Kempinski Hotels is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group. The history of this traditional company began in 1897 with the foundation of the “Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft” in Berlin. A parallel development was that of M. Kempinski & Co, founded by Berthold Kempinski, which was acquired by the “Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft” in 1953.
Berthold Kempinski was born on 10 October 1843 in Posen. The Kempinski family was already successfully active in the wine trade from 1862. In 1872 it extended its company to Berlin, where Berthold Kempinski opened a wine-merchant’s business under his name in the Friedrichstraße. In 1889 he opened a restaurant, the biggest in Berlin, in the Leipziger Straße.
Since Berthold Kempinski and his wife Helena had no son, they invited their son-in-law Richard Unger (1866–1947) to join the business. Berthold Kempinski finally transferred the firm to his son-in-law on condition that he kept the name Kempinski. Berthold Kempinski died on March 14, 1910.