We get the chance to visit one of the rarest gems of the hotel industry, Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin ahead of the German Grand Prix. Hotel Manager Matthias Al-Amiry is here to answer our questions and to show us around this fascinating hotel.
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Mr Al-Amiry, if you had to describe your hotel in only a few sentences, how would you do it?
I would say that the Adlon is a unique, iconic place, a living legend located right opposite the Brandenburg Gate. It’s a hotel where we deliver the most beautiful performances to enchant our guests.
Nicely put. We have to admit that Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is probably the most respected Kempinski hotel in the world. What’s your secret?
Authentic people, cultural empathy, artisanship, mystique, history, and location.
Our secret? Authentic people, cultural empathy, artisanship, mystique, history, and location.
And how far ahead should one book a room at your hotel?
This really depends on the time of the year and the kind of room the person is looking to book. We have 307 regular and deluxe rooms, 75 suites, and three Presidential and Royal Suites, so there are plenty of options.
What services can you offer to VIP guests?
At the Adlon, we consider every guest a VIP. We offer all services that international luxury hotels offer. In addition, we offer a 24-hour butler service for our suite guests, a pick-up or drop-off in the Hotel´s Rolls Royce, or almost any other special request a guest might have. I remember that once our Concierge team delivered fresh milk directly from a farm in Brandenburg.
How do you see Formula 1 today as a sport (or as a business)?
It’s certainly different today compared to how it was in the past. Just like any business, Formula 1 has evolved. I personally was a huge fan of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, therefore I always talk about the “good old days” of Formula 1.
Interestingly, the same goes for the hotel business… But this is actually an exciting challenge of adapting the charm and nostalgia of the past in a contemporary way for today and for the future.
Formula E recently hosted an e-Prix at the former Tempelhof Airport. Do you believe this sport will get more popular in the coming years?
Probably. Electric mobility is certainly the future, even though I believe Germany is still far behind. Before I returned to Germany 2.5 years ago, I spent six years in China. In China, e-mobility is truly advanced. Most buses in Beijing are electric. In terms of racing, well, I’m not sure whether people will be satisfied with the roar of the electric engine. Formula 1 engines are not environmental friendly, but they sure provide quite an experience…
What would you personally recommend to people who will be visiting Berlin before or after the Grand Prix period?
I would definitely recommend a visit to the Berliner Dom – I have personally been there at least five times since I settled in Berlin. Also, enjoy a currywurst at Curry 36 Mehringdamm, visit the wall at the Eastside Gallery, and go on a hop-on hop-off bus tour – it’s really worth it, believe me.