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Change is in the air at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin

Change is in the air at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin

A new Managing Director at the five-star Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin has been announced by Martin R. Smura, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board at Kempinski Hotels: Michael Sorgenfrey will now lead the prestigious hotel at the Brandenburg Gate. A long-standing hotelier with immense experience from around the globe, Sorgenfrey is not only a familiar face at the Adlon and in the German capital, but also at Kempinski Hotels. During the successful reopening of the Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Sorgenfrey held an important role as Food & Beverage Operations Manager from 1997 to 1999 and later returned for three more years in 2002 as the Hotel Manager. 

“The Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is not only an icon within our company, but also within Germany,” said Smura. “We have extensive plans for our jewel in the crown, including a reintroduction of innovative food and beverage concepts for our discerning clientele. In addition to the living lobby, we will focus on our beautiful pool and wellness area, which are integral to the high-end guest journey at The Adlon. The love and attention will continue with the new leadership, who, along with the high-performing team, will ensure The Adlon Kempinski remains one of the best hotels in the world. Our landmark property will definitely be in perfect hands with Michael Sorgenfrey, who I am extremely happy to welcome back to the Adlon. As previous Hotel Manager of the property, he has the Kempinski and Adlon DNA in his blood.”

After three years successfully managing the five-star Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin, Matthias Al-Amiry has been called back to Asia by the Kempinski board, where he will be taking over the management of the prestigious Capitol Kempinski Singapore as Managing Director. Furthermore he will be taking on the role of Regional Vice President Southeast Asia, which involves responsibility for both Kempinski hotels in Bangkok, both hotels in Jakarta and Bali, and for the development of further hotels in Southeast Asia.

“Having two fantastic leaders moving forward within our company speaks for itself,” adds Smura. “At Kempinski Hotels we are strongly committed to recognizing our senior leaders and promoting them from within. Matthias Al-Amiry is also the perfect fit for The Capitol Kempinski Singapore, which plays an important role in our portfolio. With the historic Capitol theatre attached to our hotel, the owners are fully engaged to make it part of the Singaporean culture again and have chosen us to be custodian of this important strategic implementation.”

“Although it is not easy for me to say goodbye to my fantastic Adlon team, I am very proud that we have been able to continue the story of this very special hotel together,” said Al-Amiry. “I look forward to this new challenge with great joy and optimism.”

The 52-year-old Sorgenfrey has had an impressive career in the international luxury hotel industry. He originally trained as a chef at Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg in 1985, and rose through the ranks with his passion for fine dining and the hotel business. For example, he responded to the call of the legendary Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Thailand, where he was appointed Executive Assistant Manager in 1999. Later on, after the successful 2005 opening of Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum in Turkey and Kempinski Hotel Adriatic Istria in 2009, Sorgenfrey took on a new challenge and moved to Abu Dhabi in 2010 as General Manager of the Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel and Residence with 840 guestrooms. In 2012, he was appointed General Manager of Palace Downtown Dubai, which belongs to Address Hotels & Resorts. His next position was Managing Director of RIMC Deutschland Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of RIMC International Hotels & Resorts GmbH,  responsible for the operational and strategic management of 15 hotels in Germany. In autumn 2019, he again followed the call of Kempinski Hotels and became Vice President Operations, Middle East & Africa.

“As we know, all good things come in threes, and that is why I am absolutely delighted to be returning to the famous Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin [for the third time],” said Sorgenfrey. “The experience I gained here in the past proved very valuable for my career. My first job is to familiarize myself with the hotel as it is today, how it runs and operates, and especially to get to know the staff and settle in as quickly as possible. I am not only taking on a strong team and a successfully managed hotel; I am returning to probably the most exciting city there is. Berlin has an incredible amount to offer with its eventful history, political importance and vibrant culture. For me personally, things have come full circle.”


Born in Hamburg, Sorgenfrey has a European Executive Master of Business Administration from Reims Management School and an F&B Management Certificate from Cornell University. Besides his native language, German, he speaks fluent English and also has a basic knowledge of Turkish and Thai.