Jörg Bacher, General Manager at the Maritim Hotel & International Congress Centre Dresden invites the world to meet at state of the art convention centre. In a candid interview he elaborates the unique facilities created for hosting seamless conventions.
Interview edited by Neeraj Narain
What is unique about the Maritim Hotel & International Congress Centre Dresden?
The Hotel is convenient in an old monument protected warehouse. It is located onto the banks of the river “Elbe” between the Congress Centre (both buildings are connected by a tunnel to each other) and the Saxony parliament. The Congress Centre is welcoming up to 6.000 people to meetings & conventions. The hotel offers 328 rooms with a size from 29 m² and larger.
What should we see during our stay in Dresden?
The cultural highlights of Dresden were the “Dresden Semperoper”, the “Zwinger Palace”, “Frauenkirche” (Church of our Lady) or steamboat ride to Pillnitz. Furthermore, you reach the Saxon Switzerland to go hiking for example in less than an hour (by car) or just visiting the Moritzburg Lakes with its castle and game enclosure.
In between conference events, what are the best restaurants to sample authentic local cuisine?
Because of the preferences of the Saxonian King August the strong, the local cuisine serves sweet dishes as small pancakes (“Quarkkäulchen”) or the traditional “Dresden Eierschecke cake”. Another local dish is pork roast with crackling. All of that can be served in the Congress Centre – our chef de cuisine is specializing in cooking the local offers. Alternatively some restaurants nearby (within 10 minutes walking distance) there is a restaurant, which is located in a vault (“Sophienkeller”).
Please give some practical advice to help your guests in getting them around the city.
Within 10 to 15 minutes walking distance, you reach all cultural highlights in Dresden (“Frauenkirche”, “Zwinger Palace” and many more) so the best is just to take a stroll along the banks of the river. Alternatively, you can rent a bike of the hotel or use the tram or buses around.
What would you say is the city’s best-kept secret, local hangout or little known attraction?
Young travelers should have seen the new town by night – here you have many bars to pull an all-nighter.
A must-see for kids is the “Kunsthofpassage” one of the most refreshingly artistic spaces in the new town of Dresden. Music created by water running down interlinked rain pipes affixed to a turquoise fascade.
Other classics with should have been seen were the “Frauenkirche” (Church of our Lady), Moritzburg Castle or Pillnitz Castle (take the paddle steamer for a relaxed journey).
Which seasonal activities are a must-do?
Throughout the year, Dresden offers many different activities to visit. The year in Dresden starts with a gala event par excellence. Many guest, including H.R.H. Queen Silvia of Sweden, the Irish singer and songwriter Bob Geldof, the actor Ornella Muti as well as many more important person of culture, politics, sports, charity or other attended the “SemperOpernball” during the last 11 years.
Musicians should schedule their trip to Dresden for May or autumn. In May, the absolutely highlight is the “International Dixxieland festival”. The “Jazz days” are in autumn each year.
16 stages, 85 concerts with 350 artists – this, you just find in Dresden during the summer month at the “Dresden Schlössernacht”.
Another activity in summer is the “Filmnächte am Elbufer” – whilst sitting at the banks of the Elbe, you enjoy different acts per day. In 2017 e.g. Sting, the Pet Shop Boys or movies.
After last Sunday before Advent until Christmas Eve, the “Dresdner Striezelmark” opens its doors – a wonderful Christmas Market.
The Maritim Hotelgesellschaft is Germany’s largest owner-managed hotel group. It has 33 properties across Germany as well as hotels in Mauritius, Egypt, Turkey, Malta, Spain and China.