Remagen The company "Smart Hospitality Solutions" (SHS), based in the United Arab Emirates, is to operate the planned hotel "The Bridge" next to the pillars of the Remagen Bridge. The start of construction of the 50 million euro project is planned for the beginning of next year.
Despite all the prophecies of doom: According to the project developer, the ambitious hotel project "The Bridge" in Remagen is making progress after all. On Wednesday, architect Tom Krause (Eschweiler) presented the Dubai-based "Smart Hospitality Solutions" (SHS) as the future hotel operator.
Its founder Reto Wittwer, ex-president of the Kempinski Group, told the GA: "The hotel will give Remagen and the entire region dynamism". Planning for the hotel, with its 123 rooms and suites, its two restaurants, its bistro, which extends into the Rhine in a "Kranhäuschen", its conference and wellness area and its outdoor gastronomy, has been going on for six years now. While planner Krause has now considerably reduced the size of the conference area, the spa area is to be all the larger.
Completion is scheduled after a construction period of about 20 months
Total cost of the project: almost €50 million. 40 apartments on the banks of the Rhine, right next to the pillars of the former Remagen bridge, are part of the project, which is to be started at the beginning of next year. Completion is scheduled after a construction period of about 20 months.
"We want to get involved in the city and be open to the people of Remagen," says hotel operator Wittwer. Literally, the Swiss native said: "Our hotel lobby should become a village square. The town of Remagen is in a Sleeping Beauty mode from which the hotel will wake "like a vitamin shot". Wittwer: "The Bridge will be an exciting hotel, a house with which the people of Remagen will identify." His SHS co-director Ulrich Eckhardt (also ex-Kempinski) added: "We can hardly wait to start in Remagen. Society will meet in this place.“
Many projects have already been successfully realised in recent years with the planning office of Tom Krause, said Wittwer, who, according to his own statement, already has "250 hotel openings under his belt". The hotelier did not want to commit himself too much to the occupancy rates expected for Remagen: "We would be satisfied with 50 to 60 percent. But there are many question marks". The operating company estimates that 120 jobs will be created in the new hotel. The staff will be built up "gradually".
Regarding the not exactly optimal connection of Remagen to the airport and motorway, the ex-Kempinski boss said: "The German is a car driver. You enjoy the drive through the countryside. After all, we are not a business hotel where you want to be in a hurry, but a wellness centre“.
"Historical tourism" and "wellness tourism"
He also noted that "historical tourism" and "wellness tourism" showed double-digit growth rates. The remains of the Ludendorff Bridge attract people from all over the world who are interested in history. And as far as spa and health were concerned, he said: "We want to sell whole Ayurveda packages.
Krause also addressed the question of when the town of Remagen would receive its money from land sales at the hotel: "We are trying to pay the purchase prices by the end of the year. But we cannot promise it." He said it was currently difficult to get appointments with the banks involved.
At the beginning of the new year, they now want to dig an excavation pit next to the bridge piers, the civil engineering contract has already been awarded to a Remagen company: "The construction site will be as big as a football field. The construction time for this demanding project will be at least 16 months, or 20 months in unfavourable weather conditions.
(Original text: Victor Francke/ Translation: Mareike Graepel)