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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Interiors: Living in a Room With a Kremlin View

One thing Hans Sebesta says he will never do while living in the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moskau is leave his shoes out at to be shined.


"Certainly it is the right of the general manager to put his shoes outside his door, but it's a question of how to manage a hotel," says Sebesta, who lives in a three-room suite in the hotel with his wife, Inga, and 6-year-old son, Benedict. "I don't want to give an example to my son," he said. "I think some things should be done by oneself.


"And besides, I think I can probably shine my own shoes better than anyone else," he said, grinning.


As managing director of the Baltschug Kempinski and general director of the Swiss-Austrian-Russian joint venture which owns the hotel, Sebesta rarely leaves the hotel's premises. He moved to Moscow three years ago after overseeing the opening of a Kempinski hotel in Istanbul.


Sebesta says living in the hotel is an almost round-the-clock job and refers to it as "a world of its own.


"Living here, it is difficult to separate what is work and what is life. It's all mingled together," said Sebesta, who only occasionally longs for his Hamburg apartment where he can close the door and "be really at home."


Sebesta enjoys seeing the celebrities and dignitaries who have stayed at the hotel and excitedly recounts tales of meeting British Prime Minister John Major, American evangelist Billy Graham, former U.S. President Richard Nixon (who told Sebesta that Graham had recommended he stay at the Baltschug).


"Seeing who's meeting whom in the hotel is really so extraordinary," he said.


He said his goal is to help make the Baltschug be known as a place which evokes the same type of international glamour as the high-society gathering spots of Berlin did in the 1920s.


"All the people who find time to earn money by doing things other than commercial things -- playing the piano, conducting orchestras -- I look forward to seeing these people in my hotel," he said. "To come back to these roots and culture -- this is what I'm dreaming of."