• 1907-1909: Construction of the Hotel Atlantic for a budget of 14 million Goldmarks.
• 1909: May 2: opening of the Grand Hotel. Gala Diner with Bernhard von Bülow, chancelor of the German Empire and Albert Ballin, major of Hamburg and President of Hapag Loyd. The cook of the Hotel is Alfred Walterspiel, later (1926) owner of the Hotel Vierjahreszeiten in Munich. Franz Pfordte becomes the director of the restaurant.
• 1932: Oskar Geyer becomes the director of the hotel.
• 1945: May 8, end of World War II. The hotel is confiscated by British occupation forces.
• 1950: March 1, reopening of the Hotel Atlantic.
• 1955: February 23, State visit to Germany by the Shah of Iran and his half German wife Queen Soraya. The couple stay at the Hotel Atlantic.
• 1957: Hotel Atlantic is acquired by the Kempinski hotel group from Berlin and becomes the second operating hotel in the historic hotel chain.
• 1968: Karl Theodor Walterspiel, younger son of Otto Walterspiel (co-owner of the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich) becomes the director of the Hotel Atlantic.
• 1976: Renovation of the Atlantic kitchen for 2 million marks.
• 1995: The German singer Udo Lindenberg moves into the hotel.
• 1997: Making of the James Bond film « Tomorrow never dies » Pierce Brosnan climbs on the globe located on the hotel rooth. BMW cars are part of the film. Film directed by Roger Spottiswoode.
• 2002: 200 rooms are renovated, among them the BMW suite.
• 2004: German Russian summit at the Atlantic, meeting between Wladimir Putin and the German chancelor.
• 2009: The hotel celebrates its 100th birthday with 400 guest including 10 100 year old people from Hamburg.
• 2010-2011: All 245 rooms of the hotel located in the main building are renovated one by one. The budget is 25 million euros.
• 2013: January 1: 25th New Years reception shown by Hamburger Abendblatt (1h in German).
History of the Kempinski Hotel Chain
Kempinski is Europe’s oldest Luxury Hotel Chain and has a fascinating history.
The company has brought back to life many iconic Grand Hotels with a legendary past.
Kempinski was founded in Berlin by Berthold Kempinski.
• 1872: Mr Kempinski started with a wine bar to which was soon added different restaurants. Berthold Kempinski’s son-in-law Richard Unger continued the business.
• 1897: Foundation of Berlin Hotel Betriebs AG.
• 1918: A Kempinski hotel dependency was established at Kurfürstendamm 27. Over the years the Kempinski family owned an impressive portfolio of Berlin restaurant and hotel properties.
• 1937: The Nazis stole all properties from the Jewish Kempinski family. The Kempinskies were either killed or they emigrated to the US. After the war Kempinski’s grandson Friedrich Unger Kempinski returned to Germany and rebuilt Hotel Bristol on Kurfürstendamm 27.
• 1953: Friedrich Unger sold the Hotel Bristol and the Kempinski name to Hotel Betriebs AG, an Aktiengesellschaft which started the International Hotel Business from West Berlin with the Bristol.
• 1957: Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg is aquired by Kempinski and becomes the second Kempinski Hotel.
• 1970: Kempinski buys parts of Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich (more shares are bought later) from the Walterspiel hotelier family. The Vierjahreszeiten becomes the third Kempinski Hotel.
• 1983: Lufthansa buys parts of Kempinski from Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank.
• 1992: Opening of Hotel Baltschug in Moscow.
• 1992: Lufthansa and others sold their shares to the King of Thailand via his Crown Property Bureau. Over the years the initially very German hotel company became more and more International, with the HQ moving to Geneva and hotels opening in multiple countries.
• 1995: Opening of the renovated and reconstructed Taschenberg Palais in Dresden.
• 1997: August 27, Opening of the reconstructed Hotel Adlon in Berlin.
• 1999: Opening of the renovated Ciragan Palace in Istanbul and the renovated Grand Hotel Falkenstein near Frankfurt.
• 2002: Opening of the renovated Grand Hotel des Bains in St Moritz.
The list only mentions those Kempinski Hotels, which are historic places and which are listed on
VB.com (Very Beautiful) and on Grand Hotels of the World.com.
Article by « Grand Hotels of the World & VB.com », written from « Cremerie de Paris ».