The company known today as ‘Kempinski Hotels' began in 1897 under the name Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft in Berlin.
At the turn of the century, the first grand hotels were built in Germany's largest cities
and several of these belonged to the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft when it was founded.
At the same time, M. Kempinski & Co. was founded by Moritz Kempinski and developed in parallel,
finally being acquired by the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft in 1953.
Berthold Kempinski was born on October 10, 1843, in Raschkow in Posen (formerly a province of Prussia, but now known as Poland).
He was one of two sons. In 1862, his brother, Moritz, opened a specialist wine shop in Breslau,
called M. Kempinski & Co, which Berthold joined two years later.
They worked hard at their enterprise together and ten years later, in 1872, Berthold and his wife, Helene,
moved to Berlin and opened a wine shop under the same name, which they soon expanded into a restaurant with rooms.
Berthold was ambitious and, seeing his new venture was proving successful, wanted to expand even further.
He searched for a suitable location and, in 1889, he opened a restaurant in the Leipziger Strasse with several dining rooms,
the biggest restaurant in Berlin at this time.
As Berthold and Helena had no sons, their daughter Frida's husband, Richard Unger, entered the small company.
Richard proved to be astute and was largely responsible for the company's continued success.
In 1897, the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft Hotel management company was established,
marking the historical beginning of Kempinski Hotels as we know it today.
Noticing his son-in-law was capable of managing the company without him, Berthold retired and the company became Richard's,
even though the name was retained. Berthold Kempinski died on March 14, 1910, and was therefore spared from the events to follow.
Until the First World War Richard, who now owned the company,
had managed to build an enormous real estate complex revolving around his gastronomical business.
During the First World War, the business ran smoothly and after the war,
Richard even managed to buy his own production-centres.
Then, as the Kurfürstendamm street began to enjoy more popularity,
Richard bought and managed a restaurant at Ku'damm 27 (the address where to this date, the Kempinski Hotel Bristol proudly stands).
In 1928 M. Kempinski & Co. also took over the management of the ‘Haus Vaterland' on Potsdamer Square
and introduced a sensational new concept - entertainment gastronomy – the likes of which Berlin had not seen before.
After success, however, came sadness. In 1937, Richard Unger and his family emigrated to the United States of America to escape the war.
Unfortunately, the Restaurant at Kurfürstendamm 27 was destroyed in a fire
shortly before the war ended and all his other properties were destroyed by bombings.
However, the Kempinski name was destined to survive and, after the war ended, Dr. Friedrich W. Unger,
Berthold's grandson and Richard Unger's son, returned to Germany.
In 1951 he started to build a hotel directly on the site of the destroyed restaurant at Kurfürstendamm 27.
One year later the Kempinski Hotel opened and became the most modern and popular Grand Hotel of its time.
It was the first five star hotel in Berlin and became renowned for its innovations – for example, building an indoor swimming pool.
In 1953 Dr. Friedrich W. Unger sold his share of the business and the Kempinski name to the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft,
which already ran hotels called the Bristol and the Kaiserhof.
The name Bristol was taken over and used by the hotel at Ku'damm 27,
which is how the hotel which is known today as the Kempinski Hotel Bristol acquired its name.
The Kempinski Hotel Bristol was the first property of the internationally active hotel group and in 1970 the Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft
changed its name to Kempinski Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft.
Since 1977 the company has been called Kempinski A.G.
In August 2002, at its AGM in Munich, the majority shareholder (98.2%) of Kempinski AG,
in accordance with new German company law governing squeeze-outs,
passed a resolution to purchase the remaining 1.8% of the Company's shares.
Over the years, the company acquired other famous landmarks all over Germany.
In 1957 the Atlantic Hotel in Hamburg, also know as the ‘white castle', situated on the outer Alster Lake
and in 1970 50% of the stakes in the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich,
which established a long-standing partnership with Lufthansa, who was also a shareholder of the property.
In 1977 the Hotel Gravenbruch (not listed in the Hotels of the World.com) near Frankfurt joined the group.
In 1985 Lufthansa bought shares in Kempinski, enabling the traditional German Hotel group to operate hotels abroad.
Kempinski Hotels S.A. was formed by Kempinski, Lufthansa and Rolaco S.A. and the Company's head office was established in Geneva, Switzerland.
Its mission was and still is to expand the group globally, while retaining distinctive and individual hotels with history or breathtaking modernity.
Kempinski, Europe's oldest luxury hotel management company, has a diverse and international portfolio.
While retaining one owned property – the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski (Munich)
and two leases – Hotel Adlon Kempinski (Berlin) and Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains (St Moritz) –
the Company's expertise, and therefore portfolio, is concentrated in the management of hotels.
Today Kempinski's prestigious portfolio comprises over 50 luxurious Hotels
in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America.
Well known and established names like the Hotel Adlon in Berlin,
the Çiragan Palace in Istanbul,
the Grand Hotel des Bains in St. Moritz and
the Grand Hotel in Heiligendamm
are part of the I9 exeptional properties listed with the Hotels of the World.com
Each hotel and resort offers superior standards of service combined
with a distinctive style that reflects the individuality of the property and its location.