11 01 2006 488

Imperial Vienna 1958-today

Managing the Imperial Hotel, Vienna, between 1958 until today:

The Imperial Vienna had suffered from the occupation of Austria in post World War 2. Until 1955, the city was occupied by the allied forces of France, America, England and Russia. The Imperial was under Russian control. Although the Soviets treated the hotel with respect and necessary care, the hotel had to undergo extensive renovations in 1956 to regain its status as a world class hotel.

A native of Munich, Karl-Peter Littig headed the Imperial from 1958 till 1970. Gerhard Paul took over the management of the ­establishment till 1977, when the Creditanstalt-Bankverein ­incorporated the Imperial together with a number of other hotels in CCA Hotels (‘City & Country Hotels in Austria – ­operating as ‘Vereinigte ­Österreichische Hotel AG’). In November 1977 Otto Heinke took over as the new manager of the hotel under general manager Georg W. Englhart. Under him the Imperial was also managed by Wolfgang Pachler, Christian Glaser, Manfred Kalcher and Andreas Vögl. In 1985 the entire fifth floor was transformed into the so-called ‘executive floor’ when all administrative offices and store rooms were relocated to other areas. In 1987 Creditanstalt – now majority shareholder of Imperial Hotels Austria AG (which was now the name of the group, consisting of the Bristol and Imperial hotels, and the Palais Ferstel activity centre in Vienna, and the ­Goldener Hirsch Hotel in ­Salzburg) – decided to transfer its shares and management to the CIGA Group. In 1990 the number of rooms at the Imperial was reduced from 158 to 145 (today 138) in order to provide larger rooms. In 1994 Conde Nast ranked the Imperial as the best hotel in the world. From 1995–97 the establishments of Imperial Hotels Austria AG were incorporated in the ITT Sheraton group ‘The Luxury Collection’. This move went hand in hand with the appointment of the ­German Erhard Noreisch as General Manager of the hotels Imperial and Bristol, Vienna. He made the Imperial his home. Under the management of ITT Sheraton, The Luxury ­Collection, Noreisch was ­appointed General Manager of all the group’s ­Austrian establishments, ­including Palais Ferstel with its legendary Café Central. He made the Imperial his home and gave the job of ­manager of the Imperial to Franz-Josef Macho. In 1998 ITT, Sheraton The Luxury Collection was bought by Starwood, ­an American real estate company, that turned into Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc.. In 1999 Michael Hatzfeld became manager of the Imperial, which operates as part of the Luxury Collection of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Under his management the hotel reduced its number of rooms from 138 to 128 in favour of larger and even more comfortable rooms, added roof-top maisonettes and a fitness centre. Since 2004, Thomas Schön is general manager of the hotels Bristol and Imperial. From the book Hotel Imperial Vienna, by Andreas Augustin



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