History of Hotel An der Gruga
Renaissance of a small economic miracle
Entirely renovated between 2008 and 2012, you can barely tell it ever happened just by looking at Hotel An der Gruga. For sure, though, it reflects the eventful history of an economic miracle in the post-war era. In this case it is the tale of Hans and Änne Weber. Receiving a settlement for their farm that made way as the coal mines spread, the farming couple invested the money in a plot of land and its ruined building close to the trade fair in Essen-Rüttenscheid, where on 1 June 1956 they opened Hotel An der Gruga with 18 rooms at DM7.50 per night. Anyone wanting breakfast paid an additional DM2.50 and winter guests were asked to fork out 1DM for heating.
The number of guests in the first few years left a bit to be desired and developed so slowly that in 1958, the hotel's founders were all but willing to sell the house to a lotto winner for what at the time was the inconceivable amount of DM 250,000.
But it's not so easy to turn your back on your life's work. The sale was stopped, the numbers of guests finally rose and after two happy decades, the house was passed on to Jürgen Weber, the youngest of five children, and his wife Gertraut. And while the second generation set about modernising and expanding the business to 39 rooms, our current Hotel Proprietor Matthias Weber was warming up to take over his parent's business by qualifying and advancing his career in Düsseldorf, Munich, New York and San Francisco. He finally took the helm in 1999.
But he still had time for his own business. He acquired Hotel Maximillians, located in the same neighbourhood, in 2006, merging the two houses to form wbw-Hotels (Weber Business and Weekend Hotels).
And so a new chapter in family Weber's small economic miracle drew to a close when the major renovation of Hotel An der Gruga was completed. Others are sure to follow!