Early in 2011 we commenced re-development of the Marienburg Manor House and its extensive grounds on the banks of the Rhine at Monheim. Our dream was to create, over time, a Business/Conference and Special Events Center of very high quality in this unique location. Looking back, it is hard to believe the pace of expansion from our initial set up, restricted as we were to the first floor of the complex, hiring out rooms for small meetings.
As our Conference Center continued to expand over the intervening years we also completed our “Bar-B-Que Academy” in the old Coach House beside the Manor. This concept has been a labour of love and since the summer of 2012 much effort has been put into further developing the Academy as an innovative catering experience. And recently the appeal of the entire complex has been greatly enhanced with our latest expansion projects – (i) the Whiskey and Wine Lounge situated in the completely renovated cellar of the Manor and (ii) the construction of a Guest House beside it, comprising twenty rooms with the highest quality furnishings and state-of-the-art connectivity.
Both the Whiskey and Wine Lounge and the Guest House opened in October 2015.
With this range of distinctive components we offer you and your group a well organised and effective platform for seminars, conferences, training sessions and work-shops - in fact any type of off-site meeting you can think of. All contained within the Marienburg Manor Estate - an historic location with an atmosphere of privacy and seclusion which cannot be matched.
As well as business meetings Marienburg Manor is also the ideal place to celebrate special events - such as weddings, anniversaries, family or organisational milestones -indeed any occasion where groups wish to come together and enjoy each other’s company in an exclusive and idyllic setting. Our enthusiastic team will pull out all the stops to make sure you have an unforgettable experience!
Our philosophy is a simple one and very easy to explain:
We want the best decisions to come out of your meeting, the optimum creativity to arise during your workshop, your special event to be an absolutely unique experience and - if you stay here overnight - that when you awake – you won’t feel like leaving here. Ever!
This simple philosophy becomes reality in the hands of the efficient but relaxed team of people here at Marienburg Manor. We will work with you to understand your aims and make every effort to bring them to fruition - from the most important aspects down to the smallest detail.
We are proud that, working painstakingly with the Manor’s owner and with the expert assistance of some great partners, we have instilled new life into - and re-captured the unique atmosphere of - this marvellous old Manor House which dates from the late-1800s. Now Marienburg Manor has awoken and rewarded us all by living up to every promise we envisioned for this handsome estate.
Our firm belief is that this successful cooperation with our partners in which we achieved extraordinary goals by working within a competent and reliable network - is proof (and a convincing argument for any prospective client) that the Marienburg Manor team is a high-achieving, effective and dependable partner which can add value to your organisation’s event.
And if this philosophy of ours matches yours, then that’s great!
Come visit us here at Marienburg Manor! We’d love to meet and show you around.
Alex worked with the multi-national pharmaceutical company, Bayer, primarily in the Animal Health Division, in key financial and administrative roles for over a decade, both in Germany and the USA. In 2005 he founded the Junior Management School, in 2011 he started to create the Marienburg Business and Conference Center. Alex was born in 1974, is married and currently seeking the title of “World’s Best Dad” to Henri and Mimi. Mad about basketball since he was six years old, he loves animals and the natural environment and enjoys nothing better than cooking or barbecueing up a storm for his friends, family, office colleagues and clients. A dedicated gardener and an entrepreneur with his whole body and soul.
Anna was born in Bielefeld and studies ‘Tourism and Business’ in a double degree in Dusseldorf. Anna joined the Marienburg team in May 2015. As a ‘newbie’ she has been eager to learn all about the Manor, the other team members, the clients and guests - and of course the work itself. She is looking forward to her role and is keen to make it an interesting, exciting and enjoyable experience.
Anna was recommended to us by associates and has surpassed all our expectations. She’s a treasure – a quick learner, keen to help and extremely diligent. Whether it’s working with our conference/seminar/workshop groups, being involved in the special events in the evenings or assisting in the increasing number of wedding receptions on site, her work is of a high order. Anna can always be put in the game.
Christel has been part of the team since 2012. She’s the quiet achiever, the all-rounder, forever young – there simply aren’t enough superlatives to describe what she brings to our business. With her straight-forward, honest approach she enriches the working life of the whole group. Christel constantly looks for ways we can improve and helps us get there.
Gülsum came to us virtually out of nowhere - and we are over the moon that she did. She has been on board since March 2015. Gulsum brings with her more than a decade of high-level catering experience and has been a tremendous benefit. She has an easy smile and it feels like we’ve known her forever. And when you see her turn up very early every morning on her bike, you can be sure she’s the fittest member of our team!
Gülten was sent to us, we reckon – just like our Janka - by an angel! She doesn’t say much but is always ready to help and just loves coming to work each day. Gülten is the one who makes sure that those who stay overnight in the new Guesthouse have everything they need.
Our ‘Josie’ was also recommended by friends. She’s a good-hearted lady who also looks after every wish of those who stay in our Guesthouse. Ready at any time to sort out any queries or hassles that guests may have. There is something special about Josie though: there’s no one who so enthusiastically gives the boss grief – but afterwards, surprisingly, they’re still talking to each other… :-)
Hasan enriches our team as of June 2016. He is our "universal weapon" thrown into new tasks whereever and whenever someone is needed. His attitude towards life and the way life has thrown him around makes us humble looking at our "small"problems. We are glad having been able to give Hasan a new home and a new family. He deserves it.
Imke comes from north of Kiel and is presently in Denmark studying for her masters. We’re hoping she’ll re-join the team after she obtains her degree. Imke began as a trainee with us in August 2012 whilst studying BWL Business at the AFUM in Monheim – and now in Copenhagen where we hope she will enjoy two rewarding years. Imke loves travel, sailing, the beach and the sea.
By a stroke of luck Janina (we call her Janka) was sent to us by an associate. We can’t be happier. A Wonder Woman that handles every challenge. When we gather each day Janka is guaranteed to raise a chuckle with her irreverent take on the world.
Joanna has been with us since 2012. She is our Senior Event Manager and leads us with a creative, catering-oriented mind. As sommelière she looks after the Wine cellar with a passion. Born in Krosno, Poland, life brought her to Germany in 2000. Married with two fine boys, Joanna loves to cook and has to have at least ten projects running simultaneously to be satisfied. She’s also a Yoga Master.
Jozef has been working with us since 2012. He’s the trusted Housemaster of Marienburg Manor, married with three successful children, always ready for fun and keeps everyone in the best of moods.
Mario and Alex got to know each other in 2007 during a philosophical chat at the Manor about the topic of steak in general - and meat quality world-wide. The conversation ended with Mario and Alex each declaring that the other was “a complete a***hole” with both sporting huge grins. Two months later Mario came to the Manor, slapped six finely aged T-bone steaks down on Alex’s desk and with a few choice words demanded he try them. The rest – as they say – is history: this was the beginning of a great friendship. We have since convinced Mario to leave his own successful business and join our organisation as of June 1st 2016. As head butcher, cook and bar-b-que master Mario brings with him generations of family tradition in the butchering business, heaps of energy and a tremendous depth of knowledge to our team. Besides his cooking and butchering he takes great care of his hobby (hunting) as well as his lovely wife and his faithful hound.
After successfully completing his masters in Macroeconomics in the summer of 2014, Niklas came straight to us. Every morning he struggles up the traffic-choked A1 to work. Born in 1987, Niklas is still in that great phase of life where one can enjoy every experience without worrying too much about things. However he has thought sufficiently deeply about his role at Marienburg that, after checking us out for quite some time, he’s decided to hang in there. Anyway, it’s not always about getting into the nuts and bolts of everyone’s existence: the fact is Niklas is here and fits in well with the Marienburg team.
Özlem began with us in April 2012 as a trainee while she completed a very successful program in Office Communication. If she had not come to work with us – almost by accident – then her alternative career would have been in retail, something which she wasn’t all that keen on (though she does practise a fair bit of ‘retail therapy’ in her spare time). She keeps us all amused by her witty observations about people and life in general, everybody loves her
Whirlwind Olga hit Marienburg on April 1st 2014! She is the barometer of public opinion across the organisation and our advice, if the gauge is showing red (which is not very often) is make yourself scarce! She’s an artist and qualified in child care, which can be helpful more often than one would think.
Born and raised in beautiful Monheim, Patrick joined the team in July 2015. A qualified salesman who has worked in the retail industry, he is always keen to work with clients and to be of service. Alex got to know Patrick when purchasing gardening supplies and was struck by Patrick’s friendly, reliable and engaging manner. Patrick’s a cool dude, always involved in sports in his spare time.
Silvia, with us since 2011, has a high level of experience in the service industry, a great personality and is the ‘sunshine’ of the organisation. She’s a hot-blooded Italian, fluent in many languages and absolutely indispensable when the pressure’s on. Above all else she adores Ashley the Wonder Dog (our four legged friend, Alex’s manager and the mascot of Marienburg Manor), and loves nothing better than singing and dancing.
The only one with a formal job title as "Senior Vice President of Security and Social Activities". Some clients apparently only come by in order to cuddle up probably with him.
Tim grew up in Leichlingen and now lives in Leverkusen. He is qualified in banking and bank management. He initially joined Alex Zimmer’s Junior Management School Pty Ltd (which ran educational training programs for school leavers). He was heavily involved in the development of the Business & Conference Center and has primary responsibility for the Meeting/Seminar/Conference division. He played basketball at a competitive level for over ten years and it is still an important part of his life – more now as a way to keep fit. Since 2013 however his family plays the most important role in his life and Tim and his wife extremely proud of their two young daughters.
Tomek has been with us since April 2013. A qualified hotelier and passionate bar manager, Tomek immediately impressed in his job interview (conducted by Alex one long evening in Tomek’s former bar in Cologne) with what is – in the humble opinion of all who have tried it – “The World’s Best Whiskey Sour”. From that moment, we wanted him on board the team! And we haven’t been disappointed. His motto: “Sexy! Sexier! Tomek!” You really don’t want to know any more….
Around 1879/80 Eugen von Kesseler commissioned the Cologne architect, August Carl Lange, to construct a Manor House of brick, reminiscent of the 13th century fortified monastery of the Teutonic Order of Knights in what was then Marienburg, West Prussia - now Malbork, in modern Poland. Malbork has become an official twin-city of Monheim.
The red brick facade, the staircase-shaped Gabel and the view from the raised entrance – from where on a clear day one has sweeping views down to the famous Cologne Cathedral – Marienburg Manor impresses every visitor. Despite the passage of time Marienburg, set in 1.7 hectares of tended parklands, is a reminder of the Prussian influence in the Rhineland. This is due to the undertaking from Eugen von Kesseler as he, the architect August Carl Lange with a large band of farm hands and labourers from the nearby village of Monheim erected the Manor, that the new family residence should be faithful to the original plans of the castle in West Prussia. This promise has been kept through wars and across the centuries.
The building was designed as a stately family seat. Eugen and Fanziska von Kesseler went on to raise at least thirteen children here. Eugen owned a large parcel of land which stretched to where one of Monheim’s main streets, Hofstrasse now runs. He served on the Royal Prussian Court and represented the constituency of Bonn-Rheinbach in the Prussian House of Representatives from 1870 to 1874 and again from 1882 to 1885. He was the co-founder of the conservative Center Party and was a member of the Reichstag or Parliament from 1871 to 1884.
While he led a very busy life in many ways he was a family man with a great desire to build a quiet retreat.
From the very start von Kesseler wanted to avoid the townsfolk becoming envious and tried to make as little impression as possible. However reports soon spread from those who worked on the construction that there were built-in wardrobes in every room as well as flush toilets with running water. It definitely wasn’t a modest holiday home. Marienburg cost the von Kesselers 75,000 Reichmarks to build.
In the Second World War an anti-aircraft gunnery was set up on the tower of the Marienburg. During a battle in February 1945 the top of the tower was blown away. The current owner, Paul Vogel had the tower restored to its former state.
Up until 1982 the Manor was still owned by the family. In that year the last descendant of the Royal Prussian Court, Elisabeth von Kesseler, died.
Just two years later the estate made juicy headlines in the tabloid press. “Heidi and Jurgen” used the Prussian building for a “Super Party”; but this was no country dance. The two tenants of the Manor operated a swingers club though it wasn’t openly promoted as a wife swopping set up. However the Monheim Council were not stupid. They observed that alcohol was being served at the parties and that was the end of the risqué operation. The headlines read: “Monheim Pleasure Castle to Close”. “Heidi and Jurgen” had unfortunately failed to obtain a liquor license!
Marienburg remains in private hands to this day. Monheim Council purchased the surrounding parkland together with the “Landesgartenschau Europa 2000 Plus” organisation, restored it and opened it to the public. A Memorial to the original owners, the von Kesseler family has been erected in the park.
The current leaseholder, Alexander Zimmer, runs Marienburg Manor as a seminar and conference center. A modern Guesthouse containing twenty well-appointed rooms has been constructed beside the Manor. A novel “Bar-b-que Academy” is located in the former Coach House and the fully renovated cellar of the Manor now houses a “Wine & Whiskey Lounge”.