Tell us a bit about Hommage Hotels and the group’s history and ethos…
We created the Homage Luxury Hotel Collection last year because we felt that it was time to reflect the changing needs and preferences of modern luxury travellers in a new brand of 5 star hotels. We want to provide the perfect framework, with all the hallmarks of luxury hotels, for guests who are not looking for more marble and golden faucets but experiences that they can’t get anywhere else.
Our guests are usually well travelled and live a great lifestyle so for us it is important to take great care in making their time with us memorable and unique. This is a very individual experience that is tailored to each guest and their individual preferences.
What makes the Hommage Hotels brand so special and how does it stand out?
Every one of our properties comes with a unique history and all of them have played a role in local tradition. In Baden-Baden, Maison Messmer was the hotel in which the Prussian Emperor spent his summer holidays and met all his European counterparts and the Russian Czar. European history was written in this very place and a book has been written about the hotel. We honour this individual tradition in that every one of our hotels is special and unique and we combine it with a modern approach to luxury. We don’t aim for standardization but cultivate the little differences. Our guests should experience the ‘genius loci’ in each of our hotels, but at the same time they can be sure that the Hommage brand provides a great guest experience wherever they choose to stay with us.
Give us a brief overview of each of the hotels and provide details on your favourite highlights from in and around these properties…
Let’s start in the North, the Söl’ring Hof is a small private hideaway on the island of Sylt that really deserves this description. Only 17 rooms, a 2-Michelin-star restaurant, a wine cellar with the most exclusive grand crus and a unique specialisation of our patron Johannes King in very old port wines – all of it nestled on the top of the dune directly on the beach. This is really special, you can’t help it but feel the sea in every breath you take.
Next stop south would be the Parkhotel Bremen, which is a grand hotel in the center of the city, but surrounded by a park. You are in walking distance from every sight in town and yet every perspective makes you feel like being in a country resort. We offer private bird watching sessions with a world-class ornithologist because of the rich bird life around the hotel.
In Wiesbaden near Frankfurt you have the chance to stay in the Hotel Nassauer Hof, which was the first real Grand Hotel in Germany. It has an outstanding reputation and the list of dignitaries and celebrities who have stayed there is almost endless. Most recently Elton John played on his farewell tour right in front of the hotel. It has an award-winning restaurant, ‘Ente’ – which has been continuously awarded a Michelin star for more than 40 years. But most impressive is the fact that the rooftop pool is filled with thermal water from the hotel’s very own hot spring. This is a great way to complement any treatment one may receive in any of the top clinics in Wiesbaden.
Furthest south, close to French border in Baden-Baden, lies the Maison Messmer, a modern built, traditional Grand Hotel situated next to the Casino and Kurhaus. Here you can stay at the spectacular penthouse suite with your own rooftop terrace and the most exclusive view over the park, the Casino and right into the hills of the Black Forrest. This, by the way, is a great destination to go in a chauffeur driven oldtimer. Of course, we provide a scenic route and an exclusive picnic to be served at a beautiful spot along the way.
Can you describe the overall design and concept of the hotels? Do they share any similarities/differences in this regard and if so, what are they?
Every one of our hotels is unique in its character. The design and concept always reflects their individuality and therefore each hotel in our collection is different and special. We carefully preserve this individuality and build upon it rather than trying to unify. We want the guests to feel where they are and enjoy a local version of relaxed luxury. We are a collection and not a chain.
What inspires the interior design and décor of the hotels?
Our architects take great care to create an airy atmosphere of easy luxury with great attention to details and respect for the materials and craftmanship of each region. The Söl’ringhof keeps a maritime tradition with blue and sandy colours framing each window like a beautiful painting perfectly fitting the interior. In the recently refurbished Parkhotel Bremen we even researched old colour schemes of the hotel to refresh the rooms and the restaurants bringing back a splash of grandeur and a modern interpretation of the famous Hanseatic hospitality.
The Hotel Nassauer Hof keeps a quintessential interpretation of Grand Hotel chic paired with timeless elegance. The Maison Messmer takes a bohemian spin on the aristocratic history of the Hotel and the tradition of Baden-Baden, as one of the most famous spa towns in Europe.
What does luxury mean to you and how is this incorporated into the Hommage Hotels experience?
Most of our guests live in wonderful homes and enjoy a premier lifestyle with every convenience that they wish for. We want to enrich their lives with experiences and moments that they will fondly remember. Our hotels are the place where our guests spend their time well and create memories for their lives – to me that is modern luxury. We have designed special programmes in each of the destinations to give our guests the opportunity to savour the place and the region in a way that is not open to most other people. We open doors that are closed to all but a few of our privileged guests. Today, most people can travel but to experience the place in a way that a Hommage Hotel can offer, remains a true luxury of today.
How and why do you select the destination of the hotels?
We are collecting hotels with a strong personality and an interesting history. Only when we feel we can create an exceptional experience for our guests, are we interested. When we find these rare gems we make an offer. Our expansion plans follow opportunity not a schedule.
How do the hotels honor and reflect their chosen hometowns, regions and local characteristics?
We reflect the region and the city of our hotels in everything we do. Most of our properties are an integral part of the city’s, region’s or even our country’s history. When you stay with us, this is part of the experience, but we also reflect the regional produce in our cuisine and in the special wines and beers we offer. We also take great pride in being part of the cultural fabric of the places where our hotels are located. We sponsor concerts and support art exhibitions, we are very close to the Casinos in Baden-Baden and Wiesbaden, so it’s natural to connect and work with them. In Bremen we are closely linked to the local first league football team and we are proud to have them frequently as our guests.
What other facilities/amenities/services do the Hommage Hotels offer? Give us some details on these and what makes them special…
As you would expect, our hotels are all 5 star properties. That means every one of our hotels has a choice of restaurants, 24 hour service, a very decent bar and a team that services every wish our guests may have. We have a great selection of rooms and suites, most of which can be extended to also cater for travellers who bring their own staff. But what makes them special is that every Hommage Hotel has it’s own Salon. The Salon culture was the quintessential part of cultural life at the fien de siècle, when much of Europe’s cultural gems were created, be it music, literature or arts. We re-create this space dedicated to culture taking a European tradition into the 21st century. We want to offer our guests a wonderful space to enjoy themselves or experience music, art and good literature in a private, yet open and inviting atmosphere.
For all guests who have special security needs our hotels have specific security concepts and systems in place. We have ample experience in adapting to the requirements of any private security detail and need for confidentiality.
Tell us about the culinary offerings at the hotels. What can guests expect food-wise when staying at one of the Hommage Hotel properties?
The best way to get to know a place or region is to try its culinary specialties. That’s why each of our hotels invites you to discover its unique regional flavours. We appreciate that a journey that is focused on culinary delights is a very special one and that it always begins with exquisite ingredients provided by our regional partners.
These are then prepared to the highest level by our top chefs, who always honour the local culinary culture and tradition. On Sylt and in Wiesbaden they are Michelin star awarded which makes the experience even more special. Every dish is created with the utmost attention to detail, ensuring that the entire dining experience is an unforgettable culinary work of art.
Do you think it is important to champion local cuisines and products? How is this reflected in the dining offerings?
When you travel through Germany you will appreciate the differences in its landscapes and regional traditions. Just imagine the difference between the alpine scenery of Bavaria and the Northern shores that have a maritime character and a history of trading with faraway countries. If we wouldn’t reflect that in the produce we buy and the cuisine we offer – how could we give our guests a good authentic experience? We take great care to buy as much as possible locally from farmers we know and trust. In the Söl’ringhof we even produce a wonderful Rose Marmelade from the rose petals that we harvest with our guests in our very own garden.
Our love with local products also applies to the wines we have on offer, many of which are from world-renowned vineyards that are located just around the corner from our Wiesbaden or Baden-Baden hotels. We even offer craft beers and spirits from small independent breweries and local distillers. We are proud to offer regional and local products but we also know that truffles don’t grow on Sylt and Champagne isn’t bottled in Bremen. In the end, the culinary experience for our guests counts and that’s where we excel.
Tell us about the unique wellness and beauty concepts and how these are executed at the hotels?
Wellness and beauty are important to us. We have developed special treatments and programmes for our guests that reflect the surroundings and the nature around each of our hotels. That means we take the finest brands in spa culture like St. Barth’s and combine them with treatments developed especially for us. We have trained and certified therapists and beauticians in all of our hotels. Furthermore, we have developed our own special yoga program available in all of our hotels. We have educated our own trainers to fully reflect our own Hommage approach even in yoga. Our hotel in Wiesbaden deserves a special mention here, since we are the only hotel in Germany with its own thermal spring where we source the water with its healing properties for our pool and our treatments.
Do you have many returning guests and if so, what do you think it is about Hommage Hotels that makes guests come back time after time?
More than half of our guests are returning guests who have stayed in one of our properties before. We are delighted that our concept works for them and makes them returning to us time and time again. When I talk to these guests, I hear a number of reasons why they come back, all of them very individual. The red thread that I can see is our quest to make every stay for each guest special. Our guests appreciate our objective of creating a unique special experience for them, being it a small event like a private late night viewing in a nearby museum or taking an active part in harvesting one of the world’s best Riesling wines at the Eberbach monastery.
COVID-19 has had a big impact on everyone’s lives, and is sure to affect the way travellers select their destination and accommodation from now on. What steps has the group taken to ensure the utmost safety for guests?
We are German and as you would expect a matter like this, we take it very very seriously. We have upgraded all our safety and hygiene protocols and are proud that the procedures and protocols all have been certified by an independent advisory body. This means we have strict hygiene routines that cover all areas in the hotel, we have a compulsory health and safety check for all employees that is conducted upon arrival at the hotel. In all areas we work with masks, shields and signs to remind our guests of the distancing rules. Each room is not only thoroughly cleaned and aired to our specific protocol but also disinfected with hospital grade treatments and then sealed and signed by a health and safety supervisor for each arriving guest. We do all to ensure the safety of each of our guests. However, we still want guests to feel comfortable and enjoy a good time with us so we strive for perfect safety protocols but keep the visibility and the noticeable impact to our guests to a minimum.
Above health and safety measures, what else do you think is the most important to guests when they book accommodation and how do you factor this into the Hommage Hotels experience?
Most of our guests wanted a greater degree of flexibility in their bookings. We have reacted and introduced a new policy that we feel meets our guests’ needs. We accept short notice cancellations with no penalties and accept last minute changes to most bookings. We want guests to feel completely at ease with their relationship to us and we know our guests will reward that freedom.
What do you think will leave the biggest impression on guests who visit a Hommage Hotel?
I could say it’s the impressive properties or the lavish decorations, the great chefs and the culinary delights, but I think most of all people will remember our staff who want to make every minute of our guests’ time special. The care they take, the attention they pay to always honour our claim ‘Where moments make memories.’ – that is what our guests will remember and what hopefully brings them back to us.
Any special offers or events coming up that we should know about?
We have decided to make your friends and readers a very unique offer to try three of our four hotels as a ‘Best of Germany’ trip. We have put together an exclusive package that brings your readers to 3 very different regions in Germany and that includes 6 nights for 2 people in luxurious suites in our 5 star hotels in Bremen, Wiesbaden and Baden-Baden.
Your readers would stay 2 nights in each hotel. To be able to sample the delights of each region’s cuisine we add a delicious picknick and a 5 course dinner in our Michelin star awarded restaurant Ente in Wiesbaden, a full ‘Frisian Teatime’ and 4 course dinner in Bremen and in Baden-Baden we give you the chance to discover the Black Forrest in an AUDI A8 for a day and in the evening a 4 course dinner in the historic Maler Keller.
This is the best chance to try the Hommage Luxury Hotels Collection in an exclusive trip starting at 3.335 €. This limited offer is only available through our central reservation team on firstname.lastname@example.org or through one of our personal assistants on +49 611 133 607, quoting ‘Four Magazine’ or ‘Best of Germany’.
For more information on these exceptional properties, visit Hommage Hotels’ website.