Friesdorf. After 20 years, the former Indonesian Embassy in Friesdorf is coming back to life. A Hamburg hotel group is opening the first "Nyce" hotel in Germany here in Bonn by the end of the year. Hotel staff is being hired.
Bad Godesberg seems to be a good place for hotels: After it became known that a Tinytwice hotel would move into the former Park Hotel at the Bad Godesberg Kurpark, the next hotel opening was announced in Friesdorf.
According to GA information, a "Nyce" hotel is to move into the building of the former Indonesian Embassy on Bernkasteler Strasse in Friesdorf. On Tuesday, Marko Mladina, junior marketing manager of the Hamburg-based Centro Hotel Group, confirmed the plans to GA. Currently, work is still taking place on and in the building, and an opening of the new hotel is planned by the end of the year, he said. Around 58 rooms will be available for future guests. From the outside, the building has undergone some changes: the window fronts are large and modern. Eye-catching are the exterior blinds and the gray paint. The former embassy driveway now serves as a drop-off area for hotel guests. But a hotel sign has not yet been erected.
First "Nyce" hotel in Germany
The Centro Hotel Group says it currently operates several hotels throughout Germany and Europe; the group's brands include Centro Hotels, Four-Side, Boutique and Ninety-Nine-Hotels. The group also had a presence in Bonn until recently: it managed the Hotel Residence on Kaiserstrasse and the Hotel Bristol on Prinz-Albert-Strasse. In February, it was announced that the group was closing the Bristol due to structural deficiencies and, as a result of the Corona crisis, the closing of the Hotel Residence was announced in March.
With the opening of the "Nyce", it is the first hotel of this new brand in Germany. On its website, the company is currently looking for staff for the new hotel. "The new Nyce hotels are not just places to stay, but above all spaces for encounters," reads part of the text on the website. A little history is also a part of the experience since it is in a former embassy building. The promotional text goes on to say, "Originally derived from New York's boutique hotels, where art and design were first made affordable in a small space, style is now international and timeless." "Our Nyce hotels combine the extraordinary with that certain something that makes a visit to these small but fine establishments - no matter what city - a special experience," Mladina tells GA.
Former embassy was auctioned off in December 2016
The wording suggests that the group is planning further Nyce hotels in Germany, but the start is in Bonn. Whether the hotel group has bought or leased the former embassy is unclear. Embassy expert and deputy Bad Godesberg district mayor Michael Wenzel writes in his book "Kleine Geschichte(n) Bad Godesberger Botschaften - Ein diplomatischer Reiseführer" ("Little History(s) of Bad Godesberg Embassies - A Diplomatic Guide") that the property was sold by Westdeutsche Grundstücksauktionen AG by auction in Cologne. The auction took place on December 12, 2016 in the Cologne Hilton Hotel.
Former embassy building brought in 1.05 million euros
The property was classified as in need of renovation, which at the time was visible to those who walked by the place. According to the auction catalog, the property is 3,815 square meters, the embassy building itself 2,448 square meters and the garage complex approximately 162 square meters - a parking lot offers space for 43 vehicles. The embassy was built in 1979 and expanded in 1984. The minimum bid at the time was 995,000 euros, but a bid of 1.05 million euros was accepted from an unknown bidder. At the same time, the Indonesian residence in Mehlem, which is "in great need of renovation", was also auctioned off. The minimum bid was 765,000 euros, and it was sold for 1.1 million euros. The embassy and the residence stood empty for around 17 years until the Republic of Indonesia decided to sell the properties.
In 2018, a Swedish-German thriller was filmed in the building
Now the embassy is coming back to life after more than 20 years. In spring of 2018, the property made headlines for the last time, as the Swedish-German thriller series "West of Liberty" was filmed there over several days. In the film, however, the former Indonesian Embassy mimicked a Syrian Embassy and the story is not set in Bonn, but in Berlin. Orig. text: Maximilian Muhlens Translation: Carol Kloeppel