Monday, 30 July 2012

Conrad Uhl's Bristol Berlin

"The Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin remains the premier hotel in western Berlin" according to a recent report in Conde Nast Traveller. The Kempinski opened in 1952 as the first modern 5-star German hotel. But it wasn't the first Berlin Bristol, of course. The pre-war Bristol, bombed out in 1943 with the loss of some 200 lives, was in Unter den Linden, where the Russian Embassy now stands. It was very much associated with its owner Conrad Uhl – in fact during the First World War, when all English names were eradicated from German businesses, it was called simply the Conrad Uhl. This pre-war poster, from 1910, recently went on sale at Amazon.

The Bristol was where the rich and famous stayed when they visited the city. Among Conrad Uhl's delicate tasks was to deal with the boys from Capri that arms manufacturer Fritz Krupp brought to the hotel -- the story is told in "Krupp's Dying Shame", one of the tales from High Times at the Hotel Bristol.

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