Berlin's Adlon hotel reopens after months of lockdown

BERLIN, June 11 (Reuters) - Berlin's exclusive Adlon Hotel on Friday reopened its doors for tourists as the German capital eases COVID-19 restrictions.

The five-star hotel within sight of the Brandenburg Gate welcomed back tourists to its marble halls, thick carpets and grand ballrooms after more than seven months of lockdown that kept hotels shut for non-business travelers.

Germany's coronavirus cases have been dropping steadily, with the seven-day incidence per 100,000 people falling to 18.6, the lowest since October.

"People want to go out. They have saved so much...and want to be pampered again," Michael Sorgenfrey, the hotel's executive director, told Reuters.

Built in 1907, the hotel set standards for luxury and was a favorite place not only for Kaiser Wilhelm II but also for a long list of prominent guests such as Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin and Theodore Roosevelt.

The hotel survived World War Two, becoming an oasis from Allied bombing raids for foreign correspondents, diplomats and even Nazi officials. Soon after the end of the war, it was destroyed by Soviet troops and lay derelict for half a century until it was reopened in 1997.

With golden balloons and masked porters, Adlon celebrated another reopening. Reservations for its 385 rooms and suites have increased noticeably, with domestic tourists making the majority of its current guests, a hotel spokesperson said.

Almost all of the hotel's amenities are open again, with some exceptions such as the bar area and the spas.

Adlon has now its own COVID-19 test center, but according to the latest city regulations, guests do not need to show a negative test results before checking in.

"The thought that tourists are coming to Berlin again ... cannot be described in words. We are overjoyed," Sorgenfrey said. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Reuters TV, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

06/11/2021 13:26

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