Excelsior Ernst

The Excelsior Ernst is one of the hotels on our list, which we will strive to research in the near future. It has played a major role in the history of German hospitality and we will supply you with its story, which started in 1863, when this line appeared: "I am honoured to hereby announce, to this esteemed local and non-local audience, that as of this day, my hotel has now been opened." Carl Ernst, "Royal Court Restorer at Central Train Station", (Cologne daily paper on May 16th, 1863)
1863, May 16th: Carl Ernst opens the Hotel Ernst "I am honoured to hereby announce, to this esteemed local and non-local audience, that as of this day, my hotel has now been opened." This wrote Carl Ernst, "Royal Court Restorer at Central Train Station", in a Cologne daily paper on May 16th, 1863. 1871: Carl Ernst sells his hotel to Friedrich Kracht. 1875: Friedrich Kracht moved from Belgium to Cologne to manage the hotel but he died four years later. His wife and his son Carl took over the management of the house. His son, Carl, takes over the management of the hotel after his death. It did not take long to integrate the Krachts in the society of Cologne. In 1884, the people of Cologne crowned Carl Kracht Prince Carnival. In these days, the Grand Hotel was already the first choice of prominent guests like the German Emperor William I who observed the completion of Cologne Cathedral from his room in the Hotel Ernst. 1889: Carl Kracht marries Emma Pauline Baur, whose family owned the well-known "Baur au Lac" and the "Savoy Baur en Ville" in Zurich. In 1890, one year after his wedding, his mother handed the Hotel Ernst over to him and his sister Hermine Brinkhaus. The siblings founded a limited company but one year later Hermine Brinkhaus withdrew from her position. Carl Kracht was now the only proprietor of Cologne’s Grand Hotel next to the Cathedral. He and his family lived in Zurich where he managed the Baur au Lac. In 1905, he appointed Friedrich Reime director of the Hotel Ernst who continued to manage the hotel. Between 1908 and 1910 the former Hotel Ernst was torn down, in record time, and then rebuilt as the Excelsior Hotel Ernst. Half of the 250 rooms now had a private bath - and this at a time when "running water" was still a rarity. 1918: After the end of the World War I, the hotel became the headquarters for the British occupying power, and afterwards it had to be completely renovated. Up to the present day: the Excelsior Hotel Ernst has remained the property of the Kracht family. In 1918, after the end of the war, the hotel became the headquarter of the British. During this time the hotel was closed. After the troops had left in 1926, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst was renovated for the second time. On December the 31st, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst celebrated again its reopening. During World War II, the hotel was mainly closed. After the war, the Krachts tried to reconstruct the building as soon as possible. The family never stopped to preserve the Grand Hotel of Cologne. In 1986, the hotel was extended by the circular building, Marzellenstrasse/Domprobst Ketzer Strasse. The famous interior designer Count Pilati designed the new rooms, bathrooms and all public areas. In 2000, an exclusive health and spa area for guests was established. In 2001, the Asian restaurant taku and, a little later, the modern Business Center were opened. In 2007, the last renovation took place. 23 new deluxe double rooms, 5 junior suites and 7 executive suites were created in the Hanse wing, costing seven million euros.

Manfred Brennfleck

130/25 Rooms
Hanse Stube Piano Bar
Sauna, steam bath, massage, fitness area
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Our Select Member Hotel

Excelsior Ernst
Country: Germany
City: Cologne
Opening date: 1863, May 16th

Note from the Host

General Manager Wilhelm Luxem


50667 Germany, Cologne

Tel: +49-221-2701
Fax: +49-221-135150

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