In 2022, my favorite hotel in Frankfurt closed. At the time the plan was for the property to no longer be used as a hotel. Well, there’s a positive update, as it seems the property’s owners have backtracked, and this will be reopening as a hotel in 2024.
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Villa Kennedy Frankfurt closed in April 2022
Villa Kennedy Frankfurt closed as of April 2022. The hotel, which belonged to the Rocco Forte collection, was in operation for over 15 years, since 2006. Employees at the hotel were offered transfers to the group’s 15 other properties, though that likely wasn’t convenient for most, since it would require moving.
The 163-room hotel was generally regarded as Frankfurt’s best place to stay, and the hotel also had quite a history that dates back well over 100 years. The hotel was purchased by CONREN Land in 2021, which was at the time examining future concepts for the property, including the possibility of it becoming a retirement home.
Why I was sad to see Villa Kennedy closing
Obviously hotel closings in general are sad, since many people lose their jobs. Beyond that, though, this is a property that I really enjoyed. My family is from a small town in Germany not far from Frankfurt, and typically when I visit I like to first spend a couple of nights in Frankfurt.
Even though Frankfurt is a business hub, the city lacks luxury hotels. There are plenty of decent mid-range properties, but that’s about it. Villa Kennedy was the exception, as it was truly such a charming, relaxing property, with great service. I loved how the hotel had a beautiful courtyard, which was a nice place to enjoy a drink outdoors in the summer.
Frankfurt has a few other luxury properties, including the Sofitel and Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof, but they’re not on the same level, in my opinion.
A few general thoughts on the Rocco Forte brand and the Frankfurt hotel market:
- I really think this hotel could have succeeded if it belonged to a global hotel group with access to a better distribution system, whether that comes in the form of a Park Hyatt, St. Regis, or Four Seasons
- I’ve long thought that the Rocco Forte brand is ripe for a takeover; the company has a small collection of excellent luxury properties, and the footprint complements some other luxury hotel brands quite nicely
- Why does Frankfurt have so few luxury hotels, given what a financial hub it is? The best theory I can come up with is that it comes down to there not being huge elasticity when it comes to room rates for luxury properties in the city, along with a lack of premium leisure demand, but is there something else I’m missing?
Villa Kennedy Frankfurt reopening in 2024
There’s a positive update. As flagged by Live and Let’s Fly, the new plan is for Villa Kennedy to be reopened in the fall of 2024. The property will undergo a full renovation and feature 147 rooms, so it’ll have a slightly smaller room count than it previously had.
Sadly the hotel won’t join a global hotel group, but rather will belong to Althoff Collection, a small German hotel group with around half a dozen properties. The renderings of the updated property are gorgeous, so I’m quite excited about this.
I’m thrilled to see that the property will be reopening, and will even be undergoing a full renovation. It looks like it’ll be better than ever before.
That being said, I can’t help but be a bit confused by the decision to make this property part of a small German hotel group. Frankfurt is an international business hub, not one necessarily targeting premium German leisure traffic. So if the hotel plans to market itself to international travelers, this seems like an odd branding choice.
Villa Kennedy Frankfurt, a Rocco Forte hotel, closed as of April 2022. While the plans were initially for the property to be converted into something other than a hotel, it seems the owners have backtracked. The hotel will now be undergoing a full renovation, and will reopen in the fall of 2024, being managed by Althoff.
I’m thrilled to see that Villa Kennedy will be making a comeback, I’m just kind of sad that it won’t be a points hotel.
What do you make of these updates to Villa Kennedy Frankfurt?