Press Releases

Upscale Premiere: Opening of Germany’s first Ascend Hotel

The Hotel Hirschen Freiburg is the first hotel in Germany to become a member of the expanding Ascend Hotel Collection, a global soft brand from Choice Hotels. Choice is expanding its German portfolio, which already includes the Comfort, Quality and Clarion brands. The Ascend  Hotel Collection soft brand was founded in 2008 and currently operates approximately 50 hotels in Europe. A second hotel in Cologne is also scheduled to to open soon.

The Hotel Hirschen has, for many years, been a part of the  Choice Hotels brand family as a Clarion Hotel. The hotel is located in one of Germany`s most sought-after holiday destinations, the Black Forest in Southern Germany. It offers the perfect starting point to explore the region between Germany, France and Switzerland, which is well known internationally for its countryside, cultural highlights and the high density of gourmet restaurants. In 2017, tourism professionals registered a total of 40 million overnight stays in the region. The upgrade to the country’s first Ascend Hotel Collection hotel was made after extensive renovations to the property’s 70 rooms and suites as well as the public areas. At the same time, it marks a change in management from one generation of the Baumgarten  family to the next. Elias Baumgartner follows in the footsteps of his father, Werner Baumgarter, who served as the hotel’s most recent managing director. The traditional hotel has now been managed by a member of the Baumgartner family for seven generations.

Experienced Partner for market entry
“For us, the Hotel Hirschen Freiburg is the ideal hotel to launch the Ascend soft brand in Germany. The Ascend Hotel Collection enables individual hotels to retain their independence and benefit from the support of a strong brand,” said Georg Schlegel, managing director of Choice Hotels Germany and Central Europe on occasion of the brand launch. Elias Baumgartner added, “Ascend gives us the opportunity to be part of a global sales system while at the same time having the flexibility to design our offerings, which is especially important for us as hosts and individual hotel operators.”

Individually furnished – excellent cuisine
The Hotel Hirschen in Freiburg boasts over 70 individually furnished rooms and suites, a lavish wellness area and an outdoor pool. Guests will find the restaurants of the hotels Hirschen and Mühlenbach are a well-known in the region and beyond. The cuisine of the Gasthaus Hirschen, headed by Chef Christian Laberer, has been awarded 15 points in the Gault Millau and a BIB Gourmand in the Michelin Guide.

Cologne: The second hotel of the Ascend Hotel Collection is near completion
A second Ascend Hotel Collection hotel in Germany, the V8 Hotel @Motorworld Köln, will open shortly. After the completion of renovations to the historic building, which was particularly challenging in some aspects, the hotel is slated to open in spring 2019 as planned. The private collection of the seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher is the highlight of the Motorworld Köln-Rheinland.

Ascend Hotel Collection: Upscale with independent character and scope of development
The Ascend Hotel Collection brand boasts more than 200 hotels worldwide in highly sought-after business and leisure destinations, such as New York, Miami, Napa Valley and Sydney.

Over the past two years the Ascend Hotel Collection has grown to include 50 hotels in Europe, including in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Madrid, Nice and Izmir. At present, the European development is focusing on Scandinavia and Spain.