of Grand Hotel Esplanade
The first Grand Hotel Esplanade ...
was built in 1907/1908 on Bellevuestraße according to plans of Architect Otto Rehnig.
The building was erected in Belle Epoque style and had several splendid halls, including the Emperor's Hall. Here, Kaiser Wilhelm II organized his exclusive gentlemen's club. A special attraction was the 1600 sqm garden in the courtyard of the hotel.
The Grand Hotel Esplanade at Potsdamer Platz was one of the most famous hotels in Berlin before and during the "Golden 20s". At that time, stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo stayed here. Billy Wilder worked here before he began his career as a dancer and Marek Weber played with his orchestra to the dance.
During the Weimar Republic, the Grand Hotel Esplanade was particularly popular with followers of the monarchy. In 1941, the National Socialists announced the demolition of the building. Before the assassination attempt in July 1944, the conspirators met at the Grand Hotel Esplanade several times. They were also waiting here for the outcome of the plot.
In the winter of 1944/1945, the hotel was largely destroyed during a bomb attack. Only a small part remained almost undisturbed: the Emperor's Hall, the breakfast hall, the stairwell and the laundry rooms. In the midst of the rubble, this part was used in the 1950s as a restaurant and for dance events, later also for fashion shows. After the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, a moderate hotel and event business continued.
The remains of the hotel also served as a movie set. In 1972 scenes of the film "Cabaret" were filmed here with Liza Minnelli. In 1981 recordings took place for "The Leaden Time" by Margarethe von Trotta and in 1986 for "Wings of Desire" by Wim Wenders.
In 1981, the building had to close for security reasons. However, the remains of the hotel were put under monument protection after the fall of the wall in 1989.
A small part, namely the Kaisersaal, is now integrated into the Sony Center. The hotel's breakfast room, which has also been preserved, was divided into 500 parts and later rebuilt as part of the restaurant Josty, whose name reminds of the old Café Josty.
In 1988 a new Grandhotel Esplanade was opened on Lützowufer (then West Berlin).
History of the Grand Hotel Esplanade since 1988
On 1st May 1988, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Grand Hotel Esplanade opened its doors. It is considered the first designer hotel in Germany.
The architecture of Prof. Jürgen Sawade was based on the historic model of the former Grand Hotel Esplanade in Berlin, which had a natural stone façade facing the street. For the new Grand Hotel Esplanade this turned into a granite façade.
The hotel is modern in the true sense of the word: contemporary, classy, timeless, serene yet pleasantly comfortable and friendly - a modern lifestyle hotel with warm colors, generous facilities and a cozy atmosphere.
It was decorated exclusively with works of art (paintings, sculptures, water features), plants, natural and artificial lighting and with carpets and furniture.
Prof. Heinz Mack designed the illuminated "Water Wall" in the driveway as well as the "Space Pole" and the "Space Scissors" in the spacious lobby.
But a hotel is only as good as the team, which ensures the well-being of it's guests. Some of our associates today are with the Esplanade from the very beginning which makes for a lot of experience and feels like a family.
of the Grand Hotel Esplanade
Not least because of its location in the Berlin embassy district, the Grand Hotel Esplanade housed numerous state visits and heads of European royal houses, Queen Elizabeth II, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Margaret II of Denmark.
Celebrities from the worlds of music, film, television, fashion, sports and politics have also stayed at the hotel.
Here is just a small selection from our guestbook:
- Neil Diamond
- Ray Charles
- Paul McCartney
- Bruce Springsteen
- Peter Gabriel
- Bob Geldof
- Michael Jackson
- Whitney Houston
- Kylie Minogue
- Herbert Grönemeyer
- Dieter Bohlen
- Claudia Abbado
- Montserrat Caballé
- José Carreras
- Placido Domingo
- Prof. Justus Frant
- Prof. Kurt Masur
- Yehudi Menuhin
- Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- Catherine Deneuve
- Jane Fonda
- Hildegard Knef
- Robert de Niro
- Bud Spencer
- Sylvester Stallone
- Til Schweiger
- Emilio Pucci
- Paco Rabanne
- Agatha Ruiz de la Prada
- Wolfgang Joop
- Boris Becker
- Michael Schumacher
- Henry Maske
- Franz Beckenbauer
- Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft
- Nelson R. Mandela
- Michael Gorbatschow
- Willy Brandt
- Giscard D’Estaing
- Richard von Weizäcker
- Dr. Helmut Kohl
- Hans-Dietrich Genscher
- Gerhard Schröder
5 stars on the river
In 1990, the Grnad Hotel Esplanade already had its own boat landing at the Landwehrkanal.
The perfect location right in the middle of the newly reunited Berlin gave the owners an idea, which was unique in the capital at the time: to build a ship and operate it from the hotel. The ship was commissioned at Yachtwerft Berlin and meant to mirror the ambience of the hotel. At the end of April 1992 the MS Esplanade was launched.
Meetings, conferences and major events aboard the MS Esplanade triggered a wave of enthusiasm. Moreover, the first wedding aboard a ship in Berlin took place on the MS Esplanade.
Relaunch and Rebranding
On 1st May 2006, 18 years after the opening, the US financial investor The Blackstone Group bought the privately run hotel.
The new owners invested almost 20 million Euros in the hotel's relaunch, with high-quality comfort rooms and 40 individually designed suites. The hotel lobby was designed by US architect Alexandra Champalimaud.
In the autumn of 2014, the Grand Hotel Esplanade was acquired by Host Hotels & Resorts, who specialize in hotel real estates.
Since the 6th January 2015, the Grand Hotel Esplanade has been branded as Sheraton Berlin Grand Hotel Esplanade and now belongs to Marriott - the largest hotel chain in the world.