From Sacher to Andreas Augustin of Famous Hotels

Frequently Vienna is our travel destination: Be it to visit family or to show Dutch friends around this charming city. Hence my more than average attention for Vienna and now some attention for Andreas Augustin who was born in Vienna in 1956 and recently paid some attention to one of my favourite grand old ladies of Hotellerie:

Sacher Top Terrace

I am sure you don’t recognise it: No wrong! Not Istanbul, but a view from a recently added and very modern rooftop terrace of the Sacher Hotel in Vienna.

Also I believe to know something Andreas doesn’t know: A couple of years ago it was possible to have a dining party at the Naturhistorisches Museum of which you just can see the green roof dome over the green roof of the Opera. Part of the dining party was a very romantic guided tour over the roof of the museum at which you then couldn’t see yet the Sacher Roof, because it wasn’t built yet. There were rumours in Vienna that the new floor Sacher added was a bit (to?) high…

Now About Andreas:
Andreas Augustin
‘I would like to leave this world
a comprehensive and reliable library
of the history of hospitality.’

He studied hotel management at the Hotel Management College at the Castle of Klesheim, Salzburg. Instead of pursuing a hotel career, he followed his life-long desire to write. He became a journalist and at 25 became the editor of his own publication, a Salzburg city magazine.

The following years as magazine reporter, newspaper columnist, radio host and international correspondent led to extensive journeys to the Orient and Far East. In 1986 he took up residence for three years at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore to study and to write about the region and the hotels of South East Asia. It was there that he developed the series of books “The Most Famous Hotels in the World”, possessed by the idea to set new standards in the field of historic research and hotel publications.

With a wonderful team of writers, historians, researchers and photographers he is building the library of hospitality. The Most Famous Hotels in the World – today with almost 400 select member hotels – has built a major value driver and creator, recognized as the leading archives of historic hotels, thus representing a major source of information to build the future of hospitality.

As President of the associated Club of The Friends of The Most Famous Hotels in the World Andreas Augustin also takes care of its members from all over the world.

His company’s website Famous Hotels will be relaunched on 28th November 2006. In the past I visited it already some times and found there a lot of useful information about the world’s most famous hotels.

Hotel Reviews – Travel Intelligence

More and more people tend to book via Internet and more and more word of mouth will help the lonely traveler behind the computer screen to get an idea of where he might go.

Therefor sites with more or less independent hotel reviews will attract more and more attention.

The site Weekend Hotel takes care of this with respect to smaller independent hotels in The etherlands and Belgium.

Hoteldesign (UK) was created by Patrick Goff, who had a lot of experience with hotel design. The site is financed by ads from hotel suppliers and provides a lot of useful content by extensive reporting of various hotels and their design.

Travel Intelligence

Update August 2016:

Patrick Goff has sold his site. It is more or less the same, but many reviews have disappeared from the site since.

Travel intelligence used to be a site with a heap of professionally written hotel reviews. It was very reliable and it is a pity that it has lost this in the internet dungeons when it was sold to (I don’t know, but you end up in a site of travel zoo, which seems to be what its name indicates: A Zoo.

Bruge, Belgium: Maison le Dragon

Maison Le Dragon

Recently we stayed in this new exclusive private guesthouse.

Emanuel Vanhaecke, a brother of the hostess of the Small Luxury Pandhotel in Bruge is the host of Maison le Dragon. It has three suites and, with a garden in between, it is located back to back with the Pandhotel on short walkting distance of The Markt (market), the centre of this well kept medieval city with a nice array of shops and cultural sightseeing opportunities. One of the suites has its own terrace with Bear Chairs and all three suites are roomy and very well appointed by by Emanuel’s mother. Each suite has a bath and seperate shower stall.

Starting a new venture like this makes you forget some things easily. When a famous Dutch football (soccer for the Americans amongst you) player stayed with him, Emanuel realised he had forgotten a proper guestbook. He run away to fetch a guestbook. Now the photo of this famous guest together with a nice review are on the first page of his guestbook.

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