In its lifetime, Villa Kennedy has worn many hats – family home, research institute and five-star hotel. While much has changed over the decades, the Frankfurt villa has maintained a characteristic charm reminiscent of its stately beginnings. As the modern-day hotel passess its 10-year anniversary, take a look back at the villa’s storied history.
From the beginning
Villa Kennedy, formerly Villa Speyer, was built in 1901 as the stately home of the Beit von Speyer family, descendants of the Speyer family – one of 18th century Frankfurt’s wealthiest banking families. The grand house was occupied by Eduard Beit von Speyer until his death in 1933, and shortly after was reestablished as a research institute and finally as a hotel in 2006, when it was renamed Villa Kennedy.
The great transformation
Villa Kennedy is named after Kennedyallee, the road on which the hotel is based. Previously known as Forsthausstraße, the street was renamed after US President J F Kennedy passed down it on his tour of Frankfurt in 1963, just a few months before his death.
As a hotel, Villa Kennedy keeps the character of the original family home alive. The building has been extensively restored and returned it to its original glory, while parts have been extended and modernised to bring it into the 21st century. The impressive entrance and grand signature suites are housed in the original 1901 structure, while three additional wings make space for additional rooms, suites and facilities. A highlight is the inner courtyard, Villa Garden, which provides an oasis of tranquility in the lively German city.
A family affair
Despite the physical changes, Villa Kennedy, managed by the Rocco Forte family, remains a family home in many respects. The décor, for example, was overseen by Director of Design Olga Polizzi, sister of owner Sir Rocco Forte. In addition, the hotel is run by General Manager Georg Plesser, who has been at the helm of Villa Kennedy since its opening in 2006.