Hotel to open on site of Hitler’s Alpine retreat

BERCHTESGADEN:Luxury spa at Hitler's hideaway
The new hotel Intercontinental Berchtesgaden resort, built on the site of Hitler's Alpine hideaway on Obersalzberg mountain, Germany, is seen in this undated photo.Sipa Press / SIPA
/ Source: The Associated Press

A new luxury hotel will open next month on the site of Adolf Hitler’s Alpine retreat, which served as a part-time seat of government where he and other Nazi leaders often met to plan Germany’s assault on Europe and the Holocaust.

The new hotel, the Intercontinental Resort Berchtesgaden, will open on the Obersalzberg mountaintop to guests on March 1, the Bavarian Finance Ministry said Thursday.

The decision to build a hotel on the site above the German Alp town of Berchtesgaden angered many Jewish groups.

Officials have tried to address their concerns with a documentation center opened in 1999 to detail the area’s Nazi past. In addition, the state of Bavaria kept ownership of the land and set the condition that the hotel be designed for affluent tourists — precautions designed to help keep out neo-Nazis.

When launching the project in 2001, officials said the hotel would include 138 rooms — complete with swimming pools, a health spa and nearby ski areas — and would reconnect the site with a 19th-century tourism tradition.

The site, about 60 miles southeast of Munich, included a number of buildings and bunkers that were designed as Hitler’s Alpine fortress. Nearby is Kehlstein peak, with a restaurant known as “Eagle’s Nest,” also once used by Hitler. Hitler survived an assassination attempt at a different retreat, Wolf’s Lair, in what is now Poland.

Most of the Obersalzberg buildings were destroyed by Allied bombers in 1945. The U.S. military used the area as a resort after World War II, before handing it back to Germany in 1996.

Bavarian officials blew up Hitler’s guest house in 1952 out of fears it would become a neo-Nazi shrine.