Ritz-Carlton Berlin: Exclusive interview with Director David Salomon – Hotel Interior Designs is very interested in showing some of the world’s best hotels in the world, trying to make your choice easier when the time to decide where to stay comes: in a cosmopolitan city or in a remote beach.
Our first conversation was with David Salomon, the Director of Operations at Ritz-Carlton Berlin.
We want to know what makes this Hotel different from others, why they have the best services and what makes you choose this hotel to pass your dream holidays.
From the rooftop to the cuisine we present you Ritz-Carlton Berlin.
What makes Ritz-Carlton – Berlin different from other Hotels?
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin is very unique thanks to its dedicated ladies & gentlemen.
We sense and fulfill the wishes and needs of our guests before they can even voice them. By taking it to the memorable we always gain to achieve a level of service where you can pull the statement: The answer is YES… so what is the question? It is a matter of being personal, passionate and innovative. We want provide our guests a true home away from home.
When was the open day ?
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin was opened on January 12th in 2004 – so we celebrate our tenth anniversary this year!
What is the main concept behind the hotel’s interior design?
The interior design of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin was created by Cologne based interior designer Peter Silling. He, in turn, was inspired by the works of renowned Prussian architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841), whose architectural genius can still be viewed in many of Berlin’s most famous buildings. Furnishings chosen for the 303 guestrooms and suites bear marked resemblance to the German Imperial style which dominated the historic city for generations. Antique features within The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin, in contrast with dramatic geometric forms, include selected woods, imported marble and bronze accents. The total effect is one of optical harmony throughout the public spaces.
To reflect the influence of Prussian architect Schinkel, each of the 303 guestrooms, except The Ritz-Carlton Apartment, and suites at The Ritz-Carlton is distinguished by original watercolors being created by Professor Markus Luepertz, a German artist highly noted for his 20th century neo-expressionism style. His works, entitled “Homage a Schinkel” come from the architect’s original design sketchbooks. Each of Luepertz’ copperplates is printed on hand-made paper, an original and unique tribute to one of the world’s most respected architects.
What was your major challenge while building the concept?
The biggest – and most interesting – challenge was the combination of creating a modern hotel at a very historic and important site. The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin is standing just a short distance from what was formerly a section of The Berlin Wall and we wanted to create a hotel which reflects this historic meaning of the location. The whole Beisheim Center complex with The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin was designed as a contemporary interpretation of a European city with blocks, streets and squares and The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin is reminiscent of the golden age of art deco skyscrapers familiar in New York City and Chicago. Despite the inspiration of the golden age of art deco, the noted architectural firm of Hilmer and Sattler has created a design that is a fusion of modern trends. Even so, the architects also embrace a tribute to elements of classical European architecture. The sandstone exterior conveys both strength and light and stand in contrast to the soaring glass and steel structures, which are already a Potsdamer Platz signature.
Who designed the project?
In which way does the interior design influence the service you offer your guests?
Our hotel is a great example of an European Grand Hotel with large marble stairs in the lobby, more than 14,000 Swarovski crystals at our chandeliers and spacious, cozy furnitures. This ambiance of elegance and style affects our team in a very positive way since they are proud working at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. However, the interior design itself does not influence our high level of personal service at all.
What kind of services do you provide?
We provide a very personal service at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. Our heart and soul are our dedicated ladies and gentlemen. They make the difference in hospitality by providing the best personal service to our guests. For example a certified Tea Master® – honored with a gold pin received by Ronnefeldt tea house – offers a daily afternoon tea underpinned by the live playing of a piano. Another important team member is the bar manager, who has already received multiple prestigious awards for his creative ideas. One specialty of the current Mixologist of the Year are his perfume cocktails, for which he conjures up individual cocktail creations based on various fragrances from his patrons’ favorite perfumes. Furthermore we do have our won Shoe Shine butler for our guests, a very experienced concierge team – our Chief Concierge is the current president of Clefs D’Or Germany and was voted Best European Concierge in 2010 – and a beautiful Club Lounge on the 10th floor.
The newly refurbished Club Lounge welcomes our guests in a setting of absolute privacy and exclusivity. Surrounded by finest materials and hand selected furniture, our ladies and gentlemen pamper their guests all day long with culinary delicacies, refined cocktails and personalized service. Travellers will experience the Club Lounge as a true haven of privacy and exclusivity in a private Lounge, shielded from the hotel’s public areas. In order to create the capital city’s most exclusive Club Lounge Robert Petrović, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin, sent designers all over Europe to create an original and sophisticated interior design. The elegant style mix attains its lightness through the colour concept by the interior designers from Hilmer & Sattler and Albrecht. Antiques and young designs are combined with ease in the Club Lounge. A modern serving cart finds its place just as easily as its antique counterpart – a find from the Paris Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market. A glass globe from the 1950s radiates its charm next to the design stools in a Nordic style, made of bamboo and newly arrived on the market.
What are the main challenges the world’s top hotels are faced with every day? What are the reasons that make you the best in your business?
Today’s guests have a large varity of hotels to choose from. They have the challenge to find the perfect hotel for their individuell needs and wishes. We are the perfect place for people that want to experience true hospitality: We want to create memories that last for a lifetime and we want to see the sparkle in our guests’ eyes, when we exceed their expectations. That is our main goal on every day and that makes us the best in our business.
What is the restaurant’s concept?
Our Brasserie Desbrosses serves typical French and regional cuisine within a cozy and frankly atmosphere. Especially the interior design is very unique: At the beginning of 2003, the impressive interior – including some art deco tables, mirrors, clusters and flagstones with floral patterns – was carefully dismantled in France and transported to Germany to be painstakingly restored by the interior designer Peter Silling. Soon after, the Brasserie was brought back into life again. Younger guests will also delight in a visit to the Brasserie Desbrosses where a children menu, wooden toys and colored crayons are available. An oversized “piggy bank”, made out of old tiles and pieces of china, awaits guests on the entry of the restaurant to help keep boredom at bay.
The Boulangerie in the middle of the restaurant is from 1875 and serves the best coffee specialties as well as international delicacies which can be bought as take-away. Every Sunday the Brasserie features a Champagne Brunch from noon to 03.30 p.m., where guests may enjoy as much champagne as they like while being tempted to sample the extravagant buffet which features alongside breakfast classics treats such as oysters, fresh lobster and several live cooking stations. The Champagne Brunch is the perfect start for a relaxed and unforgettable Sunday.
How did the successful partnership with Brasserie Desbrosses started?
The Brasserie Desbrosses is our own inhouse restaurant for our hotel guests as well as external guests.
When guests choose to stay in your hotel, are they also looking for a true gourmet experience?
Berlin is the German city with the most Michelin-starred Restaurants so there is no need to offer a fine dining restaurant on property. With our Brasserie Desbrosses we fulfill our guest’s needs and wishes for an upscale but still casual restaurant in the middle of Berlin. We do serve regional specialties as well as French delicacies with a special focus on regional, organic and seasonal products.
How would you describe the cuisine style? What should we definitely try?
No matter what you try, make sure you have some vegetables from our very own acre! We do have our private acre in Brandenburg where we grow organic salats, cucumbers, zucchini, radish, onions, spinach and so much more.
Tell me a funny story about Ritz-Carlton – Berlin
Did you know The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin produces its own honey? Additionally to our guests we host up to 400,000 bees (on our rooftop). Seven beehives produce up to 400 kilograms of fresh, organic honey from the flowers and trees at the adjacent Tiergarten, Europe’s biggest inner city park. We do serve the fresh Ritz-Carlton honey for breakfast, sell it in our Brasserie Desbrosses and sweeten our own cakes and cookies with the honey. The beehives are part of our “green” initiatives: The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin is the first Five-Star-Superior hotel in Europe to be certified by the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). From water conservation and energy saving to staff action teams and even beehives, the prestigious hotel in the heart of Berlin fulfills the demanding standards of EMAS for the fourth year in a row.
About The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin:
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin has over 303 guest rooms and suites and is located directly at Potsdamer Platz, in the heart of Berlin. The award-winning 5-star superior hotel offers an exceptional service of the highest level, a remarkable interior design and outstanding restaurants and bars. For relaxing and switching off, the hotel offers an elegant spa area as well as the exclusive Club Lounge on the 10th floor. For further information see www.ritzcarlton.com.
More informations about the hotel you can see in their website:
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin
Potsdamer Platz 3
10785 Berlin, Germany
Phone +49 30 33 777 7