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Kempinski Hotels S.A.
Industry Hospitality, Tourism
Founded 1897 in Berlin, Germany
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Key people
  • Alejandro Bernabe President & CEO
  • Markus Semer Deputy CEO
  • Marcus van der Wal COO
  • Colin Lubbe CFO
Products Hotels, Restaurants, Residences
Number of employees
Slogan A Collection of Individuals

Kempinski Hotels S.A. is an international hotel chain founded as the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft in Berlin, Germany, in 1897, which makes it Europe's oldest luxury hotel group. The Corporate Office is located in Geneva, Switzerland. Thailand's Crown Property Bureau (CPB Equity Co. Ltd) has the majority holding in the group. Kempinski Hotels currently operates 75 five-star hotels in 30 countries. Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotels.


M. Kempinski & Co.[edit]

Kempinski Hotels is Europe's oldest luxury hotel group. In 1862 the Jewish merchant Berthold Kempinski from Raschkow, Posen joined the wine store company of his brother Moritz in Breslau. Ten years later he moved to Berlin and opened a subsidiary of M. Kempinski & Co. on Friedrichstraße, together with a wine bar which soon grew in popularity as an inexpensive gourmet restaurant. In 1889 he inaugurated Kempinski's around the corner on Leipziger Straße, then the largest restaurant in the German capital.

Since Berthold Kempinski and his wife Helena had no male children, they invited their son-in-law Richard Unger to join the business. Berthold Kempinski finally transferred the firm to his son-in-law on condition that he kept the name Kempinski. Berthold Kempinski died on March 14, 1910.

Alongside his wine and restaurant activities, Richard Unger constructed an immense property business up to the start of World War I. After a short period of stagnation during the War, he sold products of his own manufacture under the brand name Kempinski. The business in Berlin flourished, so that in 1928 an impressive Kempinski restaurant dependency was established in the "New West" at No. 27 Kurfürstendamm, today site of the Kempinski Hotel Bristol. The next year, M. Kempinski& Co. took over the legendary Haus Vaterland on Potsdamer Platz, where the firm exploited a dinner theater concept that was unique in Berlin for a long time and is still known as "event gastronomy" (Erlebnisgastronomie).

But success was followed by disenchantment. To escape the Nazi persecutions, Richard Unger and his family were forced to emigrate to the US. The firm M. Kempinski & Co was "aryanized" and became part of the Aschinger catering trade. The restaurant on Kurfürstendamm was destroyed by fire shortly before the end of World War II, and the other properties fell victim to bombing raids. Nevertheless, the name Kempinski survived.

Kempinski Hotel Bristol, Berlin

After the war, Berthold Kempinski's grandson Friedrich Unger returned to Germany. In 1951 building started on a hotel on the site of the ruined restaurant at No. 27 Kurfürstendamm, and it opened a year later under the name Hotel Kempinski. For 20 years the modern, progressive five-star hotel enjoyed the undisputed status of the sole luxury hotel in West Berlin.

Corporate ownership[edit]

The parallel history of the present-day hotel company began in 1897 with the foundation of the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft in Berlin by the banker Leopold Koppel. This was the time when the first comfortable hotels were already appearing in the biggest German city, including the Hotel Bristol, the Grand Hotel Bellevue, and the Centralhotel with the Wintergarten variety theatre, all belonging to the Hotelbetriebs-AG. In 1926 the company was taken over by Aschinger, who also ran the Hotel Kaiserhof and the Hotel Baltic.

When in 1953 Friedrich Unger sold his shares and the name Kempinski to the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft, the name Bristol was adopted and still graces the Kempinski hotel on Kurfürstendamm. In subsequent years, the "Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft" took over the management of several famous hotels. In 1957 it acquired the luxurious Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg. This elegant hotel, known as Weisses Schloss ("White Castle"), was opened in 1909 and was a recognized Hamburg institution even then.

In 1970 the General Assembly of the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft voted to change its name to Kempinski Hotelbetriebs- Aktiengesellschaft. In the same year a long-lasting partnership was established with Lufthansa in the form of a 50-percent participation in the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich, in which Lufthansa already had a holding. In 1977 the hotel company received its present name as Kempinski Aktiengesellschaft (AG). At the same time, the Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch in Frankfurt was added to the group's portfolio as its fourth German hotel.

In 1985, Lufthansa acquired shares in Kempinski AG and thereby enabled the hotel company to operate Kempinski hotels abroad too. A year later, Kempinski AG, Lufthansa and the finance company Rolaco S.A. founded Kempinski Hotels S.A., with its head office in Geneva. In 1993 Kempinski AG acquired all the shares in Kempinski S.A.

The Dusit Sindhorn Company Ltd. took over Kempinski in November 1994, when it acquired a 52% stake.[1][2] The 50:50 joint venture between Dusit Thani Group, and the Siam Commercial Bank eventually accumulated a 83% stake in the group, and Dusit Thani exited from the joint venture in 1998, when it sold out to its partner.[3]


Kempinski Hotels currently manages a total of 75 five-star hotels in over 30 countries. This range is continually extended by the addition of new hotels in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The portfolio includes historic grand hotels, city hotels, resorts and residences. As well as famous names, such as the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, the Taschenbergpalais in Dresden, or the Çırağan Palace in Istanbul. Kempinski is also a founder member of the hotel network Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), which is active worldwide.

With the exception of the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich, which belongs to the group, and two hotels with leasing contracts (the Hotel Adlon in Berlin and the Grand Hotel des Bains in St. Moritz), Kempinski Hotels is currently targeted mainly at the management of luxury hotels.[citation needed]

Global Hotel Alliance (GHA)[edit]

Based on the airline alliance model, Global Hotel Alliance ("GHA") is the world largest alliance of independent hotel brands. GHA currently comprises Anantara, Doyle Collection, First, Kempinski, Leela, Lungarno Collection, Marco Polo, Mokara, Omni, Pan Pacific, PARK ROYAL, Shaza, Tivoli and Tangram Hotels. GHA comprises over 300 up-scale and luxury properties with more than 70,000 rooms in 55 countries. GHA is a partner of 16 Airline Frequent Flyer Programmes and two carrentals!



  • Kempinski Hotel Das Tirol, Jochberg, Austria
  • Palais Hansen Kempinski, Vienna, Austria
  • Kempinski Hotel Badamdar, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena, Bansko, Bulgaria
  • Kempinski Hotel Adriatic, Savudrija, Croatia


  • Kempinski Hotel Corvinus, Budapest, Hungary
  • Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz, Gozo, Malta
  • Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains, St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • Grand Hotel Kempinski, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Le Mirador Kempinski, Mont-Pélerin, Lake Geneve, Switzerland
  • Kempinski Hotel The Dome, Antalya, Belek, Turkey
  • Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay, Bodrum, Turkey
  • Çırağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey

Middle East and Africa[edit]

Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Kempinski Fleuve Congo Hotel, Kinshasa, Congo
  • Djibouti Palace Kempinski, Djibouti
  • Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, Accra, Ghana
  • Kempinski The Villa Rosa, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Olare Mara Kempinski, Maasai Mara
  • Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha, Qatar
  • Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl, Doha, Qatar[6]
  • Hotel Mille Collines by Kempinski, Kigali, Rwanda [7]
Saudi Arabia
  • Kempinski Al Othman Hotel, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia (soon)
  • Kempinski Burj Rafal Hotel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (soon)


United Arab Emirates


  • Kempinski Hotel Beijing, Beijing, Lufthansa Center, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Chengdu, Chengdu, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Chongqing, Chongqing, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Dalian, Dalian, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Guiyang, Guiyang, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Huizhou, Huizhou, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Haitang Bay Sanya, Haitang Bay, Sanya, China
  • Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai, Shanghai, Pudong, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Shanghai, Shanghai, Puxi, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Shenyang, Shenyang, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Suzhou, Suzhou, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Wuxi, Wuxi, China
  • Kempinski Hotel X'ian, Xi'an, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Xiamen, Xiamen, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Yinchuan, Yinchuan, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Yixing, Yixing, China
  • Kempinski Hotel Taiyuan, Taiyuan, China
  • Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Beijing, Chnia
  • Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi, New Delhi, India
  • Siam Kempinski Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]