Press and awards

Sternhagen: Synonymous with outstanding hospitality

The Sternhagen family awarded with the order of merit of Lower Saxony.

An extremely rare award was presented yesterday to the hoteliers Jürgen und Helga Sternhagen from Cuxhaven. In the presence of numerous guests, the Mayor Arno Stabbert presented the Order of Merit of Lower Saxony to these extremely committed entrepreneurs.

The Mayor cited the “Vitality and Original Thalasso Hotel” in Cuxhaven-Duhnen, which is situated beside the beach, mudflats and sea, run by Jürgen and Helga Sternhagen, as a life achievement which demonstrates a far-reaching and impressive influence not only across Cuxhaven and the popular tourist state of Lower Saxony but even beyond Germany. The commitment of the Sternhagens has undisputedly and to a considerable extent influenced the local tourist industry and the excellent reputation of the Spa Hotel Sternhagen acts as a perfect advert. Just very recently, Jürgen Sternhagen, who celebrated also his 77th birthday yesterday, received the “Hotelier of the Year 2006” award (reported in the CN).

“Investing in Youth”

In particular, Arno Stabbert commended the efforts of the Sternhagens with respect to “Investing in Youth”. For almost 50 years Jürgen und Helga Sternhagen have trained young people in the restaurant, catering and hotel trade. The mayor mentioned that “They have trained about 350 young people thoroughly to an excellent standard. This achievement has to be applauded”. A large number of those apprentices have subsequently followed careers in the international hotel and restaurant trades.

In his speech Arno Stabbert also mentioned the extraordinary life of the Sternhagen family. For example, whilst Jürgen Sternhagen was still working as a bank clerk, he built the first section of his hotel to the level of the basement ceiling entirely without assistance. Since the hotel first opened its doors in 1956 the Sternhagen family have celebrated 15 topping-out celebrations associated with annual improvements to further increase the standard of the hotel.

In addition to his demanding commitments as a hotelier, Jürgen Sternhagen was an active member of the executive committee of the Cuxhaven-Duhnen tourist office between 1958 and 1999. In the meantime Helga Sternhagen spent 35 years as a member of the examination board for chefs and has devoted herself to the support of apprentices for the hotel trade. In 2003 she wrote a handbook for new recruits to the hotel trade.

A continuous program of admitting apprentices from the USA, England, France and Poland also plays a significant part in the commitment of the Sternhagens who over the years have also provided financial support to many overseas projects.