Check-in at Schloss Elmau, “the G7 hotel” where Modi will be staying


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his way to Germany, to attend the G7 summit with other countries, amid a tumultuous global situation amid the Russian-Ukrainian war. While much speculation has swirled about the summit’s agenda, eyes are also on its location, as the G7 returns to Germany’s famous Schloss Elmau.

Steeped in history, Schloss Elmau has made headlines for its pristine and secluded location, special features and more. News18 takes a look at the location of the G7 summit, where Modi will be staying while in attendance:

Isolated location

It is located in the far south of Germany, near the Austrian border. Described as beautiful and remote, hotel owner and manager Dietmar Müller-Elmau told DW in a report that “there are few places in Germany that can be protected as well as Schloss Elmau, which is very isolated but not too far from Munich”.

The prime minister will hold an Indian diaspora meeting in Munich ahead of the summit, his first such large-scale event in a post-Covid world.

Arrivals and departures by vehicle or helicopter are quick as Munich is only an hour and a half north.

What about its history?

The hotel was built between 1914 and 1916, by the builder Johannes Müller, who had a great impact on him.

The theologian, writer and philosopher had mixed feelings towards the Nazi government, according to a report by DW. He was a vocal opponent of anti-Semitism while continuing to believe that Adolf Hitler was a “God-sent leader”. Müller was found guilty by the Allies in denazification trials after World War II for “glorifying Hitler by word and writing”, and the U.S. military seized the castle.

Müller’s children acquired the property in 1961 following a successful appeal against their father’s conviction by the denazification court. Dietmar Müller-Elmau, grandson of Johannes Müller, is the current owner of the castle.

“Identical suites so that no head of state feels disadvantaged”

The main structure of the hotel, the Hideaway, comprises 115 rooms and suites and takes its name from the abundance of private spaces that can be discovered in the common areas.

However, Müller-Elmau also wanted to build a hotel that would be ideal for a G7 summit. As a result, he built a second hotel, aptly named the Retreat, within 100 meters (about 330 feet) of the Hideaway. This “hotel within a hotel”, so to speak, is more intimate, smaller and offers suites of equal size, ensuring that no head of state feels disadvantaged, the report says. With the 2015 G7 Summit serving as the official opening event, it made a big splash in the hospitality industry.

No air conditioning, plastic in this hotel

The hotel’s privacy makes it ideal for hosting heads of state, the report says. “They share meals and go swimming together. They essentially reside in a motel with 47 rooms. Each person has five pieces to use in addition to a few others. The rest of their staff reside at the castle, which is ideal as it houses both staff and world leaders,” Müller-Elmau told EU.

Schloss Elmau lacks air conditioning, which is rare for an upscale hotel. The Retreat, however, has a pollution-free cooling system that barely changes the temperature slightly. Other than the cool mountain air, there is absolutely no air conditioning in the Hideaway.

The hotel prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and has incorporated it into many facets of its business. This is for example the reason why plastic packaging is not allowed in the rooms. Christian Scheler, of the hotel’s management staff, told DW cosmetics are dispensed from 5-litre pump bottles and then filled into 300-millilitre porcelain bottles. Snacks like sweets or nuts are served in glass jars, which can be recycled for deposit at organic retailers throughout Germany.

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