ENCOUNTERS – Hotel Bayerischer Hof turns 175
This year, the Bayerischer Hof 5 Star Hotel celebrates its 175th birthday. To mark the occasion, the hotel has commissioned the Condé Nast Manufaktur and photographer Benjamin Antony Monn to produce a gorgeous illustrated book. As Ms Innegrit Volkhardt, owner of the first address on Promenadeplatz, says: ‘If you have a past, you also have a future.’
Entitled ‘Encounters’, the book recounts the hotel’s long history through the eyes of those who have and continue to shape it. From Edmund Stoiber to Helmut Dietl, Jeff Koons and Roman Herzog, the book is filled with interviews, anecdotes, statements and picture spreads depicting this ‘world of its own’. The Bayerischer Hof is a global meeting place, an open house in every sense of the word. Open to guests from all over the world, but also to Munich residents. Open to anyone longing for peace, to celebrate, grow their business, meet friends or explore Munich. This rich diversity is reflected by many of the facts in the book: with 340 rooms (including 65 suites), five
restaurants and seven bars, a theatre, a cinema, a night club, a spa above the roofs of the city and numerous businesses, there is plenty of space to work and relax. The book also highlights the special role played by the Bayerischer Hof in Munich’s history. Philip Reichardt, editor-in-chief, explains: ‘People from Munich claim to know the Bayerischer Hof for the simple reason that it has always been there. They could not be more wrong. When you delve into the hotel’s history, it immediately becomes clear that the Bayerischer Hof is so much more than just a first-class hotel. As well as being full of history itself, the hotel has plenty of stories that reveal much about the city.’ This extraordinary diversity and the many different aspects also affect how we read the book. You can take the traditional route and read it from front to back, or simply browse and let yourself be transported from story to story, from picture to picture, returning to it again and again to discover yet more enthralling details. The 228-page publication tells of events across 175 years, of people who have and continue to shape the history of the Bayerischer Hof, of unforgettable encounters and great moments.
The underlying idea is to pick out the ideal people to speak about the hotel’s many facets: long-term guests (Claus Ogerman), notable politicians (Edmund Stoiber), well-known conductors (Mariss Jansons), great entertainers (Thomas Gottschalk) and directors who have helped to mould the city of Munich (Helmut Dietl) are featured alongside small, undetected occurrences. Philip Reichardt gets to the heart of the matter: “Encounters 175 years of the Bayerischer Hof” turns a dramatic spotlight on prime ministers and music legends, designers and playwrights. It mentions Franz Kafka, Michael Jackson, King Ludwig I., Helmut Dietl, Jeff Koons and Andrée Putman in the same breath. What else could unite such diverse characters? Intensive research in archives of historical texts and images and discussions with contemporary witnesses have confirmed old knowledge and brought many new things to light. Even Innegrit Volkhardt was astonished to uncover so many fascinating things from the past in the family archive, as well as much that has remained unknown. And yet the various contributions in ‘Encounters’ are just a small, if wide-ranging, selection from the eventful ‘life’ of the Bayerischer Hof. There is so much left to tell, reflecting a moving past and modern present. But the book looks to the future too – with many more great stories about the tradition-steeped Bayerischer Hof Hotel.