard for which it was known, despite the inevitable shortages and problems of that period. The war itself, passed by the hotel practically without trace, until a hospital was set up there in April 1945. The Adlon would, in fact, have survived the war virtually unscrathed, had it not been for a fire during the night of 2nd May 1945, which destroyed everything except one wing of the magnificeng building. The remaining wing was again set up as a hotel and despite the socialist climate, a guest at the hotel could still find page-boys and bellhops - dressed in the original uniforms of the hotel. In 1964, the building was even renovated and the facade was redone.
The 1970s however, saw the end of the glorious era of the once grand hotel and the remaining wing was converted into a hostel for apprentices. In 1984, this last remaining vestige of the Adlon vanished to make way for a planned new residential complex.
With the reunification of Germany, the world was finally able to witness the rebirth of the grand hotel. Under the direction of the Kempinski Group as operating company, Hotel Adlon has been rebuilt on the same location as the original hotel, directly opposite the Brandenburg Gate. The new hotel celebrated its official premiere on the August 23rd 1997, when it has ceremonially been opened by Federal President Dr. Roman Herzog. After more than 50 years, the inauguration of the new Adlon has restored an international grand hotel to this traditional location in Berlin's historic centre.
The new establishment follows on from the old traditions as a hotel which is run firmly on the lines of a luxury class hotel, but which nevertheless does not shun modern elements – and is consequently on its way to becoming a new legend. Maximum comfort, stylish and exquisite appointments in the rooms and public areas, as well as perfect service, which – together with excellent cuisine and first-rate technology and security – provide the essential conditions for a first-class hotel of international renown. Not least because of its prominent position and proximity to the parliament, the Adlon is once again regarded as the "government's unofficial guest-house", providing a home-from-home for state visitors and celebrities from all over the globe. The light and airy conservatories, the spacious ballroom, the prestigious lobby with mosaic dome and mezzanine offer extensive scope for festive occasions, conferences and receptions.
After five successful years, Hotel Adlon presented the new annex - the Adlon Palais, situated between "Akademie der Kunste" and the Hotel Adlon Kempinski.
#Hotel Adlon: 100 Jahre Hotel Adlon Kempinski
Hotel Adlon, 2007
English / German language | 192 pages | Hardcover
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#Laurenz Demps, Carl-Ludwig Paeschke: The Hotel Adlon
Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2004 | ISBN-10: 3894791144; ISBN-13: 978-3894791148
English language | 204 pages | Hardcover
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#Karlheinz Hauser, Stephan Franz, Diethelm Kaiser Gregor M. Schmid: The Adlon Cookbook
Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2001 | ISBN-10: 3875848446; ISBN-13: 978-3875848441
English language | 224 pages | Hardcover
| Buy it at Amazon | Buy it at Alibris |