Kempinski

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Kempinski Hotels S.A.
Private
Industry Hospitality, Tourism
Founded 1897 in Berlin, Germany
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Key people
  • Markus Semer Chairman of Management Board & CEO
  • Marcus van der Wal COO
  • Colin Lubbe CFO
Products Hotels, Restaurants, Residences
Number of employees
24,000
Website www.kempinski.com

Kempinski Hotels S.A. is Europe's oldest luxury hotel group. The group now has its head office in Geneva but was founded in Berlin in 1897 as the ‘Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft‘. At present, the Thailand Crown Property Bureau (CPB Equity Co., Ltd) has the majority holding in the group.[1] Kempinski Hotels currently operates 75 five-star hotels and residences in 30 countries.Starting in Germany, over the years Kempinski has extended its hotel portfolio to other parts of Europe and to the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The distinctive hotels are located in places such as Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Istanbul, the Dead Sea, Beijing, Moscow, St Moritz and Bangkok.

History[edit]

Kempinski Hotels is Europe's oldest luxury hotel group with a history of more than 110 years. The history of this traditional company began in 1897 with the foundation of the ‘Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft’ in Berlin. A parallel development was that of M. Kempinski & Co, founded by Berthold Kempinski, which was acquired by the ‘Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft’ in 1953.

Berthold Kempinski was born on 10 October 1843 in Posen (then a German province, and now Poland). The Kempinski family was already successfully active in the wine trade from 1862. In 1872 it extended its company to Berlin, where Berthold Kempinski opened a wine-merchant's business under his name in the Friedrichstrasse. In 1889 he opened a restaurant in the Leipziger Strasse which was the biggest in the whole of Berlin.

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 1918 an impressive Kempinski hotel dependency was established at 27 Kurfürstendamm, where the Kempinski Hotel Bristol now stands. Ten years later, M. Kempinski & Co. took over the legendary "Haus Vaterland" on the Potsdamer Platz, where the firm exploited a concept that was unique in Berlin for a long time and is still known as "event gastronomy" (‘Erlebnisgastronomie’).

To escape the events of World War II, Richard Unger and his family emigrated to the USA and the firm M. Kempinski & Co became part of Aschinger AG.

The Restaurant at 27 Kurfürstendamm was destroyed by fire shortly before the end of the War, and the other properties fell victim to bombing raids. After the end of the conflict, Richard Unger's son and Berthold Kempinski‘s grandson, Dr Friedrich Unger, returned to Germany. In 1951 building started on a hotel on the site of the ruined restaurant at 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 Berlin.

In 1953 Dr Friedrich Unger sold his shares and the name Kempinski to the ‘Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft‘, which already ran hotels such as the Baltic, the Bristol and the Kaiserhof. The name Bristol was adopted and still graces the Kempinski Hotel at 27 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.

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 Frankfurt Gravenbruch 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.[2][3] 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.[4]

Since 2004, the Thailand Crown Property Bureau has had a majority holding in Kempinski AG. The Crown Property Bureau is a Royal Thailand authority responsible for administering the property of the Royal House of Thailand and at the same time possesses holdings in numerous companies in Thailand and abroad.

Kempinski Hotels Worldwide[edit]

Kempinski Hotels’ portfolio currently comprises 75 hotels and residences worldwide including the Emirates Palace[5] in Abu Dhabi and the Çiragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul.

With the exception of the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski in Munich, which belongs to the group, and three hotels with leasing contracts, Kempinski Hotels is currently targeted mainly at the management of luxury hotels and residences.

Global Hotel Alliance[edit]

Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance ("GHA") which was founded in 2004.[6] Members of the DISCOVERY[7]

Social Responsibility[edit]

As an internationally active company, Kempinski has introduced its own corporate social responsibility programme.[8] In this respect the company is primarily committed in the areas of health and safety. In addition, individual Kempinski Hotels support social projects in specific locations to improve public welfare locally.

BE[edit]

As one of the founding members of BE Health Association, Kempinski believes that business can make a positive impact in limiting the spread of infectious diseases and making health contagious for those who need it most. BE enjoys the support of the WHO, The Global Fund, and many other well-known partners.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A crown prince and German affairs - New Mandala". 2016-07-24. Retrieved 2016-09-20. 
  2. ^ "Kempinski Hotels -- 100 years of a grand tradition", hurriyetdailynews. 1 June 1997
  3. ^ "Lufthansa Sale Of Hotels Due". The New York Times, 29 November 1994
  4. ^ Spritzer, Dinah A. (12 March 1998). "Dusit Thani Sells Its Share of Kempinski". Travel Weekly
  5. ^ "Luxury 5 Star Hotel in Abu Dhabi | Emirates Palace". www.kempinski.com. Retrieved 2016-09-20. 
  6. ^ "Hotel rewards - Best hotel loyalty programme - Global Hotel Alliance". www.gha.com. Retrieved 2016-09-20.  GHA brings together 32 brands with more than 500 hotels spread across 76 countries in its portfolio.
  7. ^ "Home / About Discovery - GHA". www.gha.com. Retrieved 2016-09-20. programme receive recognition and rewards across more than 500 hotels, resorts, palaces and spas in all of the GHA hotels. Local experiences, the core of the DISCOVERY programme, are unique, authentic experiences, which are curated by each hotel to give a taste of local traditions and culture.
  8. ^ "Kempinski Hotel - Corporate Social Responsibility". 
  9. ^ "BE Health | About BE Health". behealth.com. Retrieved 2016-09-20. 

Further reading[edit]

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