< GERMANY | HAMBURG: Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten
Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten was founded in 1897 by the South-German gastronome Friedrich Haerlin. On 24 February 1897, on his 40th birthday, Haerlin purchased the narrow house and a restaurant for the sum of 420 100 Marks. Originally called the Vier Jahreszeiten, the hotel offered only 11 rooms, but had an advantageous location alongside the Inner Alster Lake.
During time, the narrow house was transformed into one of Hamburg's finest buildings, creating the impression
of being constructed as a harmonic unity. Both Haerlin senior as well as his son Fritz (who took over
the hotel in 1936) built a number of extensions over the years, purchasing the adjacent houses, breaking
down walls and integrating more rooms and restaurants.
In 1905, the annex building "Neuer Jungfernstieg No. 12" was opened as a grand hotel with 57 rooms on 23 November. Prince Heinrich of Prussia (brother of Emperor Wilhelm II) and his wife Princess Irene of Hessen-Darmstadt became regular guests, friends and patrons of Friedrich Haerlin. Haerlin was appointed Purveyor to the Royal Court.
Owing to the acquisition of other neighbouring properties, 140 living rooms and bedrooms, 50 bathrooms as well as a light signal system, vacuum cleaners and a public telephone system were offered in all rooms since 1911.
In 1912 the former reception was opened as the "society hall with Alster view", today's Wohnhalle. The Haerlin Restaurant was opened in 1914, followed by the Jahreszeiten Grill decorated in Art Déco style in 1925. In 1928, all hotel buildings were uniformly heightened and furnished on the 5th floor with a long panorama balcony facing the Alster and crowned with a green copper roof. Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten consequently obtained its present-day look. This was also the period of where the Café Condi and the Jahreszeiten Cellar - today's Doc Cheng's® - as well as the Garage were being constructed.
The hotel Vier Jahreszeiten soon became internationally famous. VIPS from film, politics, high society and even European royals became regular guests of the hotel. The hotel philosophy was simple: "service, service, service." Friedrich Haerlin once said to his wife, "it is the same as inviting guests to our home: everything is nice and clean, the table is laid and the dinner is prepared well and in sufficient quantity. We have spruced ourselves up nicely and are looking forward to our guests. It is no different in the hotel - just on a larger scale."
In 1962, popular German film actor Heinz Ru¨hmann rehearsed his famed role as "The Captain of Ko¨penick" in room 447, and also discussed the screenplay there with author Carl Zuckmayer and director Helmut Ka¨utner. In the same year, opera singer Maria Callas resided at the VJZ, this time with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.
The Haerlin family sold the hotel to the Japanese Aoki Corporation in 1989 and in the summer of 1997, it was again sold to the Singapore-based hotel chain Raffles International Hotels & Resorts. Nine years later, the owner of Raffles International Hotels & Resorts, Colony Capital, announced a joint takeover of the hotel chain Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Inc. together with Kingdom Hotels International. On 30. April 2007, the famous Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten was renamed as the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten.
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