Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates | Source: Trivago

Kempinski Hotels: The Story Behind Europe’s Oldest Luxury Hotel Group

With a total of 79 five-star hotels across 34 countries, Kempinski Hotels is one of the most well-known luxury hotel groups in the world. Branding itself as Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, the Kempinski name is synonymous with personalised service, unparalleled luxury and iconic global destinations.

Known for offering a top-quality guest experiences through initiatives like the Lady in Red, who is the instantly recognisable local expert and brand ambassador that welcomes you to each Kempinski hotel the Kempinski Group has won countless awards throughout its long history.

We’ve witnessed historic meetings between world leaders, celebrities taking sanctuary in the world of privacy we create for them, and created incredible memories for guests on a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ journey.

Kempinski Hotels

Two German businesses converge

Although Kempinski Hotels mark 1897 as its founding year, the history of the long-time luxury hotel chain involves two different timelines connected to two separate businesses: ‘Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft’ and M. Kempinski & Co.

Founded in 1897 by German banker and entrepreneur Leopold Koppel, Hotelbetriebs-AG was Kempinski Hotels’ predecessor. Known as the umbrella company for luxury hotels like Hotel Bristol and the Baltic, Hotelbetriebs-AG established itself as a leading hotel operator in Berlin.

Before Hotelbetriebs-AG was founded, the Group’s recognised founder, Polish-born Berthold Kempinski, was stepping into Berlin’s hospitality sector with the opening of a small wine merchant and delicatessen restaurant in 1872. Finding success, Berthold Kempinski expanded his wine stores and restaurants as far as New York.

Business continued to remain within the family following Berthold’s death in 1910 and in 1918, a Kempinski hotel dependency was established, where the Kempinski Hotel Bristol now stands.

In 1928, M. Kempinski & Co solidified itself as a top hospitality provider with its flagship dining and entertainment venue, Haus Vaterland. Comprised of 12 restaurants themed by a different country’s cuisine and culture, Haus Vaterland was based on the concept of ‘event gastronomy’ and quickly became a popular dining spot in Berlin.

Although many of the Kempinski properties were destroyed by bombing raids, the Kempinski name survived. In 1953 the name was sold to the Hotelbetriebs-AG and in 1970 the company names converged to Kempinski Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft. In the years that followed, the group expanded its offerings in Germany and beyond, to the global luxury accommodation provider it is today.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski

While the Kempinski groups boast many heritage hotels like Istanbul’s Ciragan Palace or Slovenia’s Palace Portoroz, Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin’s Mitte district is one of the Group’s most historically significant. Dating back to 1907, Hotel Adlon was the social heart of the city, welcoming guests like Tsar Nicholas II, John D. Rockefeller, Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein and Franklin Roosevelt. Featuring a grand lobby, library, lounge and smoking room and a number of grand ballrooms, Hotel Adlon became the place to be during Germany’s prosperous ‘Golden Twenties’.

Despite remaining intact throughout World War II, Hotel Adlon was destroyed by a fire in 1945 and then expropriated and majorly demolished by the East German government. Following the reunification of Germany, the Kempinski group restored the historic hotel to its former glory and reopened the hotel in 1997. Since its reopening, the modernised Adlon Hotel has welcomed celebrity guests and even been the set for movies like Unknown.

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