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HRS's history


An idea becomes a company

  • Robert Ragge (*1937) founds HRS - Hotel Reservation Service, in a former vegetable shop in Cologne.
  • Corporate aim: finding hotel rooms for business travellers, especially for trade fairs, as well as additional services
  • Number of employees: 2
  • First "transfer catalogue" for tour operators abroad, price lists for trips, bus transport, city guides and rental cars


The company adopts technology

  • The company moves to the Haus der Handwerkskammer at Heumarkt 14
  • Move to computers
  • Own computer hotel reservation system developed
  • Industry-atypical self-payment system introduced
  • "Hotel directory" introduced, the first HRS hotel catalogue, listing 2500 hotels


New ideas

  • Special department for individual bookings founded
  • HRS moves to BTX teletext
  • 1st edition of corporate catalogue
  • Number of employees: 35
  • 12 employees travel to the former East Germany to sign up hotels there. The special "GDR hotels visited for you!" catalogue appears.


Innovation and responsibility

  • Move to Drususgasse 7-11
  • Number of employees: 38
  • Cooperation with Mannesmann Mobilfunk
  • German Choral Festival in Cologne, HRS finds accommodation for 30,000 participants
  • BTX with hotel photos


The Internet boom

  • Geographic hotel-searching
  • the first HRS Web site in several languages
  • WAP version for mobile phones
  • "Hotel Directory" CD-ROM
  • Number of employees: 89


The network grows internationally

  • HRS develops special applications for corporate intranets
  • First foreign office opens in Shanghai
  • Number of employees: 132
  • The company moves to Blaubach 32
  • HRS opens offices in London and Paris


Management passes to second generation

  • A change of generations: Tobias Ragge (*1976) takes over operational control from his father
  • HRS opens office in Warsaw
  • The new HRS Web site is launched
  • Takeover of the Austrian company Tiscover
  • Number of employees: 330


From a company to a brand

  • Offices opened in Rome and Istanbul
  • Named "Brand of the Century"
  • HRS becomes the world's first hotel portal in the App Store
  • Corporate identity reworked, launch of a national ad campaign
  • Moscow office opened
  • Number of employees: more than 500 worldwide

Awards for HRS

  • 11 July 2014

    HRS receives its tenth successive Business Traveller Award

    HRS has been amongst the winners of the annual Business Traveller Award for ten years now. In 2014, the readers of the biggest German business travel magazine have once again voted for HRS in the "Best online offers for business travellers" category. For each of nine categories, the top three of the world’s best service providers in the travel industry are decided via an online survey.

  • 27th April 2012

    Stiftung Warentest gives HRS an overall rating of "good"

    Stiftung Warentest, the much-respected German consumer organisation, studied seven hotel booking portals and five agency portals as part of its latest test. HRS was one of only two hotel booking portals to receive the overall rating "good". HRS did especially well in the categories "Booking", "Hotel Information" and "Website. The testers singled out the very easy booking process and simple hotel cancellation feature for special praise. They also found that HRS had the best hotel search function of all the booking portals tested. HRS was also alone in impressing the testers with its variety of sorting options and detailed information on the hotels.

    The full test report is included in the "test" magazine (issue 5/2012).

  • 16th March 2012

    HRS wins award for outstanding customer focus

    HRS is one of the 25 most customer-focused service providers in Germany. HRS did particularly well in the categories Quality of Advice and Ensuring Service Quality, while also scoring highly when it came to value for money.

  • 20 January 2011

    HRS is the "Best Hotel Portal 2011"

    The German Institute for Service Quality (DISQ) tested nine hotel portals with regard to their booking service and terms and conditions on behalf of n-tv, the news channel. HRS was rated as "Best Hotel Portal 2011"

    Europe's leading hotel portal convinced with individual advice, an extensive range of hotels and good prices.

  • 18 November 2010

    HRS is one of only five Internet shops rated "very good"

    COMPUTER BILD magazine gives thumbs up to HRS Terms & Conditions. HRS was one of only five tested Web sites that received the grade "1" and were thus rated "very good". This put HRS in the top spot among travel and hotel booking providers. The Computer Bild test assessed the General Terms & Conditions of 57 online shops and service providers.

  • 16 September 2010

    HRS receives double award

    Travel Industry Manager 2010

    Best Marketing Campaign 2010

    The Travel Industry Club chooses HRS Managing Director Tobias Ragge as one of the top three travel-industry managers of 2010. The HRS marketing campaign was also voted into the top three in the Best Marketing Campaign 2010 category.

  • 17 June 2010

    HRS wins Sprungbrett 2010 innovation award

    HRS mobile solution honoured: On 17 June 2010, the Hotels Now! mobile application from HRS, Europe's leading hotel portal, beat off competition from numerous other entries to win the Sprungbrett 2010 innovation award in the 'Established' category.

  • 11 May 2010

    HRS is clear test winner

    The independent consumer portal compared the five leading hotel portals - with clear results: the test winner was HRS, with an outstanding overall grade of 1.3 ("very good").

  • 9 April 2010

    HRS rated "good"

    REISE & PREISE tested the 10 largest German-language hotel booking portals in terms of their selection, functionality and value-for-money. HRS was rated as "good".

  • 19 March 2010

    HRS is awarded the European Medal 2010

    The Committee for European Integration and the Business Center Club in Poland have presented HRS with the European Medal 2010. The award was bestowed for highest quality services meeting EU standards. The commission awarded the medal to honour the high-quality service that HRS offers its corporate customers on its own corporate portal.

  • 5 March 2010


    Prize-winning solutions for mobile hotel-booking: HRS is awarded the Initiative Mittelstand IT INNOVATION PRIZE. Thanks to its mobile hotel-booking solutions, HRS was able to overcome some 2000 fellow entrants to win the 'mobile' category in the national competition.

  • 29 January 2010

    German consumer watchdog rates HRS "good"!

    In a test of the evaluation functions of hotel six booking portals, published in the 02/2010 issue of consumer magazine Stiftung Warentest, HRS was the only booking portal to get two "good" ratings: for posting evaluations and for hotel information. HRS is considered particularly impressive for its organisation as well as for searching and the presentation of search results.

  • 9 November 2009

    HRS wins gold Top Hotel Star Award 2009

    Mobile hotel booking by smartphone: HRS wins in the 'Innovation' category!

  • 4 November 2009

    HRS named 'brand of the century'

    HRS receives a major honour. Europe's leading online hotel portal is awarded the Markenpreis der Deutschen Standards prize and is therefore one of Germany's 'brands of the century'.

  • 7 September 2009

    Double success for HRS: Travel Weekly China Award 2009

    'Best Online Presence'

    'Best Online Service for Business Travellers'

    At the Chinese Travel & Meeting Industry Awards 2009, HRS finishes top in the 'Best Online Presence' category and 'Best Online Service for Business Travellers' category.

  • 28 May 2009

    2009 Net Promoter Score B2B prize goes to HRS

    Germany's most customer-oriented service provider: a 98% recommendation rate confirms that corporate customers are extremely happy.

  • 2 February 2009

    HRS wins Business Travel World Award 2009

    Coveted honour confirms that HRS is the best in hotel bookings

  • 19 January 2009

    HRS receives Business Traveller Award for the fifth time

    HRS wins the 'Best Internet Offer 2008 Travel Providers' and overall 'Best Internet Offer 2008' categories

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HRS headquarters in Cologne

HRS hotline
Tel.: +49 221 2077 600

Fax: +49 221 2077 666

Monday to Sunday: 24 hours a day