Königswinter · The Grandhotel on the Petersberg in Königswinter reopened Monday evening. Numerous prominent guests took part in the festivities. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) also attended.
The historical hotel on the Petersberg in Königswinter shines in new splendour. 70 planners thought about the design, 90 companies and 1300 craftsmen and workers finally implemented the ideas and plans: The Grandhotel & Spa Petersberg was ceremoniously reopened on Monday evening after two and a half years of renovation and conversion work. Around 600 guests were invited to the ceremony, including political and showbiz celebrities such as Hugo Egon Balder, Wolfgang Bosbach and Norbert Röttgen.
"The Petersberg does not belong to the most fearsome mountain giants, from its historical meaning it would however exceed the Zugspitze", said Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in his speech about the "mountain closely connected with German history". In the Empire, the Petersberg was a "playground for the rich and crowned". Maas also alluded to Konrad Adenauer's negotiations with the High Allied Commissioners in 1949, the Afghanistan Conferences in 2001, 2002 and 2011 and the Petersburg Dialogue held last July. He called the Petersberg "a piece of German history that sets out for a new future“.
Responsible for this future is the Federal Office for Real Estate (Bima), which owns the property. Renovation work began in the spring of 2017. The first construction phase was the north wing, which also houses the rotunda and the restaurants. The construction phase took around nine months longer than planned. One reason was that the renovation was carried out without interrupting operations. "These were high demands," said Christoph Krupp, spokesman of the Bima board of directors, in his welcoming address. Damage caused by soot in the kitchen area and defective downpipes were only two of the 47 documented damage to existing structures. This also had an effect on costs. Instead of the originally calculated 35.4 million Euro, the entire refurbishment cost a good 40 million euros, an increase of around 15 percent. "There were a lot of trials and tribulations to endure," said Krupp.
The planning phase had already dragged on for around a year longer than previously thought. The reason: The new hotel director Michael Kain had brought in his own wishes. For example, the gallery overlooking Drachenfels, where events had previously taken place, became a breakfast room for the hotel guests. The room is located directly below the presidential suite. A winter garden was also dispensed with as part of the planning. The circular route around the Petersberg, which was also planned, had to be cancelled for ecological reasons.
Number of hotel rooms rises from 99 to 112
The guests at the opening could learn more about the history of the Petersberg in a film shown in the Salon Drachenfels, enjoyed the entertainment and got their own impression of the measures during guided tours through the hotel. The number of rooms has increased from 99 to 112 due to the abandonment of meeting rooms and offices, the smallest room is 28 square meters, the presidential suite measures 250 square meters. The dominant colours of the uniform colour scheme are beige, petrol and brown. Board spokesman Thomas Willms of the Steigenberger called the measures a "milestone" and praised the cooperation with Bima.
The spa area of the hotel was completely redesigned, as were all restaurants and bars. Their names are reminiscent of the many famous personalities who have been guests at the hotel, such as Bills (Clinton) Restaurant or Nelsons (Mandela) Piano Bar. Ferdinand's restaurant is a reminder of the Petersberg builder Ferdinand Mülhens, who had the building built at the end of the 19th century. The Salon Adenauer – formerly Salon Thüringen – now bears the name of the first German Chancellor. "After the breath of the past, we are now feeling the pulse of the future," said Krupp. "We are looking forward to the future full of anticipation.“
(Original text: Alexander Hertel; Translation: Mareike Graepel)