Siebengebirge The famous Grandhotel on the Petersberg will be officially reopened in front of up to 600 guests on 23 September after a two and a half year renovation.
There is excitement about Heike Maas’ official speech on the reopening of the Steigenberger Grandhotel & Spa Petersberg on Monday 23 September. Will the Federal Foreign Minister focus more on the tradition-steeped history of the federal guest house, in which so many leading figures from world history have already stayed and met? Or will he also talk about the last two and a half years during which the complex was renovated?
There would be enough stories from this period too - right up to the planning of the reopening ceremony, at which Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz was initially scheduled to speak. As finance minister, he also provided the money for the renovation. However, an election campaign date for his candidacy as SPD leader got in the way.
Those involved at the Institute for Federal Real Estate, which was responsible for the renovation, are in any case relieved that they can now report completion. “It took a bit longer, was a bit more expensive, but all in all went quite well,” said project manager Joachim Burdack at the Petersberg on Monday.
Delay because of renovation while hotel still operating
The planning process took around a year longer than planned. The building phase itself, which began in spring 2017 with the first construction stage in the north wing, then also took another nine months longer than planned. This is also a tribute to a renovation during ongoing operations. Soot damage in the kitchen area and defective downpipes were only two of the total of 47 documented existing faults that had to be repaired.
It is no wonder then that the originally calculated cost of 35.4 million euros could not be kept to. “The renovation will cost a good 40 million euros,” said Burdack. This is a cost increase of around 15 per cent.
Guests take over entire hotel
Everything is still not quite finished. A drain still has to be repaired in the washroom of the toilets between the Nelson Piano Bar and the Adenauer Salon. And one or two skirting boards are still missing in the hotel.
Otherwise, guests have completely taken over the hotel again, after at times only half the hotel rooms being available during the renovation. “Operating results in August were really good,” says Burdack. “During the construction, turnover was only half as high,” says Vladimir Saal, managing director of Gästehaus Petersberg GmbH. Now nothing is standing in the way of the big party on Monday. 500 to 600 guests are expected. “The majority are customers, to whom we want to show the hotel,” says Saal. TV presenter Günther Jauch and the actress Anja Kruse are also on the list of around 30 guests of honour.
(Original text: Hansjürgen Melzer. Translation: kc)