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Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg - Bost Interior Design

Bost Interior Design wins award for Hotel Bad Homburg

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The architectural firm Bost Interior Design has received a 2017 Iconic Award during the recent Expo Real Trade Fair in Munich.

The prize was awarded in the “Interior” category to recognise the design the company had produced for the renovations that have taken place at the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg.

Every year the German Design Council, a body instigated by the Federal Parliament, honours visionary architecture, innovative products and sustainable communication achievements. Every branch of architecture, construction, property and manufacturing industry is eligible for consideration. The Iconic Award is conferred in five main categories. Evaluation criteria include quality of form, aesthetics, material and design.

The Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg has undergone complete modernisation and regeneration over the past 18 months. The first stage of the works involved renovation of all 174 rooms and suites, and this was followed by a redevelopment of the facade and public areas.

Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg - Bost Interior Design
Architect Tassilo Bost stated: “In the 1920s, the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg was known as the ‘Ritters Parkhotel’. It was a highly prestigious establishment which enjoyed an international reputation. The idea behind the concept for the entire expanse of the public areas was to create a link to the aura exuded by classical grand hotels from the beginning of the twentieth century and to showcase this style whilst also incorporating design components from the modern age.”

COO Thomas Willms was on hand to represent Deutsche Hospitality, and he also expressed his delight at the award. “We get regular positive feedback from large numbers of guests regarding the new appearance of the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg. We are proud that architectural experts have declared their recognition in the form of such an accolade,” he said.

A total of €11 million (£9.8 million) was made available for the renovations at the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg, and the project was jointly funded by the owning company Art-Invest Real Estate and Deutsche Hospitality itself.



THE SPA Frankfurter Hof

Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof spa receives award

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THE SPA at the Grand Hotel Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof has gained a “Luxury Hotel” commendation at the 2017 World Luxury Spa Awards in Hanoi (Vietnam) and has thus won the immediate right to designate itself as a “2017 World Luxury Hotel Spa Winner”.

The World Luxury Spa Awards are a world-recognised public event that has been in existence since 2007. They acknowledge hotels with outstanding health and beauty spa areas and restaurants on an annual basis. More than 1,000 luxury hotels and resorts from 150 countries compete in 50 categories to acquire a nomination. The crucial criteria are an innovative overall concept, the very highest level of quality and comfort and excellent service performance on the part of the hotel.

The exclusive Day Spa extends over an area of 1,000 m2 and features a combination of health and beauty and body care treatments. THE SPA at the Frankfurter Hof is not merely a premium venue for relaxation and regeneration. Professional beauty experts are also on hand to offer first class body care from head to toe. Exclusive cosmetic products are used to provide individual hair, nail and make-up treatments.

Further highlights include an unusually designed hamam, an extensive sauna area and a Private Spa Suite which is the first of its kind in Frankfurt.

The décor at THE SPA reflects a timeless elegance in its combination of warm shades of cream and brown and dark-coloured high-quality woods. Whereas clear and calm lines predominate in the relaxation rooms, the Private Spa Suite and the sauna area, the ornamental mosaics in the hamam conjure up an oriental atmosphere.

Jaz to open a hotel in Vienna

Music concept brand Jaz makes plans for Vienna property

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The news that a Jaz in the City is set to open at the very heart of historic Vienna in 2020 means that the Austrian capital will soon boast a further hotel.

This will make Vienna the first foreign location at which all three Deutsche Hospitality brands are represented. The Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof and the IntercityHotel Vienna are already firmly established in A1 central positions.

The newly planned hotel is being developed at Windmühlengasse 28 in Vienna’s Sixth District, only 100 metres from the large pedestrianised shopping area at Mariahilfer Straße and 200 metres away from the “Naschmarkt”, the city’s most famous food market.

This is a quarter of Vienna that enjoys considerable popularity thanks to its host of tourist attractions, museums, restaurants and shops.

The Jaz Vienna will offer 167 rooms including two suites. There will also be a restaurant complete with a bar, a small conference area and a health and beauty spa facility. Deutsche Hospitality will operate the hotel under a management agreement. The developer is Immovate Holding GmbH.

Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm El Sheikh opened its doors

Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm El Sheikh opened its doors

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The Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, a new built five-star resort located in the Nabq Bay directly on the Red Sea coast, opened for business this week.

Each of the 610 luxurious rooms is at least 46 square metres in size, 99 of them are swim up rooms with direct access to the pool. Twelve Junior Suites and two villas equipped with private pools offer even more generously proportioned accommodation.

Expansive gardens provide plenty of green spaces as well as containing three public pools and two for kids. Guests will also enjoy exclusive use of a 3000 square metre private beach to soak up the sun and the sea. The diverse underwater world surrounding the Sinai Peninsula is an ideal place to go diving and snorkelling.

The hotel offers numerous additional sporting facilities, both water and land based, as well as housing a spa and a gym. Five à la carte restaurants offer Asian, Lebanese and Italian specialities as well as grill- and seafood and several bars cater to all the guests’ culinary needs: An Ultra all-inclusive package is also available. A modern conferencing area is able to stage meetings and events of every kind.

One particularly attractive feature of the resort is its close proximity to Sharm El Sheikh Airport, which can, for example, be accessed in only ten minutes via the hotel’s dedicated shuttle bus service. The Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm el Sheikh Resort is already the eleventh hotel which Deutsche Hospitality has launched in Egypt, and CEO Puneet Chhatwal is delighted with this new addition to the company’s portfolio: “The Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm El Sheikh is a beautifully appointed and highly modern resort in an extremely desirable holiday region. Sharm El Sheikh represents a considerable enrichment of our hotel portfolio and is a facility which is bound to fire the enthusiasm of our guests.”


Steigenberger Hotel Riverside Bangkok scheduled to open in 2019

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Deutsche Hospitality has signed an agreement for its first hotel in Thailand. The five-star Steigenberger Hotel Riverside will open in the capital city of Bangkok in 2019.

It will offer 259 rooms, including deluxe rooms, suites, superior suites, honeymoon suites and a Presidential Suite. Its conference and banqueting facilities will extend over an area of 900-square-metres. The hotel’s gastronomic concept will boast features such as a pool restaurant, a roof terrace bar and restaurant and a VIP lounge. A generously proportioned 1,200-square-metre spa and gym area will contain both an indoor and an outdoor pool. The hotel will also have a landing stage to enable guests to undertake tours by shuttle boat.

“The Steigenberger Hotel Riverside Bangkok is our gateway to the market in Thailand and allows us to establish a brand presence in a city of superlatives,” explained CEO Puneet Chhatwal. “Achieving such a step is a source of great pride to us, and this also strengthens the presence of Deutsche Hospitality in our target growth market of Asia.”

Bangkok has over eight million inhabitants and is both the capital and largest city in Thailand. It represents the political, economic and cultural centre of the country and is also Thailand’s most important transport hub. According to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, which ranks cities by overnight visitor arrivals, Bangkok was the most popular city destination in the world in 2016 with over 21 million international visitors. The Steigenberger Hotel Riverside occupies a position which is both quiet and central, directly on the banks of the River Chao Phraya within the immediate vicinity of the city’s main sights.

The hotel will be operated via a management agreement. The property owner and contractual partner is the Thai company River Garden.

Deutsche Hospitality opens Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir in Cairo

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Deutsche Hospitality is continuing on its path of expansion. The focus is both on tapping into new markets and on strengthening its brand presence at existing locations.

In accordance with this strategy, the company has signed 14 contracts for new hotel on three continents over the past year. One particular milestone to mark the new year is the launching of the one hundredth hotel to operate under a Deutsche Hospitality brand.

Steigenberger El Tahrir, Cairo - Deutsche Hospitality

The Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir is located at the very heart of the Egyptian metropolis of Cairo. Its central position on Tahrir Square, only 900 metres from the Egyptian Museum and within the immediate vicinity of the city’s main sightseeing attractions like the Khan El Khalili Bazaar, makes it the ideal starting point for any kind of activity tourists and business travellers wish to pursue. As leading international hospitality company in Egypt, Deutsche Hospitality extends its presence now to eleven hotels and three Nile river ships.

“The opening of our 100th hotel is a real highlight in a company history that stretches back almost 87 years,” said Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Deutsche Hospitality. “It sets out a clear direction of travel in our drive for growth. Cairo adds an internationally relevant metropolis with millions of inhabitants to our portfolio. At the same time, we are filling in a blank spot on the map in terms of our presence in Egypt, the second largest location of our hotel company after our home market of Germany.”

The Steigenberger El Tahrir offers its guests 300 exquisitely furnished rooms and suites, all of which are equipped with the very latest technology. Five conference rooms and a large banqueting Hall offer plenty of space for events, and there is also a spa as well as a health and beauty centre and gym complete with swimming pool.

Steigenberger El Tahrir, Cairo - Deutsche Hospitality

Mrs. Mervat Hataba is chairwoman of the Owning Company of Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir, HOTAC. She announced that the Hotel has been opened successfully: “We believe that this is a great success to the owning company as we own several historical 5 stars hotels all over Egypt and the opening of Steigenberger El Tahrir is a great plus to our portfolio. To have a brand of Deutsche Hospitality in the prime location of El Tahrir square five minutes’ walk from the River Nile and surrounded by all big hotel chains and the Egyptian Museum is an added value to the Egyptian Market, wishing all the success to all our partners.”

Deutsche Hospitality moving into the Indian hotel market

Deutsche Hospitality signs contract for first hotel in India

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Zephyr – the MBD Steigenberger Hotel and Apartments in Bengaluru to open in the year 2020

Deutsche Hospitality is adding a further country to its hospitality portfolio. As announced in June 2016, the German company is approaching the Indian hotel market together with its Indian Joint Venture partner MBD Group. From the year 2020 on, the Zephyr – MBD Steigenberger Hotel and Apartments will be open. Bengaluru is the third most populous city in India and is also called the “Silicon Valley of India” because of the growing importance of its IT industry.

Aimed at redefining luxury at Bengaluru, Zephyr is the pioneering mixed-use development entailing Luxury Hotel and Luxury Serviced Apartments by MBD Steigenberger. Located in the business suburb of Whitefield, The Zephyr – MBD Steigenberger Hotel and Apartments will encompass a five-star property with 178 rooms and suites and 123 Luxury Serviced Apartments.

Deutsche Hospitality moving into the Indian hotel market

Interpreting luxury in the true sense of the word, Zephyr is designed by the world–famous architects Steelman Partners who specialise in the planning, building design, interior design and consultancy of high-end hospitality, resorts, leisure and entertainment projects. It’s Interiors are by Studio Papiri International, renowned for their unique, one of a kind design. Studio Papiri owes its success not only to its artistic and technical preparation, but also to the deep knowledge of the highest level lifestyle of super-luxury hotels.

MBD Group, India’s largest education and leading hospitality company and Deutsche Hospitality, the largest German chain of hotels and resorts, have announced a joint venture in the year 2016. There are plans to manage and franchise hotels under the brand “MBD Steigenberger” on the Indian Territory. For the next 15 years, the plan is to open 20 hotels.

InterCity new concept

IntercityHotel – new locations, new design, new technology

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In Germany, they are fond of saying that all good things come in ‘threes’. This certainly applies to the latest developments at IntercityHotels, a successful Deutsche Hospitality brand which can look back over a history of nearly 30 years and has made three new announcements.

IntercityHotel is set for expansion. Before the end of the year, it will open its first hotel in Braunschweig and a further establishment in Qingdao (China). The first IntercityHotel outside Europe in Salalah (Oman) commenced operations in July.

Further hotels in Duisburg, in Esslingen, at Berlin Airport and in Saarbrücken, Dubai, s’Hertogenbosch (NL) and Leiden (NL) will all follow over the course of the next few years.  There is certainly plenty in the planning pipeline and, what’s more, the upcoming IntercityHotels will feature a completely new concept.

The IntercityHotel Braunschweig, the first hotel to boast a new design developed by the Italian architect Matteo Thun, will open its doors in November. Thun will deliver a real feel-good factor by transforming the lobby into a living room and will create bright and generously proportioned spaces for guests to enjoy.

“Business life today requires extreme flexibility,” he says. “We are all travelling a lot and often only stay in the same locality for one or two nights. ‘Being at home’ is no longer tied to any particular place. It is a feeling. This is precisely what we are seeking to impart to IntercityHotel guests via our new interior concept.”

A small change has also been made to the IntercityHotel logotype. The name of the brand is being spelled with a lower case “c” with immediate effect. In addition, IntercityHotel has joined forces with the trend and restaurant expert Pierre Nierhaus to rework its culinary offerings.

Internal design is not the only area in which guests will notice a difference in future. The background technology is also changing. Guests will be able to check in and out by using the convenient “hotelbird” mobile app. They will also have the option of using their smart phone to open the door to their room and to pay the bill. This is the first time anywhere in the world that the app, which operates in conjunction with the Oracle hotel management system, will be implemented in a fully automated manner. Test runs are already taking place at the IntercityHotels in Mainz and Darmstadt.

The plan is for the concept to be rolled out across all IntercityHotels, beginning with the IntercityHotel Braunschweig.

Steigenberger Airport Hotel Istanbul

Steigenberger Airport Hotel Istanbul opens

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The Steigenberger Hotel Group has opened its second hotel in Turkey – the Steigenberger Airport Hotel Istanbul.

“We are proud to open our second hotel in Turkey and to expand our international portfolio further. Our guests will enjoy Turkish hospitality meeting German standards in one of the most pulsating cities of the world,” said Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of the Steigenberger Hotel Group.

RELATED: Hilton’s Amsterdam Schiphol shifting ‘airport hotel’ perceptions

All 209 guest rooms feature both innovative design elements as well as flexible workspaces. All guests have free Wi-Fi access, and rooms are equipped with LCD flat screens. The hotel also houses a modern health and beauty spa centre along with a spacious gym with the latest exercise equipment, a Turkish bath, a steam room, a sauna, a jacuzzi and an indoor swimming pool. For conferences or meetings, the hotel offers an 860 square metre pillar-free Grand Ballroom and three additional meeting rooms.

Hotel General Manager Ali Türk said: “I am very excited about our cooperation with Steigenberger. Combining our knowledge of the hospitality industry in Turkey and Steigenberger’s quality and expertise in the marketplace, I am confident that Steigenberger Airport Hotel Istanbul is poised to develop at an exceptional pace. I believe that the long lasting reputation of our company with its association with Steigenberger will enable this unique business hotel to achieve its full potential and pave the way for a successful and mutually beneficial collaboration for many years to come.”

IntercityHotel, Salalah, Oman

First IntercityHotel outside Europe opens in Salalah, Oman

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Steigenberger is continuing its programme of expansion in the Middle East, as the first IntercityHotel outside Europe has now opened in Salalah, located 1,000 kilometres to the South-West of the capital Muscat in Oman. This is the first international mid-market hotel in the city.

The new hotel extends over eight stories and offers 70 rooms as well as a restaurant and a modern gym. One particular highlight is the roof-top swimming pool with fabulous views.

As usual, the IntercityHotel Salalah was built in a central location at the heart of the business district and within the immediate vicinity of various ministries. The airport is also only four kilometres away. Salalah is particularly popular because of its all-year round mild climate and its impressive natural environment.

IntercityHotel - Salalah, Oman
Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG, commented: “Following our Steigenberger début in Dubai in November last year, we are now bringing our IntercityHotel brand to the Middle East for the first time. This represents a further important milestone for us.”

The project was implemented in conjunction with the owner Al Sedra Real Estate LLC of Oman, a subsidiary of the Golden Group of Companies, which is a multi-national operating in more than ten countries.

Camp de Mar

93 rooms freshly renovated at Steigenberger Camp de Mar

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93 rooms at the five-star Steigenberger Golf & Spa Resort Camp de Mar on Mallorca, operated by RIMC, now boast a resplendent new look following completion of the initial phase of renovation measures. The end result is modern, light and airy rooms, all of which feature high-quality furniture.

Renovation works in the lobby and Atrium Bar will be undertaken next, also in a predominantly Mediterranean style. In addition to this, there are plans for a small shop in the entrance area.

93 rooms freshly renovated at Steigenberger Camp de Mar

We are delighted with the results of these first renovation works at the Steigenberger Golf & Spa Resort Camp de Mar,” said Marek N. Riegger, Managing Partner of RIMC International Hotels & Resorts. “We offer a fabulous location at the very heart of the beautiful coastal landscape of Mallorca, and our guests can expect stylishly furnished rooms and suites and a range of regional culinary delights from the numerous restaurants at the resort,” he added.

93 rooms freshly renovated at Steigenberger Camp de Mar

Conversion works for the whole of the restaurant area will get underway at the start of winter season. The SPA will gain a new thoroughfare so that hotel guests can more conveniently access the outdoor pool and garden facilities. The final phase of the project will involve adding a new playground to the children’s area.

Jaz Amsterdam grand opening

Jaz Amsterdam celebrates official opening

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Located right next door to the Amsterdam ArenA and the Ziggo Dome, Jaz Amsterdam has celebrated its official hotel opening and has succeeded in becoming a cult venue in no time at all. The spectacular show to herald its opening, designed by Jung von Matt, also proved a cult attraction.

This is a hotel designed by musical enthusiasts for musical visionaries in which the musical heart of Amsterdam pulsates to the beat of the city. The Jaz Amsterdam is the Steigenberger Hotel Group’s third brand.

As Adele performed at the Ziggo Dome next door, the Jaz Team assembled around Band Leader Joost van Beck. As well as being known and loved for its spontaneous sessions, the first hotel to be operated under Steigenberger’s third brand always has a surprise in store. Its opening very much went off with a bang in a launch event which featured show performances, dance and music on a temporary scaffolding structure specially erected for the purpose. Indeed, what could be more appropriate for a hotel which is “built by music”?

“Today is a great moment,” said Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG. “It is the day on which we officially welcome the Jaz Amsterdam as a new member of the Steigenberger family.” He was also full of praise for the hotel’s staff: “Since the Soft Opening in November, the Jaz Team has put in an outstanding performance.”

Hasan Yigit, Vice President of Jaz Hotel, added: “The key concept behind the opening event is ‘Built by music’. Our team comprises a drummer, an orchestrator, a stage manager, a choreographer and our Band Leader Joost. All work together to achieve perfect harmony with the wishes of the guests.”

The further support programme was just as refreshing and unconventional. Local artists and DJ’s were on hand, and live performances were staged in the lifts. A champagne pyramid, a range of culinary delights and unusual show components also all added to the mix. The highlight of the evening was an appearance by the legendary DJ Fedde le Grand. All of the elements combined to conjure up a sensational atmosphere at the Jaz Amsterdam and truly made it “the place to be” on this particular day.

The next Jaz Hotel is scheduled to open in Stuttgart in early 2017, and the aim is to have ten further hotels operational or in planning by 2020.


First InterCityHotel outside Europe to open in July 2016

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Steigenberger is continuing its programme of expansion in the Middle East – the first InterCityHotel outside Europe is scheduled to open in July 2016 in Salalah, the second largest metropolitan area in Oman located 1,000 kilometres to the South-West of the capital Muscat.

This will be the first international mid-market hotel in the city.

The new hotel will extend over eight storeys and will offer 70 rooms as well as a restaurant and gym, and a roof-top swimming pool with fabulous views.
As usual, the InterCityHotel Salalah is being developed in a central location at the heart of the business district and within the immediate vicinity of various ministries. The airport is also only four kilometres away. Salalah is particularly popular because of its all-year round mild climate and its impressive natural environment.

Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG, commented: “Following our Steigenberger début in Dubai in November last year, we are now bringing our InterCityHotel brand to the Middle East for the first time. This represents a further important milestone for us.”

The Steigenberger Hotel Dubai Business Bay has been receiving guests since November 2015 and has recently won the accolade of being named a “leading new hotel” in the 2016 Hospitality Awards.

The InterCityHotel Dubai Culture Village and the Steigenberger Hotel Doha Airport Road in Qatar are scheduled for completion in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Steigenberger Alcazar Resort

Steigenberger Alcazar Resort to open in Sharm El Sheikh in May

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The new five-star Steigenberger Alcazar Resort, set in a beach location directly on the Red Sea coast, will be ready to receive its first guests from mid-May. This will be Steigenberger’s eighth venture in Egypt. Three contracts have been signed during the last three years.

The hotel will offer 610 rooms, including seven Junior Suites and two villas as well as five different restaurants and four bars. Visitors will also be able to enjoy the benefits of a modern conference area able to stage meetings and events as well as being able to access spa and gym facilities.

“Egypt is an important location for the Steigenberger Hotel Group,” said Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG. “The new resort in Sharm El Sheikh fits seamlessly into our existing portfolio and strengthens our position on the market. Together with the opening of the Steigenberger Tahrir Square in July we are well set.”

The Alcazar Resort is situated in the Bay of Nabq on the Sinai Peninsula and offers hotel guests the use of a 3,000 m2 private beach. The area features an extensive underwater environment which is ideal for diving and snorkelling.

Steigenberger Park Hotel Dusseldorf

Steigenberger Park-Hotel, Dusseldorf (Patrick Goff)

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It stands almost as a symbolic icon of the recovery of Germany from past disasters. Top floors burned out, requisition by occupation forces, rebuilt and now refurbished as an exemplar of luxury, the Park-Hotel Dusseldorf is massively reassuring. In a world where provincial concepts of luxury are frequently debased versions of the real thing, where local frequently means second rate and where refurbishment often equates to safe or boring, here quality standards deliver a guest experience that is in line with the hotels five star status.

Too many of my recent trips to look at hotels at this level have proved a disappointment, with ‘safe’ design delivering short term fixes to hotels that need fundamental upgrading. Whether this comes from management that is predictable or comfortable , or from clients that lack imagination and don’t see how interiors move upmarket all the time, or from designers who are cowed into delivering safe solutions is almost irrelevant. The reasons for timidity only contribute to the slow slide downmarket that typifies so much of European (especially UK) hotel stock.

Steigenberger Park Hotel Dusseldorf

The search for luxury solutions fails to lift many hotel interiors beyond the mediocre. Some of the efforts to succeed will not be to everyone’s taste but timidity in design wins no friends, nor loyalty from guests. Steigenberger has embellished its reputation for understanding luxury with the refurbishment of the Park Hotel in Dusseldorf, not just through the revamped interior design but through operationally understanding the differentiation of areas within the hotel. It also ties itself in to the cultural life of the city, not just because it is next door to the opera, but also by having an artist in residence scheme, the results of which you will see in many of the images in this Review.

Art can embellish interiors and well chosen art can help to create the identity of an hotel, creating dramatic impact in spaces that themselves may be boring, providing strong colour against which to balance the fabrics and soft furnishings. It can also be (when not lame or cheap reproductions) an investment, increasing in value over time, maybe even an investment which can fund a future refurbishment if chosen well. It can also provide wit and be a visual thematic link running through an interior scheme. Steigenberger has recognised that Art is also part of many wealth investments so tapping in to the local art market can be a way to connect with the local affluent guests a five star seeks.

The art also however tweaks a contemporary interpretation of a luxury interiors by giving it unashamedly modern images and a bright injection of colour. The art theme is carried throughout the public space, and the fine dining restaurant makes obeisance to both the visual arts and, perhaps, the art of the opera next door with its name of ‘the Artiste’. With its linked ‘Etoile’ bar this provides fine dining in the conservatory extension on one side of the hotel frontage, with the views into neighbouring parkland and over the artificial lake.

Steigenberger Park Hotel Dusseldorf

On the other side of the entrance is the ‘Steigenberger Eck’ a social bar and eatery. To call is a bistro would be to understate its quiet luxury, defined by both its remarkable linear chandelier and it external terrace. With its own street access this has a chance to become a local bar/diner with urban chic and sophistication. The history of this Steigenberger is one of royal patronage from the start, and it has played host to the cream of Dusseldorf since. The central location enhances its attraction in a quiet position within Dusseldorf, rapidly becoming one of my favourite cities.

With the red carpet on the steps and a formal but contemporary reception lobby giving access to both lifts and a staircase, the entrance is both functional and expansively welcoming. Given focus by the large chandelier and the large floral centrepiece it gives clear sight lines to staff over all the key areas, enabling both security and control to be efficiently and discreetly exercised. All the main areas – restaurants, bars etc.- are visible to the guest on entry. In bars and restaurant staff again have easy sightlines making greeting and controlling guests a simple matter. At all levels guests are always smilingly greeted and guided to tables etc., part of efficient and effective service that is not always found in a five star hotel, but appears very much a hallmark of Steigenberger.

Steigenberger Park Hotel Dusseldorf

Soft furnishings echo the past, appropriately for an historic five star. Drapes serve a dual purpose in that they provide an effective second line of insulation against the mid-European winter cold as well as the right kind of decorative ambience. Carpets also aid in insulation against both cold and sound, and the hotel boasts in its literature that it has English carpets (they are by Brintons) showing that some people at least recognise that not only is there a good utilitarian reason for carpeting but is it also a clear mark of luxury.

Timber or tile may be appropriate in more downmarket establishment such as a trattoria or a pub where resistance to spills, cigarette burns and easy cleaning are criteria, but high quality carpet creates a luxury feel underfoot and if specified correctly will certainly give a life of use as long as many engineered timber floors. Carpet in the corridors helps to keep the bedroom areas quiet too. Stair areas have seating areas at the top and the stairs are given a presence, with fire doors on hold backs so that the staircase remains open and visible, making it an attractive route for guests. Room layouts are planned so that the awkward corner areas become the suites and interconnecting rooms (see the floor plan).

As you rise through the floors the rooms become smaller as the top floor was originally laid out for the servants the wealthy brought with them. The smaller rooms are equally luxuriously finished and furnished, but now let as single rooms to reflect their smaller size. In many UK hotels these rooms would be regarded as a normal double (see the video on the last page) as they are reasonably large until compared with the standard rooms elsewhere on the floors below.

Steigenberger Park Hotel Dusseldorf

Larger rooms have separate toilet and bidet space, and again it is noticeable how many five star continental hotels still offer bidets, something missing from the mind of many UK designers, never mind a five star having both a soaking tub and a walk in shower as they frequently do outside the UK. UK five star standards seem to me to be decaying as owners and operators go for cheap solutions, whilst in the countries most of our tourist guests come from, bathroom standards in particular continue to rise with many beginning to offer his and her bathrooms (see One and Only for example), never mind just having a walk in shower and a soaking tub, bidet and a separate toilet area. Indeed in some countries now, new build regulations requite a separating toilet space from the rest of the bathroom.

Simple things are used here to raise the perception of standards to a five star level. Tiling on the bathroom floor, for example, is chosen for dramatic effect, with inlaid tile patterns mimicking gold and mother of pearl adding to the perception of luxury. It is a simple device that need not cost a great deal more than a plain or marble effect tile, but shifts guest perception of the quality.

As with so many things in the luxury market it is how perceptions are moulded rather than a different level of reality that counts. Throughout the hotel, from corridors to major public spaces, notable is the careful control and use of lighting (much supplied by Chelsom Ltd). Often when the designer departs the hotel has one light switch position, ‘on’, but not here. Here lighting is gradated and mixed with wall and ceiling light balanced by candles for romantic effect.

Steigenberger Park Hotel Dusseldorf

Similarly in the bedrooms lighting is controllable from the desk and the bedhead, making setting the level for the task in hand easy. Rooms all have sensibly designed desk and free WiFi makes working easy, along with the generous provision of sockets. (A tip by the way – I carry an extension board of UK sockets that plugs in with the local plug hardwired on the lead. With cameras, phones, laptop etc. to charge having 4 or five UK sockets on one cable makes life easier than carrying an large number of adaptors, or forming a queue).

Design of the bedrooms is well done. With traditional dark wood and brass casegoods it is likely that the 2012 refurbishment was limited to the decorative items and soft furnishings, but the rooms have been successfully given a contemporary feel and are very comfortable both physically and visually. Indeed the whole hotel is both comfortable and contemporary. It has a classical feel yet with contemporary art and fabrics, and good lighting, it feels modern, not like a hotel stuck in a past and that in 1902 was frequented by Royalty.

As an example of the quality of the Steigenberger Group it was well chosen. The group currently has 48 hotels in Germany but with new CEO Puneet Chhatwal coming in from Rezidor where he was part of Kurt Ritter’s team that grew that group from a dozen hotels to over 600,Steigenberger are poised to grow quickly, targeting EMEA. Somebody mentioned 1,000 hotels – well I wouldn’t disbelieve that. As Chhatwal said, they aim to be the BMW of the hotel world. If the Park Hotel Dusseldorf is anything to go by, the Bentley might be a better parallel. Mind you that brand is owned by BMW isn’t it…

From a visit in December 2013 ©Words and Pictures Patrick Goff 2014