Global Traveler: Tell us about your background in the hospitality industry and the interesting anecdotes that you have collected in your career as a general manager.
Willy Weiland: During the recent visit of Donald Rumsfeld — (former) U.S. secretary of defense — his security mentioned to me that he loves to jog to keep fit. When Mr. Rumsfield arrived at the hotel, I thought I was making a joke when I welcomed him and asked if he preferred to use the elevator or emergency staircase. He looked at me and asked, “How many floors?” I told him it was six and he said, “Let’s go,” much to my surprise and the surprise of his security officer.
GT: What distinguishes InterContinental Berlin from other quality hotels in the city? What sets the InterContinental chain apart from other quality hotel brands?
WW: InterContinental Berlin, often acknowledged as the best business hotel in Germany, is ideally located in the government quarter, close to the historical center and just a few steps away from the renowned shopping district Kurfürstendamm. It is the perfect location for leisure and business travelers. A major modernization of this leading five-star hotel added guestrooms and modern suites, bringing the total room count to 534 rooms and 50 suites.
Guests can choose from fine dining at Hugos, a one-Michelin-star restaurant with 360-degree views of the city, L.A. Cafe for international and Chinese cuisine or the ever-popular Marlene Bar. The hotel’s 37 conference rooms and 62,000 square feet of event space offer up-to-date technology. The 10,700-square-foot Vitality Club, our award-winning spa, is the perfect place to restore the equilibrium of body and spirit. Our stringent security standards ensure safety for international gatherings and events, making InterContinental Berlin the preferred hotel among state leaders visiting Berlin.
The world’s first truly international hotel brand, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is constantly fine-tuning its product to set standards in the hospitality industry. One example is the new Concierge Program InterContinental, a series of two- to three-minute online films profiling InterContinental properties including information about neighborhood destinations.
GT: InterContinental is justly proud of its superb concierge staff. What can the concierge at the Berlin hotel provide for the sophisticated, experienced international traveler?
WW: The InterContinental Berlin concierge staff delivers an authentic and enriching introduction to this fantastic city with its unique history of being divided for so many years — East meets West; classic meets modern. We give guests the information they need to feel like a local. We contact guests before they arrive and we relay information via our specially designed Web site, which provides insider information about the city. We make sure our guests experience Berlin as an individual, not as part of a crowd.
GT: Tell our readers about Club InterContinental and how it differs from other executive-floor programs.
WW: Guests staying in the 70 rooms and suites exclusive to our Club InterContinental experience the ultimate combination of luxury and security expected in a “hotel within a hotel.” The club floor appeals to travelers who have particularly high expectations with regard to individuality and personal service. It has a separate access control, a separate check-in point, a lounge bar, a library stocked with newspapers, magazines, books, videos and CDs, a work area equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and an exclusive conference room. Food service includes breakfast and snacks throughout the day.
GT: Without divulging any corporate secrets, what innovations can our readers expect to see at the InterContinental in the near future?
WW: The company will focus even more on the individual experience of each traveler. InterContinental goes out of its way to deliver an authentic and enriching experience. These days, hotel guests are looking for more than a luxury environment and consistent service. They want a brand that genuinely understands that true luxury is about the experience. Our staff, especially our concierge staff, meets that demand.
Experience the best of Italy with the new 10-day City and Coast Getaway. Travelers begin their trip with a luxury stay at Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese before moving onto Abruzzo’s Castello Di Semivicoli.
There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.
ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.
Vacations providing travelers with opportunities to improve their mental and physical wellbeing continues to rise in demand as more and more hotels and resorts create offerings centered around wellbeing. ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, a resort boasting programming paying homage to Hawai’i’s rich culture and heritage, recently debuted a variety of new offerings focused on cultural experiences and holistic wellness.
Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Summerlin, Las Vegas, recently announced plans to completely transform its dining space, entertainment offerings and gaming experiences with new additions. Currently underway, new concepts like the famed Thai restaurant Lotus of Siam and the new Greek restaurant Naxos Taverna will soon join the resort.
Considering an autumnal adventure or Thanksgiving trip this year? Well, with walkable cities, cozy pubs and lots of seasonal festivals, the island of Ireland is calling. And if you need more reasons to Press the Green Button and go, take a look and see what awaits you on the Emerald Isle …
Scenic Group launched its Second Guest Sail Free offer on a variety of ocean and river cruises on both the Scenic and Emerald Cruises lines. This new offer applies to all Europe and Asia river cruise departures through June 30, 2023.