The first Rosewood Hotel in Germany opened at Kardinal-Faulhaber-Strasse 1 in Munich on October 20, 2023 – a hotel in the five-star ultra-luxury category. Besides the butler service, open fireplaces and marble bathrooms in the 59 luxury suites, event professionals are particularly interested in the exciting developments at the event-hotel interface that are to be implemented at the Rosewood in Munich.
What are your plans for the new Rosewood Hotel in Munich?
First of all, we want to be more than just another conventional luxury hotel – a location where you meet interesting people you can connect to and which you take away added value from. When it comes to informing event professionals about the event-hotel interface, I emphasize experiences because for us, the smart hotel business means offering spaces that give you more than the usual event venues. We call this a "sense of places" – creating a living room feeling instead of the conventional banqueting hall feeling. With the Neuhaus-Preysing Palace we’re also offering a platform that’s, above all, inspiring because of the location – beyond the content of the participants. With this palette of styles and environments, we’re curating our events for the most widely differing demands ranging from board meetings to private parties with individual moments of surprise.
How do you reconcile this aesthetic approach with the imperatives of sustainability?
Those imperatives are very important to us. First of all, we’ve created a new building that’s not historicizing, but modern – and yet doesn’t appear to break with the existing historical features. We agreed on classical architecture that uses timeless, high-quality materials such as natural stone and wood. In designing the hotel, two buildings – the Bavarian State Bank and Neuhaus-Preysing Palace – were carefully and sustainably redesigned. The aim was to take the buildings’ history and with their new purpose give something back to the people of Munich. We’re also using the bridge – instead of tearing it down and consigning it to the rubble heap. So we’re supporting sustainability and also caring about social inclusion! We’re hiring many employees, for example, with refugee status, even some who don’t come from the hotel industry, people who want to learn something here – and even people who aren’t yet 100% proficient in German.
"The aim was to take the history with us and give something back to the people of Munich with the new purpose."
The two magic phrases for this are "attitude hires" and "emotional touch"! As for the environment, I call our program "Partners in Provenance". In other words, the origin of the products we offer on our menus is important to us. Together with our chef I drove to our main producers, suppliers and growers in the countryside. We were also there at harvest time. Just saying you buy in the surrounding region doesn't mean anything. What we do, in contrast, is relationship hospitality. We establish personal relationships with our producers. Our chef has known our lamb farmer for five years, goes with him to the Alpine pastures once a year, stays there for three days, looks after the sheep, and in this way builds up a very special relationship.
Are there any innovations in the planning and execution of events?
Yes – the diversity of our venues, the emphasis on individual service, and the personalized service we offer for both corporate and social events. We have a historic ballroom and four completely different salons – all in the Neuhaus-Preysing Palace next door. Another innovation is certainly the bridge I mentioned that connects the Bavarian State Bank built in the 1960s with the multi-story car park. We redesigned this bridge to become part of the building – like in New York, where you “float” above the High Line in a standard hotel. Here, you “float” above Salvatorstrasse and look down all the way to Kaufingerstrasse. You won't find a location like this for a gala dinner anywhere else.
Have any technological innovations also been implemented?
We explicitly don't overdo it with things like QR codes for our guests. We’ve got very few areas where we work with IT, because we want the personal experience with the guests. In my experience, user-friendliness and the fact that everything’s working smoothly doesn't necessarily have anything to do with technology. That's why we specifically don't want to be pioneers in the all-encompassing use of IT innovations. The segment we operate in places great emphasis on the personal contact with guests. In my opinion, this still includes a good old handwritten welcome card. Many guests are so happy about this that they take it home and keep it like a beautiful postcard.
Roland Duerr is Managing Director of Rosewood Munich, the brand's first property in Germany and sixth in Europe. The hotel opened on October 20, 2023. With more than 20 years of international hotel experience, Roland Duerr brings his hotel management expertise and cultural understanding to his new position, which he took up on November 1, 2022. Duerr has worked for Rosewood for more than ten years, first as hotel manager of The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel in New York. Most recently, he was managing director of Rosewood Abu Dhabi, where he worked from 2016. Prior to joining Rosewood, he had a career in F&B with various management positions at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, the Four Seasons Hotel Berlin, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, and the Jumeirah Essex House in New York.
The first place to go if you haven’t been in Munich for a long time?
Through the English Garden. Without a doubt!
Where do you meet the most likeable people in this city?
The best place to quench your wanderlust?
I've only just arrived so I haven’t got any wanderlust!
What would non-Munich residents not expect to find here?
I didn't know that the English Garden is bigger than Central Park in New York or that Alfred Hitchcock spent a lot of time in Munich in his early creative period. We know about Freddy Mercury and Richard Strauss – we’ve got portraits of them hanging here – but Hitchcock?
Lederhosen – yes or no?
Yes, of course!
The best place for a sundowner?
To be honest, I'm afraid I’ll have to briefly leave Munich because for me personally, it's the lakeside promenade on Lake Starnberg.
Where I'm at home …
Since I don't live in Munich, but moved to Würmtal, I can only say which Munich neighborhood I’d feel most at home in – Haidhausen.
Your favorite Bavarian word?
"Schau' mer mal"
Isar or Eisbach?
For me, the Eisbach is more charming – how it meanders through the city and the English Garden, and of course because of the surfers!
The best place in Munich to impress visitors with?
The best place in Munich for a romantic date?
Nymphenburg Palace and Park
The best place in Munich to experience art?