The Wickenhäuser family's business history began in 1912 at the current location. The business began with the sale of motorbikes and later of cars, which at the time were already active in racing (great-grandmother Hilda Wickenhäuser (see photo) was one of the first speed hill climbing racing drivers in Germany). The first big turning point for the business came in 1945.
In 1945 the company's entire grounds and buildings were totally destroyed in an air raid in the last days of the war. By 1948 the car dealership had already resumed business as a NSU and FIAT trader.
In 1960 Williy Wickenhäuser (2nd generation), son of Adolf and Hilda Wickenhäuser, changed manufacturers, became an OPEL dealer and set up Germany's first vertically-organised motor vehicle shop at this very address in Schwanthalerstrasse. The entire range expected of a modern car dealership was on offer on seven floors in the city centre. The business focused on optimal customer relations, engagement in motor sport (specifically in rally sport), autonomous marketing and PR and in-house IT solutions.
In 1986 the Wickenhäuser family decided to convert the car dealership into a hotel building. On 15 August 1987 the hotel was opened as Hotel Budapest - at this stage the business was leased for the first time to the Hungarian state-owned hotel chain.
The lease agreement was dissolved in late 1994 and on 3 January 1995, a new chapter began at Hotel Cristal.
In early 2009 the management was taken over by the fourth generation, daughter Kathrin. She and her partner Alexander Egger (who has a degree in business administration) continue to run the truly historic business along challenging lines, moving between tradition and innovation.
Since taking over the business Kathrin Wickenhäuser and Alexander Egger have air conditioned 100 guest rooms in the Hotel Cristal, renovated 50 guest rooms, redesigned the 1912 Restaurant and Bar and expanded its culinary range. The Hotel Dolomit was extended to include 92 guest rooms, a new reception and breakfast area was built, and the Conference Centre enhanced with the Rubin Room for up to 105 persons.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the family-run company, the Wickenhäuser family with Alexander Egger are establishing the incorporated company Wickenhäuser & Egger AG to unite all the companies, from hotels to restaurant, Conference Centre and parking garage.
We are delighted to welcome you today as a guest of our traditional company!
Yours, Kathrin Wickenhäuser and Alexander Egger