Hamburg, 24th February 1897--Friedrich Haerlin bought the "Hotel zu den Vier Jahreszeiten" at an auction on his fortieth birthday. At that time, he had no perception of the worldwide fame the house would later achieve. It is certain, however, that the Swabian knew very well what he wanted to do with the narrow house on the Inner Alster Lake. With the proverbial Swabian diligence, he won not only the Hamburg authorities, but also the citizens as his guests.
The narrow building was transformed into one of the most beautiful houses in Hamburg, giving the impression that it had been designed as a harmonic whole. In actual fact, though, that Friedrich Haerlin, as well as his son Fritz, who took over the business in 1936, expanded the house step by step. In 1912 the "Society Hall with Alster View" --today's "Wohnhalle"-- was inaugurated in the former reception hall. The restaurant Haerlin was opened in1914 and the Art Deco Jahreszeiten Grill in 1925. In the early thirties, the complete building was furnished with a copper span roof. also at this time, the Cafe Condi and the Jahreszeiten Cellar --today's Doc Cheng's-- were created as well as the garage.
In the fifties, Fritz Haerlin expanded the hotel with more outbuildings. The laundry, new kitchen wings, offices and the so-called "Back Office Areas", such as the upholstery, joiner's and painter's workshops came into being.
Over the years the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten achieved world fame. Both, many prominent personalities from the movie industry, politics and high society as well as representatives of European royal houses became regular patrons of the Hotel.
The philosophy of the Hotel - then and now - is astoundingly simple: “Service, Service, Service.” Friedrich Haerlin once told his wife: It’s just like in our home. When we invite guests, then everything is clean and tidy, the table is set, plenty of good food has been prepared, and we have gotten dressed up and look forward to entertaining our guests. We don’t do anything different in this luxury Hamburg, Germany hotel; just everything is a little bit bigger.
Today’s Director, Ingo C. Peters, also runs the Hotel in the same way. He has been the Managing Director of the traditional hotel on the Inner Alster Lake sine 1997. Ingo C. Peters and his team all know that they together have a great hotel tradition to live up to. They feel proud to have had a major influence on Hamburg’s development over the decades and to have set standards in the international hotel business.
The diversity of the hotel, the timeless, luxurious ambience and the exceptional service assure a strong position for the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten among the best hotels of the world in all international top lists.