The most famous luxury hotel in Berlin is The Adlon Kempinski, an institution that goes back to 1907 when it was built by Mainz business man Lorenz Adlon because, it is said, the Kaiser wanted a grand hotel. It passed to his son Louis, but was razed by fire in 1945 (it is said the Adlon family retreated to Potsdam and the rest of the story is rather murky). The gal, in the many years she has stayed there, always loves rooms facing north over Unter den Linden as they you can turn left and see the famous Quadriga, sculpted by Johann Gottfried Schadow, atop the neo-classical Brandenburg Gate. This was designed after the Propylaea, gateway to the Acropolis, in Athens.
Emile Bootsma, above (in front of one of the thousands of famous guests), is the Dutchman who runs this significant 383-room hotel and he was certainly holding court last week, especially during the hotel investment conference and its following ITB trade event. There seemed to be many gatherings going on simultaneously – the Global Hotel Association GHA, under its CEO Chris Hartley, was hosting a dinner in one room at the same time as Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne EHL was holding a fabulous evening reception in the main ballroom. Why was this fabulous? It brought Cornell students and alumni together with the Lausanne crowd and provided outstanding networking, thanks to the generous hosting of The Adlon and Kempinski, led by President Europe Xavier Destribats, in general.
The following night, Kempinski held its own party in Sra Bua restaurant, converted to a semi-dark nightclub for that one occasion. Marcus van der Wal, Kempinski’s COO, welcomed everyone, and then it was eating (imaginatively and thoughtfully, quarters of tuna-topped pizza, so easy to eat) and drinking, and networking. I heard about BMW’s private club, for its top clients, and thought back to the words of Aston Martin‘s top designer, Marek Reichman, at the investment conference only a day before. He had mentioned that, in its quest for bespoke, one Aston Martin loyalist wanted the leather roof interior of his new car stitched with the pattern of the stars the night he proposed to his now-wife.
I am sure many, especially Germans, get engaged at this luxury hotel. For any man about to propose, get a corner suite – anything ending in -12 – for the best views of the Brandenburg Gate. And in between the proposal and romance, make time for a swim in the sculpted indoor pool, at lower ground level. You may want to breakfast in your room but I suggest the outstanding buffet breakfast in Quarré – you can sit outside, when the weather allows. And if it is a Sunday, there is more Champagne – Moët & Chandon, Brut or Rosé, by the glass, from a magnum – and as much as you want. If you want more on the hotel, see the video below.