10 Questions For (18): Carl-Peter Echtermeijer of The New Vienna Ring Hotel and The Grand Hotel Wien

Happy to present a real hotelier to you. Ha, I should have known that asking him my 10 questions would create as answers: “The Ring, Grand Hotel Wien and The Ring”:-). The first photo shows him very proudly with the 2008 Tripadvisor award for The Ring.

Carl-Peter Echtermeijer with the 2008 Tripadvisor award

1) Who Are you?

I am currently Assistant General Manager of 2 luxury hotels in Vienna, the famous Grand Hotel Wien, part of Leading Hotels of the World and The Ring, Vienna’s Casual Luxury Hotel, a luxury design hotel we opened in 2007

2) What do you like about what you do?

I like working with people for our guests, I like the fact that hotel industry is like theater, every day and every situation is different, I like facing challenges, making things possible to our clients and guests, having an overall thinking-out-of-the-box  mentality.

3) What don’t you like about what you do?

This question took me a while to think about, I cannot tell you what I do not like, my personal opinion is that one should see this job as a hobby.

4) Please tell us all about your blog and your aims with it.

The blog we recently developed and implemented (The Ring Press) for our The Ring, Vienna’s Casual Luxury Hotel is meant to inform guests, journalists, actually the on-line community about who we are, what people think and wrote about us and with which partners we work. I personally see this blog as a very unique on-line marketing tool.

5) Your top 3 destination experiences you’ve ever stayed to date and why?

Thailand due to the spa experiences, France due to the excellent food and the French mentality, Holland due to the very open culture and off course Friesland.

Grand Hotel Wien with the Concierge and Bellboy in the cold

6) Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed to date and why?

Paris as I wanted to surprise my wife, Bratislava to experience this upcoming city, Garda lake as we (my family and myself) needed a summer break.

7) Your top 3 most memorable food experiences to date and why?

The famous Heuriger in Vienna and Austria, this is so typical and so nice. Google it and give it a try, our Japanese restaurant Unkai as it is indeed the best Japanese food in Vienna ..number 3 is yet to come

8) Your 3 worst destination/ accommodation /food experiences to date and why?

I only had a very bad food experience in Bratislava due to the fact that 1.) the food was terrible and 2.) we were definitely treated like foreigners..one does not expect that anymore

9) Can you offer the readers 3 travel/ food / accomodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?

Do stay at one of Vienna’s trendy design hotels or at the recently opened Hotel Stadthalle (a bit of a green hotel focusing on green travel), visit the Heuriger restaurants and do plan culture, culture, culture ..also nightlife is great in Vienna. For dinner : our restaurant At Eigh at The Ring : aroma cuisine, new and spectacular.

The Ring Hotel with its new led Xmas lights

10) Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer?

No, I would have asked the same questions and I am so happy to have the opportunity to get presented in this blog. Thank you!

Thank you Carl-Peter!
First congratulations with the Tripadvisor Award! A great achievement! Secondly: I have been informed that your at eight Ring restaurant got a very high Gault Millau rating recently – you should update your Blog!

I started this presentation with a bit of teasing, but when I was new to the internet I think I would have reacted the same as Carl-Peter: “Don’t divulge too much of yourself: They can use it against you”.

I will be meeting Carl Peter soon and get a personal tour of this new Viennese Hotel The Ring. Looking forward to it. Stay tuned!

The World’s Coolest Hotel Rooms by The Cool Hunter has been published: Better Late Than Never! (Dutch Design 29)

The World's Coolest Hotel Rooms by The Cool Hunter

The Final Announcement:
Thecoolhunter.net – The Cool Hunter Book Publishing Series (our first book)

The World’s Coolest Hotel Rooms – the first in a series of the cool hunter-branded books has been published by Harper Collins Publishers (US). Next in the line will be The World’s Coolest Houses, The World’s Most Creative Work Environments, The World’s Most Innovate Retail Stores and The World’s Most Creative Guerilla Campaigns in 2009. (2008-08-06T15:49:39+00:00)

This book was announced already in 2007.

Haagsche Suites was considered, but alas didn’t make the cut.

Times Online picked it up: Among the 10 Coolest mentioned by Bill Tikos, Cool Hunter’s editor, in The Times are:

Puerto America Madrid
The Puerto America in Madrid. Flickr Photo by Photografeuse
Vigilius Mountain Resort
Vigilius Mountain Resort in Italy, Flickr Photo by Christian

I like Vigilius’ adobe walls.

Do und Co Vienna
Do und Co in Vienna. This photo thanks to FG Stijl.

Amsterdam based FG Stijl (the F comes from Finegan and the G from Glintmeijer) did the Do und Co interior. Congratulations for them making the cut.

Dutch Design (25): The Dutch and 2008 EK Football (1): The T Shirt

Aanvallah (source Arab_Lab Loves Aanvallah)

According to Tjebbe, who initiated this media project to get Muslims united with the Dutch soccer team, and Dutch people with their neighbors, this will be the T-Shirt of choice for the Dutch Football Fans who will visit the 2008 EK Football (European Soccer Championship) that starts today in Switzerland and Austria.

The statement in it is that the usual war cry from the Dutch Football (or soccer for our American friends) is “Aanvallen” or more vernacular “Aanvalluh”. Tjebbe made the connection with Allah.

Lacking participating football teams from the UK, the Dutch have convinced the UK football fans to endorse the Dutch Team as the team to yell for according to a Guardian Poll. So they will have an orange lion on their shirts.

We will wait and see. It will be a hot summer.

Happy New Year: Austria – Switzerland: 1-0

Georges Prêtre
Georges Prêtre

For us 2008 started traditionally with viewing the Vienna New Year’s Concert.

This time the French conductor Georges Prêtre was invited by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to conduct this concert.

The vital 83 year old conductor delivered an excellent job and gained a standing ovation from the the very critical Viennese public that seldom stands up when applauding.

History of the Vienna New Year’s Concert

The following excerpt is taken from the site Hilton Destination Guides:

The history of the event dates back only to 1939, when the first concert was conducted by Clemens Krauss, preceded by a public dress rehearsal the day before. It has now become traditional to have a public dress rehearsal on 30 December, a New Year’s Eve concert and the New Year’s Day morning concert, which is televised around the world.

Krauss and Josef Krips shared conducting honors for the first 15 years, then Willi Boskovsky conducted every year until 1979, leaving a fantastic recorded legacy of this joyous occasion. Lorin Maazel, another Maestro equally at home with a violin in hand, took over until 1986. In 1987, the great Herbert von Karajan took to the podium on New Year’s Day for the only time (an experience which he reported was completely rejuvenating for his music-making).

Since then the baton has changed hands annually between a small number of top maestros: Claudio Abbado, Carlos Kleiber, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti. In 2001 Nikolaus Harnoncourt became the first Viennese conductor since 1980 and he returned again in 2003, while in 2002 it was the turn of Seiji Ozawa, on the eve of him taking up the music directorship of the Vienna State Opera. After Muti (2004) and Maazel (2005), in 2006 another newcomer was introduced to the tradition – Latvian-born Mariss Jansons, one of the most popular and sought after conductors in the world today. After Zubin Mehta’s return for 2007, French conductor Georges Prêtre makes his New Year debut in 2008.

This is a good example of what a Hotel website can offer as destination information.

Why 1-0 versus Switserland?
During the concert’s pause the Austrian Television Broadcasting organization ORF showed an interesting introductory documentary to the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship (European Soccer Championship for our American readers) starting with a kickoff at the Swiss – Austrian border and followed by “the ball” at various touristic and interesting locations throughout Austria. The concert itself is already an interesting marketing tool to boast tourism to Austria. With this documentary, that off course is criticized by the “true music lovers” and probably also by the co-organizers of the championships the Swiss, the whole is an excellent example of destination marketing.

Georges Pretre with EC Ball
Photo thanks to the Opera Chic Blog

After the pause Prêtre drew extra attention to the championship by coming on stage with a football and a referee’s flute and issuing a yellow card to the concert master who granted Prêtre a red card, while the whole orchestra wore football shawls.

Boston: Historic Ames Building becomes Ames Hotel

Boston Ames Building
Image of the Boston Globe article
Ames Building Boston Mass
Picture found in Wiki

In a recent article the Boston Globe reports about the plans to give the Ames Building in Boston, once (from 1893 – 1915) Boston’s tallest building except for The Church of the Covenant, a new life as a hotel.
Ehotelier.com also reports about this development from the same source. As the Boston Globe it suggests that the Ames Building will become a boutique hotel. I fear this is over stretching the term boutique hotel a bit with 125 rooms planned.
For the time being the project is christened The Ames Hotel .
The present developer Normandy partners who teamed up with Brit Richard Kilstock and Eamon O’Marah, acquired the property in April 2007 for US $17,7 mio and anticipates a US $ 40 mio redevelopment.
Prior plans to convert this property into a hotel were from former owners Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation and from O’Callaghan Hotels, a Dublin based hotel chain.
Boston based Cambridge Seven Associated, Inc were architects involved in the O’Callaghan plans.
The building itself looks promising as a hotel from the above pictures. I would suggest the developers to have a look at the Vienna Radisson SAS Style hotel which is similar in structure albeit with only 74 rooms a bit smaller and probably more personal.