I. Scope of validity
1. These general terms and conditions are applicable to contracts for the letting of guest rooms at this hotel for the purpose of accommodation and for all other services rendered and deliveries made by it to its guests.
2. The hotel’s prior written consent shall be required to any sub-letting of the rooms, spaces or display cases let, for public invitations, other promotional activities, job-seeking interviews, sales and similar events, with § 540 para. 1 second sentence BGB being contracted out unless the customer is the consumer.
3. General terms and conditions of the customer shall only apply if this was expressly agreed beforehand.
II. Closing, contracting parties, liability, limitation of actions
1. A contract comes into effect through acceptance by the hotel of the customer’s order. The hotel is free to confirm room bookings in writing.
2. Where a third party makes a reservation on behalf of the customer, such third party shall be liable to the hotel together with the customer as joint and several debtors for all obligations under the event-hosting contract provided that the hotel has obtained a corresponding declaration from the third party concerned.
3. The customer is obligated to inform the hotel, without being especially asked to do so, no later than at closing, if the event sponsored by him/her is apt, on account of its political or religious character or on other grounds, to affect the hotel’s business activities, security or public image.
4. The hotel is liable for its contractual obligations with the diligence of a prudent businessman. Claims for damages by the customer are ruled out. Exempt are damages associated with the loss of life, bodily harm or injury to health if the hotel is answerable for the underlying breach of duty. Likewise exempt are damages based on a deliberate or grossly negligent breach of duty by the hotel and damages based on a deliberate or negligent breach by the hotel of duties typically associated with a contract of the given kind. A breach of duty by the hotel shall be deemed on a par with a corresponding breach by one of its legal representatives or vicarious agents. In case of interference with or shortcomings of the hotel’s services, the hotel shall endeavour, on learning or promptly being notified thereof by the customer, to take remedial action. The customer is obligated to reasonably assist in putting an end to the disturbance and in minimising any potential damage. Moreover, the customer is obligated to draw the hotel’s attention in time to the possible occurrence of an exceptionally heavy loss.
5. Messages, mail and deliveries addressed to guests are handled with the diligence of a prudent businessman. The hotel shall deliver and/or store such items and shall, on request and for a charge, send them on. Sentences 2 to 4 of the above para. 4 shall analogously apply.
6. Where the hotel provides car parking space at its garage or parking lot, this does not give rise to a custody agreement even if a charge is billed therefor. The hotel is not obligated to guard such parking sites. It is not liable for any loss of or damage to motor vehicles parked or stopping on the hotel’s grounds and their contents except in case of intent or gross negligence. Sentences 2 to 4 of the above para. 4 shall analogously apply. Any damage shall promptly be communicated to the hotel. In all other respects, the conditions governing contracts for and the use of parking space on display at the hotel’s garage shall apply.
7. All claims against the hotel become statute-barred, as a matter of principle, within one year of the commencement of the regular period of limitations pursuant to § 199 para. 1 BGB provided that the claimant is aware of that period. Claims for damages shall become statute-barred, irrespective of such awareness, within 5 years. Reduced periods of limitation are not applicable to claims based on any deliberate or grossly negligent breach of duty by the hotel.
III. Services, prices, payment and set-off
1. The customer is obligated to pay the hotel’s prices applicable to and/or agreed for the services booked and any additional services claimed. This shall also apply to services rendered and amounts advanced by the hotel to third parties on the customer’s instructions, notably to accounts receivable owed to copyright collecting societies. Rates always include service charge and always include any VAT or sales tax.
2. Where an agreed minimum turnover level is not attained, the hotel is entitled to 60% of the shortfall by way of profit lost unless the customer proves that a lesser or the hotel proves that a higher loss has been sustained.
3. If the interval between closing and performance exceeds four months and if there is an increase in the price generally charged by the hotel for the given service, the hotel may reasonably raise the contractually agreed price, not, however, by more than 5%. This upper limit shall increase by 5% in respect of any one year by which the interval between closing and performance exceeds the above four-month period. No account is taken, in this context, of price changes made pursuant to sub-para. 3.
4. The hotel’s bills shall be due and payable without deductions, unless agreed otherwise, upon receipt. A bill is deemed received by the customer no later than 3 days after its dispatch unless earlier receipt can be proven by the hotel or later receipt by the customer. The hotel may at any time declare accrued accounts receivable mature and ask for immediate payment. In case of default in payment, the hotel is entitled to charge the applicable statutory default interest. The hotel reserves the right to furnish proof of a heavier loss.
5. The customer shall refund dunning charges to the Hotel for each reminder after default has occurred in an amount of € 5,00. The customer is free to prove that substantially lower or no charges at all have been occurred.
6. The hotel is entitled to ask, at closing or thereafter, for a reasonable down payment. The amount of such down payment and the dates of payment may be specified in the contract in writing.
7. Only uncontroversial or non-appealable claims may be set off by or credited to the customer against claims of the hotel.
IV. Customer’s withdrawal (countermanding, cancellation)
1. For gratuitous withdrawal from the contract concluded with the hotel the customer requires the latter’s written consent. If it is withheld, the contractually agreed room rate and third-party services rendered on the customer’s instructions shall be payable even if the customer does not claim the services contracted for provided that alternative letting is no longer possible. This shall not apply if the hotel infringes its obligation to take account of the customer’s rights, objects of legal protection and interests provided that the customer cannot therefore be expected to adhere to the contract or is entitled to another statutory or contractual right of withdrawal.
2. Where the hotel and the customer have agreed in writing on a date by which the latter may withdraw from the contract without a charge, the customer may do so by that date without triggering payment or compensation claims of the hotel. The customer’s right of withdrawal lapses if he/she fails to exercise that right vis-à-vis the hotel in writing by the agreed deadline unless the withdrawal is governed by para. 1, third sentence.
3. If the customer cancels a booked event as late as between the 8th and the 4th week before the date scheduled therefor, the hotel may, in addition to the agreed rate and the cost of third-party services, if any, charge 35% of the catering turnover lost. This rate shall rise to 70% where a booked event is cancelled later than assumed above.
4. Catering turnover is calculated according to the formula: menu price at the given event plus beverages multiplied by the number of participants. If no price had previously been agreed for the menu, the lowest-priced three-course menu of the offer applicable to the given event is applied. Beverages are charged at one third of the menu price.
5. Where an all-inclusive rate per participant in the event has been agreed, the hotel may, if the event is cancelled between the 8th and the 4th week before the date scheduled therefor, charge 60% and, if it is cancelled later than that, 85% of the all-inclusive rate multiplied by the agreed number of participants.
6. Paras. 3 to 5 take account of the discount for expenses saved. The customer is free to prove that the above claim has not arisen at all or not in the amount claimed.
V. Withdrawal by the hotel
1. Where it was agreed in writing that the customer may withdraw free of charge by a certain deadline, the hotel is for its part entitled to withdraw from the contract if there are inquiries by other customers about contractually booked conference rooms and the customer, on inquiry by the hotel, refuses to waive his/her right to withdraw. The same shall analogously apply where the customer has been granted an option, but is not prepared, on inquiry by the hotel, to make a firm booking in a situation where the hotel has other inquiries.
2. Where a down payment that has either been agreed or is asked for pursuant to the above section III para. 7 is not made, the hotel may likewise withdraw from the contract.
3. Moreover, the hotel may withdraw from the contract for good cause, e.g. if the performance of a contract is rendered impossible by force majeure or other circumstances for which the hotel is not answerable, if conference facilities are booked on the basis of the misleading or false presentation of material facts, e.g. relating to the customer’s identity or the purpose of the event, if the hotel has reason to believe that the event may affect its business operations, security or public image provided the cause is not rooted in the hotel’s sphere of control and/or organisation, or if there is an infringement of section I, para. 2.
4. The customer may not claim damages if the hotel withdraws for good cause. In the event that the hotel is entitled to damages from a customer in the context of a withdrawal pursuant to the above paras. 2 or 3, it may consolidate its claim into a lump sum. Paras. 3 to 6 of section IV shall analogously apply.
VI. Changes to the number of participants and the date/time of an
1. The hotel needs to be informed of any change to the number of participants by more than 5% five business days before the event is scheduled to begin. Any such change is subject to the hotel’s written consent.
2. Any reduction by the customer of the number of participants by up to 5% will be recognised by the hotel in accounting for its services. Where the shortfall exceeds 5%, the originally agreed number of participants minus 5% is applied. The customer may reduce the agreed price by the expenses saved on account of the lower number of participants. Proof of such savings shall be furnished by the customer.
3. Where the number of participants is higher than agreed, billing is for the actual number.
4. Where the number of participants differs by more than 10%, the hotel may fix new prices and exchange the rooms confirmed except if the customer cannot reasonably be expected to accept the new arrangements.
5. Where the dates/times appointed for the beginning and/or end of an event are postponed with the hotel’s concurrence, the latter may appropriately bill the customer for its flexible response unless the hotel is at fault.
VII. Bringing in food and beverages
The customer may not, as a matter of principle, bring in food and beverages for consumption at the event. Exceptions need to be agreed with the hotel in writing. In that case, a contribution to overhead is charged.
VIII. Technical equipment and connections, public permits
1. Where the hotel procures technical and other equipment for and on the instructions of the customer, it does so in the name, by authority and for the account of the latter. The customer is liable for the careful handling and proper return of such equipment. It indemnifies the hotel against all third-party claims under the transfer for use of these facilities.
2. Any use by the customer of own electrical equipment powered by the hotel’s electricity supply system is subject to the hotel’s written consent. The hotel may make its consent contingent on the non-gratuitous enlistment of the services of one of its engineers. The customer shall bear the cost of any interference with or damage to the technical equipment of the hotel caused by the use of the customer’s equipment unless the hotel is answerable therefor. The cost of electricity consumed in this context may be consolidated into a lump sum and charged as such.
3. The customer may, with the hotel’s concurrence and for a connection charge, use telephone, fax and data transmission equipment of its own.
4. Where, due to the use of the customer’s own equipment, pertinent facilities of the hotel remain unused, down-time compensation may be charged.
5. Defects of technical or other equipment provided by the hotel shall ideally be remedied promptly. Payments may not be retained or reduced unless the hotel is answerable for the defect.
6. In so far as the Hotel provides Internet access, connections and networks, the customer shall hold the Hotel free and harmless of all and any third-party claims arising from the unlawful use of the Internet connection. Nor shall the Hotel be liable for any damage to property suffered by the customer from using the Internet or the networks. Otherwise, the above Clause II, Paragraph 4 Sentences 2 to 4 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
7. Any official permits required for the event shall be procured by the customer in time and at its own expense. Likewise, the observance of conditions imposed under public law and of other regulations is incumbent upon the customer.
IX. Loss of or damage to objects brought in
1. The risk of bringing exhibits and other objects, including privately-owned items, into the venue of the event shall be borne by the customer. The hotel is not liable for their loss, destruction or damage, including pecuniary loss, except in case of gross negligence or intent by the hotel. Exempt is any damage associated with the loss of life, bodily harm or injury to health. Likewise exempt from this release from liability are all instances where the provision of custody, in light of the specific circumstances, is a duty typical of the given type of contract. Barring the cases referred to in the fourth sentence, an express custody agreement is required.
2. Any decorative material and other items brought in by the customer must conform to the requirements of fire protection and other public regulations. The hotel may require the submission of official proof of such conformity. Where no such proof is furnished, the hotel may remove any material already brought in by the customer at the latter’s expense. To guard against damage, prior co-ordination with the hotel is required where the placement and mounting of such objects is concerned.
3. Exhibits and other objects brought in shall be promptly removed after the event. If the customer fails to do so, the hotel may arrange for such items to be removed and stored at the customer’s expense. If the items remain at the venue, the hotel may charge an appropriate compensation for the given period. The customer is free to prove that the above claim has either not arisen at all or not in the amount claimed.
4. Objects left behind by participants are only sent on at the request, risk and expense of the person concerned. The hotel shall safe-keep such objects for a period of six months after communicating the find to the entitled party or the competent authority. Upon expiry of that time limit, the finder acquires ownership of the object if the identity of the entitled party has not been established or if that party has failed to file his/her claim with the competent authority. The above para. 1 shall analogously apply.
X. Customer’s liability for damage
1. If the customer is an entrepreneur, it is liable for any and all damage to the building and its inventory caused by participants in and/or visitors of the event, by staff members, other third parties from the customer’s sphere or by the customer proper. The same shall analogously apply if the customer is a public law entity, a political party or a trade union.
2. The hotel may require the customer to furnish adequate collateral securities (such as insurance policies, sureties or guarantees).
XI. Final provisions
1. Modifications of or amendments to a contract, confirmation of an order or the present terms and conditions governing the hosting of events shall require the textual form in order to be effective. Unilateral modifications or amendments by the customer are ineffective.
2. The place of fulfilment and payment shall be the hotel’s domicile.
3. Exclusive venue – including for disputes involving cheques – shall be, in commercial intercourse, the hotel’s domicile. The same applies if the customer has no general venue inside the country, thus satisfying the requirement of § 38 para. 2 ZPO (Code of Civil Procedure).
4. German law shall apply. UN law on the international sale of goods and the conflict of law rules may not be invoked.
5. Should individual provisions of these general terms and conditions governing the hosting of events be or become ineffective or void, the effectiveness of their remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby. In that case the Parties shall agree on a new arrangement which comes as close as possible to the meaning of the ineffective provision.
Sosua, Feb 2009