Verena Wogatai stands in the Hotel Hilton Munich Park

Interview with Verena Wogatai from the Hilton Munich Park

"From the hotel you can directly explore the English Garden"

The Hilton Munich Park is turning 50 and celebrating with various promotions, from art to culinary. Verena Wogatai, Commercial Director at the Hilton Munich Park, tells the best stories from the past 50 years in an interview with the Munich Convention Bureau. She clarifies why international conference guests feel at home here and how the Olympic "Spirit of '72" is also currently being felt at the hotel.

The Hilton Munich Park is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year - congratulations! Can your guests look forward to something special?

Oh, thank you very much! Yes, we will celebrate this special anniversary with many different activities: graffiti art in front of the hotel, an exhibition in the building with impressions and statements from the past 50 years, and of course many snapshots and stories on our social media channels. Our overnight guests and customers in the meeting area can also look forward to culinary highlights from the past decades.

"At Hilton Munich Park, you can easily include nature, take advantage of breaks in the green, reach beer gardens on foot, organize great evening programs in the house or outside with a rickshaw shuttle or horse-drawn carriage."

Hilton hotels are, after all, internationally renowned and at home all over the world. How do you manage to include a local touch at the Hilton - in the heart of Munich despite all its internationality?

It's quite clear: Our breakfast buffet cannot do without the classic Weisswurst (Bavarian veal sausage) and pretzels. In addition to the typical Bavarian delicacies, our guests can enjoy Alpine cuisine focusing on food from Bavaria, such as beef fillet from the Alpine foothills.

What makes the Hilton Munich Park so special, so unique?

What makes it unique are mainly the people. Many team members have worked here for decades or are still working here and know our long-standing guests and customers very well. Furthermore, the location and the view from the 15th floor are also unique - where else in Munich can you look out over the English Garden to the Alps?

And why do you think the Hilton Munich Park hotel is an ideal place for meetings, especially with international guests?

The hotel offers spacious meeting rooms for up to 1,000 guests from all over the world, who know what service and standard they can expect internationally at Hilton. However, it is the unique location directly on the English Garden. It makes it possible to design a programme that is absolutely unique - especially with regard to the nowadays so important aspects of sustainable travel and meet. At Hilton Munich Park, you can easily include nature, take advantage of breaks in the green, reach beer gardens on foot, organize great evening programs in the house or outside with a rickshaw shuttle or horse-drawn carriage. All of this is really easy, creative, time-saving, and above all, CO2-saving.

"You can explore the English Garden directly on foot or by bike, whether jogging past the Monopteros and the Eisbach wave or enjoying a beer at the Chinese Tower."

What do you think has been the biggest challenge during a meeting or congress at your facility over the years?

Oh, there have been a few! But it was really special when, a few years ago, we not only organized a perfectly halal Oktoberfest evening for the completely international group. Even though it went really well, it wasn't the end. The next day, within just four hours, we "turned" the ballroom from a blue meeting room where people had been sitting for three days to a golden-red gala ballroom that Ludwig II would have loved. Unfortunately, the 350 international participants had hardly any time to get to know Munich outside the hotel - but in doing so, we had managed to create such a "wow" effect that they remembered Munich and the Hilton very well.

What can the guests experience outside the house? Do you have any insider tips for the neighborhood?

You can explore Munich's green lung, the English Garden, directly on foot or by bike, whether jogging past the Monopteros and the Eisbach wave or enjoying a beer at the Chinese Tower. In the English Garden, you can get to know the Munich way of life very well. It's amazing: when we do our daily rounds through the park at lunchtime to "air out" the office dogs, we are asked at least two or three times a week for directions to the Eisbach surfers. They are now really internationally known and only 800 meters up the creek from us. As an insider tip in summer, we also recommend our guests the "iceDate" in Schwabing for healthy, vegan ice cream enjoyment. And of course, our concierge can recommend many small stores to browse, depending on what is being looked for.

„Many stars stayed here, - from the Stones and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Whitney Houston and Barbara Streisand.“

Freddie Mercury of the band Queen came up with the idea for the song "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" in his suite at the Hilton Munich Park. Are there any other stars who have been guests at the Hilton?

Especially in the 80s and 90s, the Hilton Munich Park was a true "rock'n'roll hotel." Many stars stayed here, - from the Stones and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Whitney Houston and Barbara Streisand. One story that is still getting told today revolves around a party thrown by the German pop-musician Udo Lindenberg, who stayed with us for many months. The party went on all night - by the pool! At some point, it got too loud for the other hotel guests. When the banquet manager pointed this out to the partiers, he was simply unceremoniously thrown into the water by one of the party guests!

Speaking of celebrations, -  it is not only the Hilton Munich Park that is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. The Olympic Games in Munich were also 50 years ago. Can you sense something of the "Spirit of '72" in the hotel?

Dealing with the time and the Spirit of '72 has provided us with many great moments over the past few months. It's super exciting to work through the old material - and especially to get to know the stories of the employees. If you can still talk to a 92-year-old lady from the opening team in 2022 who still has everything up to date, that's amazing! For over 100 years, we have been living by the motto of founder Conrad Hilton, "to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality". Only that, is enough to establish many links to the Olympic spirit and also to the motto of the 2006 World Cup: "Die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden – The world as a guest of friends".

 

April 2022

 

Interview: Kongressbüro München, Photos: Hilton Munich Park

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