History

The Hotel Esplanade with its Historic Breakfast Room was raised by order of a syndicate of princes (Hohenlohe, Fürstenberg, and Henckel von Donnersmarck) according to the plans of architect Otto Rehnig in 1907/1908. At the time, the construction costs came to 23 million Goldmarks. In terms of architectural style, the building oriented itself to the Belle Époque, though the interior did include neo-baroque and neo-rococo elements. 

The hotel included several lavish halls, one of them the former breakfast room of the hotel. In the 1920s, legendary celebrities and stars stayed and breakfasted at the Esplanade, including Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbor, and Billy Wilder.

During World War II, parts of the hotels were destroyed. Other parts remained largely intact, such as the Imperial Hall, the staircase, the lavatories, and the Breakfast Hall. In the 1950s, this entire complex was used as restaurant and venue for dance events amidst the post-war debris, later even for fashion shows. After the Berlin Wall was raised, the hotel found itself inside the restricted area and could no longer be used, except as film set, e.g. for scenes in the films “Cabaret” starring Liza Minelli (1972), or “Wings of Desire” by Wim Wenders (1986). 

When the wall came down, and Potsdamer Platz was rebuilt, the historic parts of the hotel were moved – following lengthy deliberations – in a spectacular operation using pressurised cushions, and integrated into today's Sony Center.

While the Imperial Hall was moved as it was, the Historic Breakfast Room was disassembled into 500 separate parts and reconstructed to scale in its new position. It is located between the Imperial Hall and the Josty Restaurant, and accessed through the latter.

Today, the Historic Breakfast Room has re-established itself as an event location, favoured for hosting all sorts of events, such as spectacular film premieres (including “Men in Black” and “Lord of the Rings”), TV shows, press conferences, trade fair parties, get-togethers, other corporate events, or even private parties, including birthday bashes and wedding banquets