One of Asia-Pacific’s most memorable hoteliers, Rudiger Robert Köppen, 80, passed away on Sunday (January 29) after a brief battle following oesophageal cancer surgery.
Köppen was the first general manager of Holiday Inn chain’s first hotel in Hong Kong, the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, which opened in 1974.
Rudiger Robert Köppen
He brought a taste of Germany to Hong Kong with restaurants such as Vienna Cafe and Baron’s Table at the hotel.
At heart a traditional German gentleman, he is remembered by many for his bronzy looks, flamboyance, professionalism and creativity.
Recalled Patrick Fiat, general manager of Royal Plaza on Scotts Singapore: “Rudi Köppen hired me in 1984. He was a great mentor and coach for my next 15 years with Holiday Inn in Asia, giving me the opportunity to work in marketing for a few years and the last 18 years at Royal Plaza on Scotts. Everyone who worked for Rudi has special memories of working with him. He was demanding but very loyal to his people. A lot of hoteliers in Asia started their career with Rudi.”
Added Gerhard Kropp, who worked with InterContinental Hotels Group and is now SVP Pino Hotels & Resorts Philippines: “I am very saddened by the sudden passing of Rudi. I have known Rudi since our Hong Kong days in the early 80s and we have been close and in touch even in his retirement.
“Rudi was an exceptional hotelier with foresight and a keen mind that developed Holiday Inn into a formidable hotel company in Asia-Pacific. He was a strong leader with an extremely big heart and very people-orientated. Rest In Peace dear Rudi.”
The funeral will take place in a few weeks' time and will be a private family gathering.
TTG Asia offers our condolences to his family.