120 years sound like a methusalem, a dinosaur almost, ancient, antique perhaps but certainly not conventional as company names these days change through mergers and acquisitions and for other reasons including the fashionable rebranding.
Kempinski Hotels however would have none of that and has retained its name through the 12 decades the company has existed since it was formed in 1897.
While the main office is in Geneva was the first hotel based in Berlin, owned by the 'Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft', losely translated as the Hotel Management Company. Berthold Kempinski after whom the group is named, himself also formed the M.
Kempinski & Co which however in the 1950's was merged with the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft. It was largely due to the industrious nature of Kempinski's son in law Richard Unger whom Berthold brough into the company and later handed him the entire business on condition that the name of Kempinski must be kept in perpetuity.
This was further enshrined when in 1977 the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft changed its name to Kempinski Aktiengesellschaft. Under their portfolio are such global names like the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich, the Bristol in Berlin, the hotel Atlantic in Hamburg and more recently the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, often mentioned as the world's best hotel.
Ever since its early days has this company in its logo proclaimed: 'Hoteliers since 1897' and has found fame and fans around the world with now nearly 100 top ranked hotels and resorts.
It is today the oldest hotel management company with only one hotel owned, three on long term lease but all other properties just ably managed by the group.
In Eastern Africa does the Kempinski manage the Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi, regularly cited by TripAdvisor as the number 1 hotel in the Kenyan capital but also the Olare Mara Kempinski Safari Camp, one of the finest there is and again I can vouch for that as a result of direct experience.
Said the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel in a press statement just received:
Villa Rosa Kempinski will on Saturday, April 8th, host a grand ceremony to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Kempinski Hotels.
Starting at 6.00pm, the hotel will join 73 other five-star hotels and residences strategically-located in 30 countries across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia to commemorate 120 years since Kempinski was started in Germany in 1897.
The celebrations kick off at the hotel lobby with welcome remarks by the hotel General Manager, Mr. Kees Heuveling. This will be followed at 6.30pm by “Ignite the Night,” the official switching on of lights to illuminate a special 120-year commemorative artwork titled Cycle of Light, by artist David Thuku.
The lighting of the artwork will become a daily ritual till December. The renowned Upper Hill School’s Redfourth Band will keep over 100 guests entertained with several songs, while a famous pianist will belt out his best tunes to crown the moment .
Guests will also get a chance to better understand Kempinski’s unique European heritage, rich history and legacy by watching a short video enumerating key milestones in the company’s journey; from its founder, restaurateur Berthold Kempinski in 1897, to the opening of the first hotel, Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin in 1952 by his grandson, Dr. Friedrich Unger.
And with the culinary arts as an integral part of Kempinski’s heritage, Villa Rosa Kempinski chefs have created commemorative 120th anniversary cakes which will be given to our guests as giveaways in special boxes. Guests will also enjoy other treats around the 120-year anniversary theme, such as a turndown service with a ‘Make a Wish’ cards that enables them to choose from three special gifts.
'We are excited to be part of this illustrious history, to be part of a global brand with this outstanding and chequered history is remarkable. We look forward to celebrating 120 years of unique European hospitality with our valued guests and supporters' said Kees Heuveling, the Villa Rosa Kempinski General Manager.
About Villa Rosa Kempinski
Strategically-located on Chiromo Road, Nairobi’s commercial centre, Villa Rosa Kempinski is the luxury leader in hospitality industry. The hotel has 200 rooms and suites distributed throughout 10 floors, including a Presidential Suite on the top floor.
The hotel has seven specialty restaurants Cafe Villa Rosa - an all day dining restaurant, K-Lounge LUCCA - Italian restaurant and deli, Tambourin - Levant style lounge and 88 - Pan Asian restaurant will be opening soon. The hotel has state-of-the-art banqueting and conference facilities, the pillar-less grand ballroom able to accommodate 550 delegates. The 3-year-old hotel also has a State-of-the-art Kempinski The Spa which has nine treatment rooms and a fully equipped fitness centre.
Olare Mara Kempinski
Olare Mara Kempinski is in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserve, Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Camp’s location brings travelers closer to their dream of a life time in the countryside yet offering a world of modern African comfort.
Olare Mara Kempinski consists 12 tented luxury canvas tents with comfortable beds made from local wood. The deluxe tents cover approximately 80 sq m and are furnished in the classic style of the grand African Safaris; with large four poster beds, offset by modern amenities. The honeymoon suite has its very own plunge pool.
The camp prides itself as an eco – friendly resort. It has the largest organic garden in the conservancy and meals are prepared using home grown ingredients, energy saving measures are also in place. The resort sources 70 % of its energy needs from huge solar power panels in the compound.
Kempinski will tomorrow, 08th of April, worldwide celebrate their 120th anniversary and to the group, the many hotels I have visited in the past, their General Managers and teams, especially here in Kenya, the best wishes and a bright future ahead as the 125th, the 150th and more anniversaries will come along.
In closing, personally I love the statement 'Hoteliers since 1897' as it sets apart the boys in this industry from the men, in particular in our parts where, simply by having the money to build a hotel the owners then proclaim themselves as hoteliers without any formal training, something they would not dare if the property were a hospital as everyone would laugh at them if they tried to suddenly become a 'Doctor' just because the own a clinic.
Aviation, Travel and Conservation News - DAILY from Eastern Africa an