One on one talk with our winning Amsterdam Hotels

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Last week, we announced our “Best reviewed Amsterdam hotels of 2010”.
The hotels which made it to the final list got the highest scores from their guests. Amsterdam is an extremely popular city and it is full with tourists all year long. You can only imagine the amount of hotels we have here and the difficulty with booking the perfect accommodation for each person. That is why the outcome of this list made us even more curious about the winning hotels; what is so special about them that made people vote for them time after time? Do they use secret tricks or a certain approach that keeps them so popular with so many different people? We decided to go on a quest in order to get our answers.

Our first stop was the top hotel in the 0-1 stars category: “Hotel Hegra
There we met with Paulo (the receptionist), Bart (the owner), and Othelo (their famous cat!).

Paulo and Othelo

Bart and Paulo, why do you think your hotel made it to the top hotels?
“We truly believe that the main reason for the success of our hotel is Othelo the cat! People love this cat and every time they come back here, the first thing they do is ask about him! Other than that, I think that we have an amazing family atmosphere here. Our clients keep coming back because they want to have a familiar place where they feel comfortable staying, time after time. “

Do you have anything interesting planned out for 2011?
“In the last two-three years we have been renovating the hotel; it’s an on-going process that is still not done. Because we are busy with that even now, there is nothing else we plan for 2011.”

When do you think is the best time to come and visit Amsterdam?
Paulo: “Definitely all year long! I moved to Amsterdam many years ago and I still get excited every time I walk the streets. The beautiful architecture, the romantic lights and of course the canals, all make me fall in love with this city all over again.”

What is a typical comment/request or question you hear a lot from your guests?
“It is so clean here!” and many other loving comments about Othelo the cat of course :)”

To sum up, what are the main benefits your hotel offers clients?
“Friendly staff, family atmosphere, free Wi-Fi, cleanings and a sweet animal to pet every morning.”

The next stop on our journey was the top 2 stars hotel: “Hotel Weber
We met there with Willem Meijer, the hotel’s manager.

Willem Meijer, the hotel’s manager with our flowers :)

Willem, why do you think your hotel made it to the top hotels?
“I think the main reason we made it to the list is our efficient and fast way to solve all of our guests’ problems. We are open to fix and assist our clients with any request or complaint they have. Other than that, the vision behind our hotel is to make our guests feel as if they were at home.“

Do you have anything interesting planned out for 2011?
“Well, not really. We just want to maintain our high standards and that is enough work in itself :)“

When do you think is the best time to come and visit Amsterdam?
“I would say that the winter is the nicest time to come to Amsterdam. The prices are lower everywhere and, unlike the summertime, the city is more quiet and relaxed”

What is a typical comment/request or question you hear a lot from your guests?
“We always get comments about how steep the stairs are, which I completely understand if you are not used to it. Some guests also make comments about how scared they are from all the bikes everywhere, another understandable remark :)”

To sum up, what are the main benefits your hotel offers clients?
“One of the most important things, (in my opinion) is the “Nespresso” machine in each room. Another benefit we offer is the “feels like home” vibe. Our guests get fresh bread delivered to their room every morning. They also have a fridge which is filled with delicious treats for breakfast. The location obviously is perfect if they want to be in the centre of Amsterdam.”

Next stop on the road is the top 3 stars hotel: “Zandbergen Hotel”. We are welcomed with the smiling face of Henk de Lugt, the hotel’s owner.

Henk and me :)

Henk, why do you think your hotel made it to the top hotels?
“Good management is the key. No matter how busy you are, you need to make sure that you are present in your hotel throughout almost the entire week, which is what I do. Give a personal touch to everything you do and show your guests and your staff that you are there for them.“

Do you have anything interesting planned out for 2011?
“We started working with social media tools, as we see it is the future. We have our own Facebook page which we work on every day. Aside from that, we just plan to keep sticking to our personal approach and invest as much as we can in order to make our guests happy.”

When do you think is the best time to come and visit Amsterdam?
“365 days a year!”

What is a typical comment/request or question, you hear a lot from your guests?
“Unfortunately the most common comment we hear is about how awful the taxi service is here. People get ripped off daily by the taxi drivers and they are being treated very badly.”

To sum up, what are the main benefits your hotel offers clients?
“The main benefits aside from personal touch are: free internet and breakfast, assistance and support all day long and a great location which is close to everything.”

The last stop on our mission to get to know the winning hotels better is the top hotel for the 4 and 5 stars category: “Hotel Estherea
The hotel’s owner Esther Peper-Esselaar and Arjan Janssen the manager, meet us both in the beautiful and stylish lobby.

Arjan and Esther in the beautiful lobby

Esther and Arjan, why do you think your hotel made it to the top hotels?
“Here at the “Estherea” hotel we put all our efforts and love in the hotel’s design. My sister (Esther’s sister) is an interior designer and she makes sure to renovate the hotel throughout the whole year. At least once in two-three months my sister changes the fabrics, the chairs, the lamps or anything else she can put her hand on J. We feel that because of these frequent changes people have expectations of our hotel and that creates curiosity for them and makes them come back every time.”

Do you have anything interesting planned out for 2011?
“Aside from the renovating we do all year long, we plan to expend our involvement with social media even more than we do now. We believe that engaging with people on the net will bring us more clients and because we know how big social media is today, obviously we want to be part of it.”

When do you think is the best time to come and visit Amsterdam?
Esther: “My favourite period in Amsterdam is when the spring starts. Once the weather gets warmer it seems that not only the flowers are starting to bloom, but also the people. Everybody goes to the park, the streets are full with smiling faces and it feels like it is a national holiday or something like that, and I absolutely love it!”

What is a typical comment/request or question you hear a lot from your guests?
“Where is the city centre? And “my feet hurt” (from all the walking)…:)”

To sum up, what are the main benefits your hotel offers clients?
“We have a unique hotel with very special design. Our hotel is very cosy and that is thanks to all the quiet chill-out areas we created here. Coming here you will feel secure and safe. “

So that is it. Our need to know why these hotels are the top ones is now fulfilled. We learned that dedicated staff, investment in your guests and mainly personal touch, all combined together, are the key factor for a popular and lovable hotel. Congratulations again to all these hotels and we appreciate your time and kindness!

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Yuli

About Yuli

Hi people! What can I tell about myself that will be short and to the point? Well, my name is Yuli, I am originally from Israel but came to Holland because of my Dutch husband, whom I met in Thailand. My favorite things in the world are: my family and friends, hummus and sunshine (now you probably wonder why I moved to Holland, well so do I every once in a while :-) ). I can be lazy from time to time but normally my enthusiasm surpasses all comprehension, and I cannot stop talking (or writing). Therefore, I hope you will enjoy all my posts!

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