Dubai: Five years ago the Intercontinental Group opened a five-star hotel close to the site of German dictator Adolf Hitler's summer residence at the Obersalzberg mountain in Bavaria, Germany.
The idea was to overcome the bad spirits of the past, and to neutralise the historic contamination at the place where the Fuehrer operated his second command centre outside Berlin during the Second World War. This was also where he received other dictators such as Benito Mussolini or spent his holidays with his fiancee Eva Braun.
The state of Bavaria said it spent 50 million euros (Dh250 million) of tax money to build the hotel, licensed it to Intercontinental and waited for the place to become demystified by normal tourist activities. But the concept proved to be a mega-flop, Austrian daily Die Presse wrote after a journalist spent a few days as a mystery guest at the "Hotel Hitler".
Apart from a few company meetings, there were not many guests, the paper said. The lobby and restaurants were almost empty. The paper reported that some visitors said they were attracted to the place because of its historic fear factor, which was exactly the opposite of what its creators wanted: to disassociate the area from the Hitler folklore.
Today, the hotel project's losses amount to about 15 million euros and it is predicted that the hotel's latest promotion, a honeymoon offer, won't change much.