Page 1

ALMA 3rd Edition - 2017


Foreword We are proud to present to you the third edition of our Alumni Magazine. Our Alumni are a constant source of inspiration not just to me, but to our Faculty and above all, to our Students. Your life’s journeys and stories are inspirational, and I’m sure you will find as I have, that these stories really highlight the impact you are making in our Students’ respective careers and communities, building on from your experiences here at Hotelschool The Hague. I get so much energy from seeing how our Alumni community has grown over the years and how globally connected you are. In this edition of our Alumni Magazine, we will be sharing 24 new stories of esteemed Alumni such as my dear friend Ricco de Blank, as well as innovative entrepreneurs such as Niki Kervezee, who started a school in the relatively unexplored country of Bhutan and now works as Senior Operations Specialist at the International Secretariat of WWF. We always want to hear from you as Alumni - to know how you are doing, but also how you look back at your time here at Hotelschool The Hague. Last year, we conducted an extensive Alumni Survey, and we proudly present the results here in this edition: an impressive 99% of you would recommend Hotelschool The Hague to others! Our Alumni mentioned the School’s reputation and heritage, and the international internship possibilities as top reasons for choosing Hotelschool The Hague. According to our Alumni, the business orientation of study, the soft skills taught and the practical and real-life components of the HTHeducation, were the most valuable experiences gained.

© Copyright 2017 Hotelschool The Hague, The Netherlands, all rights reserved. 2

To keep being valued in the same way, we need to continue innovating. In today’s rapidly changing world, the Hospitality Industry is constantly being pushed and challenged to evolve with the times in terms of innovation, entrepreneurial thinking, guestcentricity and better meeting the needs of consumers, supported by an up-to-date knowledge of technology and its developing applications. Our ambition and goal is to best prepare our Students for their future in this changing global hospitality environment. Ensuring Students have the ability to understand this changing world, develop global and societal awareness, and learn the necessary skills and knowledge through our educational and research programmes is one of our major challenges and ambitions. But we can confidently say we are taking on this challenge as we look to innovate and update the educational experience we provide.

We are doing this by updating our end qualifications and renewing our curriculum. We have been preparing for this revised curriculum over the last period - a process like this takes time and thoughtful consideration with involvement from all relevant stakeholders. We have had numerous meetings with Students, Alumni, GMs, CEOs, specialists and other representatives of the Hospitality Industry, the Board of Trustees and of course, our Faculty. Throughout 2017 and 2018, we will continue working on the development of the revised curriculum, including the optimisation of the current one where necessary. After thorough evaluation, we have decided for the introduction of the revised curriculum in August 2018. Therefore, the new students entering our school from August 2018 onwards will follow this exciting new curriculum. Finally, this year will also see the start of our Industry Advisory Board with Hospitality Leaders from all over the world, and we will continue to grow our global network of HTH Alumni Chapters to serve you best, wherever you are and wherever you go. As you can see, this is another very exciting year for Hotelschool The Hague and as a valuable part of our history and success, I hope you will continue to be a part of the HTH journey. We look forward to seeing you at one of our many events on campus or somewhere else around the world. Last but not least, I would like to inform you that my own journey at Hotelschool The Hague is coming to an end as President of the Board of Directors. I have decided to pursue other directions after five wonderful and intensive years. It is with utmost pleasure and dedication that I completed the tasks I had set out for myself when I joined the school. I am honoured to have been able to lead one of the most prestigious hotel schools of the world and have, during this time, worked with great Colleagues, Students and Partners in the ‘world of hospitality’. Hotelschool The Hague will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you, I wish you all the best and I will certainly stay in contact with many of you whom I met during these last years. Warm regards, On behalf of the Board of Directors, Hotelschool The Hague

Susanne Stolte 3

Five Questions


Martijn van der Valk CEO at MMA Hospitality Consulting

Claudia Gierens 27 Director of HR at Kempinski Frankfurt


Philipp Schaefer 33 Risk Manager at Raiffeisen Informatik GmbH

Alexander Edgar 10


Nigel Brown & Oky Ceelen


Daan Kitschmann

Market Manager at Expedia


Assistant Banqueting Manager at Hilton

Caro van Eekelen 12 SVP Transformation OneBrand at AccorHotels

Oleksiy Syrytsya


Founders of Jugo Consultancy


Consultant at CBRE

Katharina Dalheimer 22 People Development Manager at Soho House


Jurgen Wondergem 24 GM at Royal Mougins Golf Resort

Maarten van Wijk

Highlights 2016/2017 8 Happy Tosti 18


Senior Expert - Consultant at PUM Netherlands

Jasper Kool, Sam Holtus & Wibe Smulders

Kuzey Alexander Esener 38 Head of Media Relations at TUI Group

Kirsten and Birgit van der Woning


Consultant/Sales and Events Coordinator


Jan-Willem Smulders 42 CEO/Founder at AQ Services International

Ronald Huiskamp 45 Owner/Founder of H-Hospitality

Design Hotels Special 30 Results Alumni Survey 35 Our Heritage 54 Hotspots Amsterdam 60 Hotspots The Hague 61 The Uniform Revolution 66 Femke Verhoeff

Karin van den Berg 46 GM at Hilton Rotterdam


Ricco de Blank 48 CEO at Sun Hung Kai Hotels

Martine Nerheim Ahlsen 52 Head of Marketing at Quality Hotel Nordics

JurriĂŤn Theuvenet 56 Owner/Founder of ClickTight

Jan Peter van der Ree


AVP/GM at Grand Hyatt Berlin

Niki Kervezee 62 Senior Operations Specialist at WWF



Foreword Susanne Stolte 3 Introduction 6 Skotels 26 Alumni Chapters 34 Results Alumni Survey 35 Our Restaurants 64 Instagram 68 Colofon 70

22 5

Hotelschool The Hague is proud to be ‘At the heart of hospitality’, since 1929. Established by Industry, for Industry, Hotelschool The Hague is an international, specialised and completely independent Hospitality Business School located in The Netherlands. Approximately 2,500 Students from over 50 nationalities study at Hotelschool The Hague at our two campuses in Amsterdam and The Hague. Hotelschool The Hague is all about hospitality; we have a Bachelor Programme, a Master Programme and Hospitality Research services. According to our Alumni Survey, 99% of the graduates recommend Hotelschool The Hague. Consistently ranked as one of the top International Hospitality Management Schools, Hotelschool The Hague strives to prepare young hospitality leadership talents for a successful career in the Hospitality Industry.



Highlights 2016/2017 8


Hotelschool The Hague ranked as number one Hotelschool The Hague has been ranked ‘Best Public Hotel School’ in The Netherlands for the third consecutive year. The research was carried out by Keuzegids HBO 2017 which rated Hotelschool The Hague with a total score of 85 on a scale of 100.

Two leading industry events In October 2016, Hotelschool The Hague organised the Industry Exchange Career Fair and the Hospitality Innovation Summit at the Amsterdam Campus. We were pleased to welcome 30 leading organisations from the Hotel Industry. Furthermore, we welcomed 11 international hotel schools competing with inspiring and innovative ideas for the winning title of the Summit.


4 Michelin Guide Event 2017

2 5

For the second year, Hotelschool The Hague was partner of the Michelin event on 12 December 2016. Fortynine of our Hotelschool students were working hard on smooth running operations. They delivered an unforgettable experience to some of the best chefs and food enthusiasts of the country. We are also very proud of our Alumnus Joris Bijdendijk who received a Michelin Star for restaurant RIJKS®.

Worldwide Hospitality Awards

Hotelschool The Hague is proud to be named second of the 3 finalists in the category ‘Best Hospitality Management School’ worldwide. Furthermore, we are very proud of our Alumnus Melle van Uden (General Manager Dikker & Thijs Fenice Hotel), nominated and runner up for the ‘Best Professional Success’ award at the Hospitality Awards in Paris!

50 years Brusselselaan On 20 September 2016, it was exactly 50 years ago that Prince Bernhard officially opened the new building of Hotelschool The Hague at Brusselselaan 2, The Hague. 9

Be open to new opportunities Alexander Edgar (2007) works as Market Manager for Expedia, Inc. Together with his team, he is responsible for the online promotion of hotels located in the rapidly developing city of Amsterdam.


had a great time studying at Hotelschool The Hague, I learned a lot about the hospitality business and the way it operates. I did both of my internships in the hotel and resorts business: one in the South of France and the other one in Thailand. Both of them were great. Hotelschool taught me how to present myself in a correct way and how to handle problems by thinking outside the box, skills I still use today. Next to the learning aspect, most important to me were the friendships I made and the network I created – also through student association La Confrérie. I even met my wife at Hotelschool, so the school has been a big influence on my life.

The variety the job offers makes it very interesting. For example, I talk with small Bed & Breakfast owners, mid-sized hotels and big hotel chains; this makes every interaction different, which is great. After several years, I finally have the feeling that I have found the job and company I was always looking for.

After Hotelschool The Hague, I wanted to further develop my Marketing and Sales skills, so I decided to follow a high potential programme. InterContinental Hotels Group offered the ‘European Graduate Programme’, exactly what I was looking for. During this 2-year programme, I worked for the Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre, the IHG Headquarters in London, and I was part of the Holiday Inn marketing team for the London Olympics in 2012. A fantastic experience, to work on such a big event! After living in London and Bangkok, I wanted to go back to The Netherlands, and I found my next opportunity in The Hague as Director of Sales for the Eden Babylon Hotel. I worked for Eden for a year, until it merged with Hampshire and there was a complete reorganisation. That meant I had to find a new job.

Looking back at the years since graduating from Hotelschool, I always thought that I would make a career at the first company I would work for. Along the way, I have learned that sometimes you need to take different routes to climb the mountain and ultimately reach the position you are aiming for.

I found a position as Business Development Manager EMEA for luxury Tour Operator American Express Vacations, and I was responsible for the Sales and Marketing efforts in 13 European countries. I had a wonderful time there and got the opportunity to travel to beautiful destinations. After doing this for a while, I decided to try something else and I found a job at Carlson Wagonlit Travel as Programme Manager. I was responsible for 20 large corporate accounts. Working for Carlson was very interesting; the way travel management companies operate is very different from how hotels and tour operators operate, which made it challenging and fun. However, after working for Carlson for a while, I realised I wanted to work in an online oriented company and preferably related to travel. At a certain point, the opportunity to work for Expedia as a Market Manager came along, a great opportunity. So I made the switch. More than a year has passed, and I still enjoy working for Expedia. Together with my team, I am responsible for the online promotion of hotels located in the rapidly developing city of Amsterdam. We are in touch with our hotel partners on a daily basis to discuss their wishes and needs, and to improve their visibility on our websites. Our services go far beyond just selling rooms via our websites; we help hotels with promotion, revenue management, contracts, etc.


That is why my advice to current students is: always stay positive, and don’t try to rush things; you don’t need to have the highest position at the coolest company right after your graduation - take your time. Keep on going, no matter what happens, listen to others, learn from others and keep believing in yourself. Always be open to new opportunities, and never lose your spark and your ambition!

“Never lose your spark and your ambition!” 11

R CA O According to Caro van Eekelen (1987), it all comes down to passion. If your employees are happy, your guests are happy as well. You have to do everything as a leader or manager to make the working conditions right for your staff, so they can serve the guests properly. Our student Andreas Krausz (2017) interviewed the Senior Vice President Transformation OneBrand at AccorHotels, to find out more about her leadership style.




“I have learned that you can do more than you think. You have to surprise yourself. Go for it.”

Andreas Krausz interviews Caro van Eekelen


hat are you working on at the moment? Times are changing, due to digitalisation, and there are big changes if you look at the habits and behaviour of our guests. Nowadays, everything is different; the people you hire are different, guests are different, they have different expectations. The world is changing around us. It is easy to start a new hotel concept, however, for me it is more interesting to create change from inside a large company. And our CEO Sébastien Bazin has many plans for change. We are working on ‘Welcome’, our online checkin. When people check in online, they step into our hotels and they don’t need to look at their screens anymore. We have also started with reducing our receptions. It’s all about changing a mindset, to look for the real connection with guests; what they are looking for, what information they need, instead of focusing on the information we need. It is a completely different way of working. We are also working on F&B. Often hotel restaurants look like canteens; not very sexy. Now, we are trying to change our menus into an eating experience, as you see at the Hoxton and the W hotels for instance. It is a huge change for 116 hotels, all in the Benelux, so within a small environment. I have been given the freedom to make all those changes and to mobilise the teams behind it, to change leadership styles. Afterwards, I received the offer to create these changes from a more central place, changing HR processes, to transform the organisation on a worldwide level. A very exciting opportunity and a great experience! There is nothing more rewarding than working in a company that has existed for 40 years now, with many different brands. What do you love the most about your job, and the Hospitality Industry? First of all, when you work in Operations, every day is different. I love the people; the people working in this industry are so amazing. Trying to satisfy others every day. Imagine being a room attendant for 30 years, and still doing the same job with a lot of joy every day. I clearly remember a seniority party, where we heard the stories and backgrounds of people who have gotten up every morning for 40 years working as dishwashers or receptionists, for instance; always smiling and always being on time. It was incredible to see how much loyalty there is in such a company. I firmly believe that making your employees happy will make your guests happy.


You have had an extensive career. What is the most important lesson that you have learned so far? I can tell you an interesting story about myself. When I went to Hotelschool The Hague, the foreign languages were very difficult for me. For French and English I took extra lessons once or twice a week, and I still failed my exams. I went to Aruba, Dutch Antilles, as I felt it was my only chance to work abroad. During a hotel opening, I met with a Canadian consultant. This woman was so interesting and fascinating. I learned to speak English within two months, mainly thanks to her. Afterwards, I went to Paris for a hotel opening, working for Golden Tulip. Within one year, I learned to speak French, it’s all about practice. In 1992, Disneyland Paris opened, and they wanted me for the opening; not only because of my work experience, but also because I spoke French and English. I have learned that you can do more than you think. You have to surprise yourself. Go for it. And don’t think you are not capable. Just do it and see if it works out. Don’t believe what others say or think. As long as you learn, you will get there. How do you bring out the best in your employees, with regards to quality? It all comes down to passion. If your employees are happy, your guests are happy as well. You have to do everything as a leader or manager to make the working conditions right for your staff, so they can serve the guests properly.

more creative and there is more tolerance, respect and trust. That is why I believe in diversity. I was nominated as the first female Director of this region. It was a big eye-opener for me. I felt like a role model, because many women came to me with questions. I really wanted to inspire others to get on in life. We’ve set up an Accor Female Network. By bringing women together who face the same challenges and insecurities, they realise that they are not alone, which really helps and inspires them. Wouldn’t you expect in 2017, there would be more gender equality? Stereotypes are hard to fight. You see it everywhere, and men often don’t understand the problems women have. By talking about it, making it open for discussion, you help to create more understanding. An example I experienced: one time I went to a gala by myself, in Amsterdam. In the evening a chauffeur was to drive me back. I went to the car, and the chauffeur asked me: “Is your husband still at the bar?” When I replied that I was alone, he said: “Then there has been a misunderstanding, because I was supposed to bring the CEO of Accor home.” I said; “But you are.” The guy was flabbergasted. That’s how stereotypes work.

It has happened often. On the other hand, being a woman is hot these days. I am always asked for everything. So that is amazing. How do you inspire women to become strong leaders? By telling my story. But also by telling them that I had some opportunities in life which I took. So surprise yourself and overcome challenges. You learn throughout your whole life. People often know what they are leaving behind and don’t know what is ahead of them. If you change jobs a few times in your life, you will see that you will become comfortable with yourself. You can handle anything, so don’t stay at one place your whole life. By changing, you learn much more. How did you enjoy your study at Hotelschool The Hague? I enjoyed it very much. It was tiring, we worked a lot besides school, but it was fun. I liked the placements. There was a good ambiance. I liked the practical parts of the course. I still see Alumni at reunions, and some are still good friends. I am very proud and loyal towards Hotelschool The Hague.

What is your secret to becoming such a strong leader? Thank you for calling me a strong leader. I think I have some values that are important in leadership; trust, respect, and believing that everybody is unique. Diversity is very important. I think that if you work with all kinds of people, you can achieve the greatest things, beyond imagination. Every person needs to be who they want to be and create what they want to create. Therefore, it is important to be a coaching leader. I am not saying that I can’t be pushy sometimes. I also go for results, but I believe that if people have the responsibility, they achieve results anyway, and they will be much happier in their work. You are passionate about gender equality. Why is diversity so important to you? Diversity is about unicity. I think diverse teams perform much better. Mixed teams, men and women, with different cultures, different nationalities, and different ethnicities are very important. It makes people perform better, be


FIVE QUESTIONS FOR Martijn van der Valk


Oleksiy Syrytsya

What is the greatest lesson you learned at Hotelschool The Hague? Without a doubt the great joy of gaining the knowledge and the insights to apply my personality and attitude to any job in hospitality on any level. To be part of a team and then make a positive impact on the members of this team and the results that were agreed upon. I have used it every day since I left the Hotelschool and I still continue to use this today. What would you still like to learn? Ever since we founded our own company, we had a clear vision of integrating the various steps in planning, building and managing hotels. We were even asked to get involved in the funding side. As much as this was unchartered territory, our network provided the mentoring and expertise we needed for this. I continue to be very impressed by the work of architects and interior designers, project managers and (structural) engineers and particularly by the aesthetics and the science of building hotels. I am excited and I look forward to never stop learning about their roles and about what drives them. What is the greatest country to work/live in and why? To answer this question, I will have to cheat: my favourite TWO countries to work and to live in are the two where my beautiful godchildren and their amazing parents (my best friends) live: Myanmar and China. I am simply happiest there/here. The beauty of both countries is breathtaking but the people are the main reason for me - in business and in personal encounters.


Martijn van der Valk (1997), works as Chief Executive Officer for MMA Hospitality Consulting Hong Kong Co. Ltd.

It is safe to say that both Myanmar and China could not be more different from the Netherlands. Both the Burmese and the Chinese whom I know closely and personally, have developed into wonderful human beings despite the great adversities they were and are confronted with. They thrive, despite their homeland’s systems and beliefs, no matter what mad crazy trouble they have to face. My entire inspiration for what I do comes from these countries’ people. My overall favourite country in the world though has been and will always be The Netherlands. I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to bring my best friends (the parents of my 5 godchildren) to visit my country and they have all without fail - fallen in love with it - to no-one’s surprise. What is one of your favourite quotes? ‘If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice. If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.’ – Confucius What do you like to do in your free time? I cook for friends, dine out, read, and I listen to Callas, Schwarzkopf, Heifetz and Rubinstein.

“If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice. If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.” - Confucius

Consultant - Investment Advisory & Asset Management at CBRE. (2008)

After graduating, Oleksiy Syrytsya joined the Grosvenor House, JW Marriott Hotel. In this story, he shares his experiences, both from his time at Hotelschool The Hague and his career path. After graduating, I became a Management Graduate Trainee at the Grosvenor House, JW Marriott Hotel in the UK, where I worked in different departments of the hotel. I then moved to the London Marriott Sales Office, where I worked as a Sales Executive, and later as Sales Manager. In 2014, I started at Christie & Co. as a Consultant, which specialises in real estate across many sectors, including the Hospitality Sector. As of February 2016, I have moved to CBRE, working for the hotel investment advisory department. My time at Hotelschool The Hague left me with many memorable moments. I remember ‘The Outdoor’ Course in Belgium, which was quite challenging; both mentally and physically. I also enjoyed my first internship in Dubai, the international environment and meeting people with very different backgrounds. The Management Skills lessons taught me how to be flexible and how to compromise and deal with people from different backgrounds. My first internship at Hyatt Regency Dubai had a big impact on my personal development; it was a challenging time with a lot of work and only one day off per week. It was my first time outside Europe, so, at first, it was quite hard to adapt to the new environment. However, everyone was very friendly, and it was a great opportunity to get to know people from other countries. I am still in touch with many other Alumni, in both my personal and professional life. For example, the Alumni London Chapter was started by one of my friends. The gained network from the Hotelschool has helped me a lot throughout my career; I found my previous job through an HTH Alumni’s LinkedIn. I got in touch with her, I was invited for an interview and I got the job! This is a great example of how our

network can work. It is a small industry, and especially in hotel real estate, everyone knows each other. Build your network! That is my advice for current students. Do this during your time at the Hotelschool and during your internships; keep in touch with people. Also, try to gain as much experience as you can and find out what you like. In my opinion, the internships are very important, especially for personal development. Within the field I work in, there are a few trends such as the increasing impact of ‘sharing services’ such as Airbnb on hotels, and the increasing number of Asian tourists and investors coming to Europe. Companies are starting to adapt their services to meet the Asian guests, translating menus and TV channels into Mandarin for example. Currently, I live in the UK and my ambition is to someday move to Asia. This is still a vision rather than a short term goal. What attracts me to Asia is that everything seems to be happening there: there is a massive demand for hotels and there is a shortage in supply. I feel like there are many opportunities in the hotel and hotel real estate sector. I am happy where I am now, but who knows where I will be in a few years’ time!

“Build your network! Do this during your time at the Hotelschool and during your internships.” 17

Sam Holtus (2011) and Jasper Kool (2013) came up with the idea to start their own company about 2.5 years ago. Recently, Wibe Smulders (2012) joined the Happy Tosti team. With their concept they focus on combining the social aspect of having employees with a disability with a high-quality restaurant experience. They even won the prize for Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs at the Werktop 2017. We interviewed them to ask them more about this unique and successful concept.



HAPPY TOSTI Jasper Kool, Sam Holtus & Wibe Smulders from Happy Tosti

Jasper Kool Sam and I came up with the idea to start our own company about 3 years ago. We are both Hotelschool The Hague Alumni and that’s also where we met a couple of years ago, the same counts for Wibe who joined our team more recently. The initial business we have today started as Tosti van Josti. We changed the name in 2016 to Happy Tosti, because we believe it better represents what we are doing. We always wanted to start our own business in hospitality, so Sam and I decided to team up and give it a try. For me, it is the first actual job after graduating from Hotelschool The Hague. Sam gained more work experience because he was F&B Manager with Van der Valk Hotels for a number of years. Together we developed the concept Happy Tosti, and with this concept we focus on combining the social aspect of having employees with a small disability with a high-quality restaurant experience. When we developed our concept, we looked at different possibilities to stand out from what everybody else was doing and at the same time we wanted to give back to the community. After some research, we saw that there is a big group of young individuals with a disability of some sort that can’t find a job, so we decided to try to hire and work with them. We made a 50/50 split among our employees, meaning that half of our employees have a disability and the other half are regular employees. With this concept, we are able to offer people with a disability a chance to work in a fun and exciting environment, and we pay them a regular salary. Sam Holtus We have been up and running for 2 years now, the amount of staff has almost doubled during this time, which is fantastic. We just opened 2 new restaurants in Hoofddorp and Leiden, with the same concept as the one in The Hague. Because the company is growing so rapidly we asked Wibe to join our team and to help us put together a manual on how we want our future Managers to run their Happy Tosti restaurants. With two new restaurants, it will be hard to supervise everything all the time. That is why we believe a manual will help our future restaurant Managers to run the restaurants according to our vision. Through our personal experiences, we have learned that having everything written down works.


When Jasper and I started Happy Tosti we both wrote a business plan like you learn at Hotelschool The Hague, we gave each other feedback and worked out what we needed to change to get what we both wanted. It sounds like overdoing it, but when we look back, it saved us a lot of trouble. A big part of the success we have today comes through working problem evasive instead of problem solving. We put a lot of time and effort into communicating and providing each other with a clear picture of what we wanted to get out of this company and our vision on how to achieve that. We limit miscommunication and minimise problems, because we check things at least 6 times before implementing them. Wibe Smulders I joined the Happy Tosti team recently but I already knew Jasper and Sam from my time studying at Hotelschool The Hague. I worked and studied in different countries before I got the opportunity to be part of this great company. For my last internship, I worked at the W Hotel in Bangkok, where I helped with the opening of the hotel. After that, I moved to Stockholm for 2 years to follow the Vita Futura programme offered by Starwood. I completed the management programme and worked for 1.5 years as a Duty Manager in a big corporate hotel. After working here for a certain period of time, I realised that I wanted to work somewhere where I could implement my ideas, somewhere with less restrictions on my creativity and overall I just wanted a job where I could make a notable difference.

“When you have an idea, a good team of people around you and you’re willing to work hard, nothing is impossible!” I am happy to say that I have no regrets joining Happy Tosti. It is a great place to develop my entrepreneurial skills and I really see potential in this company being able to grow into something huge in the near future.

realise that we have a different kind of staff at first, but they are very enthusiastic about the concept and we get nothing but positive reactions on what we are doing here, which is fantastic.

Working at Happy Tosti The biggest difference between Happy Tosti and other restaurants are obviously the employees. The fact that half of our staff has a disability makes us stand out and at the same time it makes working here a great experience. Seeing how happy we can make our employees by offering them a job gives such a tremendous feeling of fulfilment, which for us is more precious than gold. It is not always easy, but for us it is definitely worth it.

Future plans We have our sights on the future and we believe that the two new openings in 2016 were just the beginning of something that has national, maybe even international potential.

Working here just never gets old. Having these great individuals around makes for a great working environment. It creates fun situations and anecdotes that we use on our social media platforms and in our restaurants. They are so positive, enthusiastic and straightforward that it’s really a joy working here. Guests are a little confused sometimes because they don’t always

We have just launched our franchise formula and we are planning to expand quickly within the Netherlands in the coming years. We are also developing our own bakery concept and we are looking into opportunities of using our way of doing business within other industries. We believe that when you have an idea, a good team of people around you and you’re willing to work hard, nothing is impossible and you can make your ideas a reality!

I decided to quit my job and was planning to take some time off to travel, then I came in contact with Sam and Jasper who were looking for somebody to help them with their company. We set up a meeting after, they offered me a job, and I accepted it without hesitation. I have helped with the preparations and the openings of the new restaurants in Leiden and Hoofddorp.



Katharina Dalheimer

People Development Manager at Soho House & Co. (2011)


atharina Dalheimer (2011) works as People Development Manager for Soho House & Co in Berlin, a private members’ club: “The first restaurant of Soho House, ‘Café Boheme’ in London, was opened in 1995 by Nick Jones - an instant success. Café Boheme attracted many artists and people from the art scene, so they figured they needed hotel rooms as well. Afterwards, they started opening other hotels. We now have several hotels around the world: in Berlin, London, Chicago, Miami, New York, Istanbul, and soon in Barcelona. We also have different restaurants, such as Lotti’s in Amsterdam. The concept of Soho House is very informal, so absolutely no suits and ties. You can become a member of Soho House when two current members invite and recommend you. You then have to write a real application letter, so you have to apply for a membership. We will check your profile, to see what kind of person you are and what kind of industry you work in, like the music industry, or related. If you are a lawyer, you will probably not be accepted. We are really looking for like-minded, creative people. Every 3 months, we have a committee who decides who will be accepted. You pay an annual fee and afterwards you can stay at the Soho House and go to the club area. Our restaurant opened recently and is open to everyone, so is our concept shop. The club, the rooftop bar, and swimming pool are only open to our members. We also have 2 or 3 DJ events a week. And we have our own cinema, where we host special events. This is why we don’t call ourselves a hotel: we are a house.

“The concept of Soho House is very informal, so absolutely no suits and ties. We all call each other by our first names, even on the phone.” 22

Many of our members even work here: they come here for their business meetings, for lunch or dinner. Our staff treats everyone the same, VIP guest or not. We do have a no phone/photo policy in the club. When I am in the club/ Mandolin, I have to go out if I need to make a phone call. Can you tell a little about the company culture? Our target group is very easy going, so our company culture is very informal. I had to get used to that myself. At my last job, as HR Manager at Meliá Hotels International, I wore high heels all the time. Now, I haven’t worn heels in months. I also don’t wear suits anymore, they are not welcome here. I save a lot of time in the morning: I just wear casual clothes with sneakers, and only a little makeup, it’s great! We are looking for a completely different kind of employee as well. Tattoos, piercings; nothing is a problem. We all call each other by our first names, even on the phone. When someone calls, I pick up and say: “Soho House, this is Katharina speaking, how can I help you?” Imagine if an insurance company is calling, looking for Ms Dalheimer and you have to say: “Yes, speaking, it’s Katharina.” Especially here in Germany, I really had to get used to this. The concept of a membership conflicts with being hospitable, in a way. What are your thoughts on this? To me there is no conflict, because we are very hospitable to our members. Nevertheless, you have to understand:

we are not a hotel, we are a private members’ club. There is a big difference. Unlike other club concepts, which often focus on wealth and status, we aim to assemble communities of members that have something in common: a creative soul. The majority of our members work in creative industries, such as film, fashion, advertising, music, art and media. It feels like there is a shift within the Hospitality Industry, with high-end hotel chains also becoming more informal and trendy. How do you feel about this? Is informal the new norm? For certain hospitality concepts, a more informal approach works very well. For us it does. However, I think it is important that hotel school students are still trained wearing suits; they have to know how it works for certain hospitality brands. Looking back at my time at Hotelschool The Hague, I clearly remember Mr Lam, sending students home, wearing flip-flops during the summer: “Go back home and change your shoes!” He is awesome! While wearing a suit, your whole demeanor changes. You behave completely different, your attitude changes. When dressed very casually, people can swear and nobody cares. As a student, you need to be aware of the difference. For this reason, I think it is very good to have placements in traditional 4 or 5 star hotels. You need to know how it works in a traditional high service hospitality environment.”

I have worked for Soho House since September 2015. During the first months, my team and I hired around 300 people, as we are expanding fast. We were very busy, with our Italian restaurant Cecconi's being opened early January 2016. Luckily, our team is very strong, with staff members from all over the world. In April 2016, we launched a new rooftop terrace concept, by opening the Mandolin Restaurant (Aegean/Greek). Last September, we launched a new Club concept and The Studio (tone studio) as well. Furthermore, we are opening The Store in the evening for dinner. Is it expensive to be a member? We are not more expensive than a very nice fitness club. For an ‘every house’ membership you pay around EUR 1,800 per year. The prices are reasonable, and we are down to earth. We don’t have a Michelin star restaurant. You can get a steak, a pizza, or a burger. We want people to feel at home and comfortable. We have couches everywhere, where people sometimes take a nap. You would never see that anywhere else.


Do what you Love! Jurgen Wondergem (1984) General Manager of the Royal Mougins Golf Resort


was 7 years old when I decided I wanted to be a waiter when I grew up. So I realised I wanted to work in hospitality from a young age. I decided Hotelschool The Hague was the way for me to achieve this, and when I was 16, I started working in restaurants to improve my chances of being accepted. During and after the Hotelschool, I made many friends in and out of the Hospitality Industry. I even met my wife at Hotelschool The Hague and we have been together for 34 years now. In 1984, I did my final placement in New York City at Window on the World Restaurant. This was a restaurant operated by Hilton International and located on the top floor of the famous World Trade Center. An amazing time for me; on my first day I was doing the dishes, but soon I got the opportunity to co-lead a team of 85 people. I worked long days but it was all worth it. After the internship, I was offered a job by Hilton International. My aim was to become the youngest General Manager in Hilton’s history. I worked hard, I was young, determined, and I liked my work. However, a year later, I changed my plans and bought a restaurant in San Francisco with some partners. This was my first restaurant and I owned it for 3 years. We sold it after the earthquake in 1989. A year later, we sold our second restaurant in Palm Springs.


After a short career at The Netherlands Board of Tourism I got the chance in 1992 to be part of the opening team at the Horizon Bleu Resort, in the south of France. I ran the resort as GM for about 3 years. Most of what I did and learned then, I still use in my current day-to-day activities. During the next few years, I worked in The Netherlands, Belgium and France as General Manager for different hotels, restaurants and golf resorts. However, when I got the chance to return to the South of France I did not hesitate. As Louis van Gaal would say: “The circle is round.” Today, I am the proud General Manager of the Royal Mougins Golf Resort near the famous town of Cannes. I really enjoy the work, the location and the team that I work with. Royal Mougins is part of a larger company which also owns and operates CitizenM Hotels. Royal Mougins is run as a stand-alone entity though. Royal Mougins Golf Resort houses a hotel, a restaurant, a wellness spa, a real estate agency and of course an 18 hole championship golf course, and is considered one of the nicest golf courses in France. In high season, we have around 110 staff members, in low season around 55 staff members. It is quite a challenge to run a business in France especially considering the tough labour laws and strong unions. Luckily, I now have a great team. Hotelschool The Hague gave me the chance to live a life that I would not want to trade in for anything else. I have met great people all around the world, I have worked in different countries, and I have had the opportunity to see and experience amazing things all over the world. I would have never had these experiences without the Hotelschool and thus I am happy that I chose the path that I did. I am lucky to be able to still work with Hotelschool The Hague, by welcoming students as interns. These interns offer great input, which occasionally increases the effectiveness of our daily tasks. My advice to current students is to gain work experience at a major chain like Hilton and Marriott. These companies offer great learning schools and opportunities. Students should also realise that when they want to be successful in the Hospitality Industry, they have to truly like what they are doing. When you talk about ‘hard work’, you are already doing something wrong. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.



Be delighted in one of our Skotels At both our Amsterdam and The Hague campus, you can different restaurant concepts and a hotel where you are welcome to experience our passion for hospitality. The Skotel is the Training and Study Hotel of Hotelschool The Hague. This special hotel gives you the possibility to stay in a different hotel room every time you visit. The hotel rooms are decorated by various hotel chains, which gives every room its own style, feeling and experience.

What makes someone a great leader? I have seen many great leaders in various positions in hotels, but there is one special colleague that pops into my mind just now. She started her career as a Chef, finished her studies in Hotel Management in Germany and worked her way up to Restaurant Manager and now F&B Manager. Although she is tough with her teams, everyone loves working for her. You can see that every team member is doing their best just for her. I believe her secret is that she is truly interested in the people that she works with. And what might be even more important, she shows everyone that although she is in a management position now, she will always back up her teams in the operation. That means that during tough times she might even take off her blazer, roll up her sleeves and help the chefs in the kitchen. What is the greatest lesson you learned at Hotelschool The Hague? Probably the most important thing I learned at Hotelschool The Hague is working with different types of people together in a team and not getting frustrated about different working styles. Looking back, it was not only the theories that made Hotelschool The Hague education special, but also the ‘soft skills’ that you learned on the way. What is the first thing you bought with your own money? From the money that I had earned during my first internship at the Westin Dublin, I bought a beautiful red leather handbag. What do you like to do in your free time? At the moment, my husband and I are in the course of restoring a damaged Land Rover Defender to convert it into an off-road camper, so we can take it for a first tour to Sardegna and enjoy the sunrise with a cup of coffee on an empty beach. What did you want to become when you grew up? For a long time I did not know what I wanted to become. I just knew what I did not want! But my sister reminded me recently that we used to play ‘hotel’ with Lego when we were little.


Book now at

Claudia Gierens (2009) works as Director of Human Resources for the Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt and we asked her about her experiences.



Maarten van Wijk

Senior Expert - Consultant at PUM Netherlands (1978)


aarten van Wijk graduated in 1978 and is a 3rd generation Hotello. His grandparents worked for and with Hotelschool The Hague in the first years of its existence, his parents met each other at Hotelschool back in the days and he studied there. Maarten says that all in all, you can say that Hotelschool The Hague has been an important part of his life. During my time at Hotelschool The Hague, I learned many things that I still use today. Besides studying at Hotelschool The Hague, I was also very involved in extracurricular activities. I believed and still believe that this is an important part of the Hotelschool experience. Throughout the whole education, I made friendships for life and I learned a great deal at the same time. After graduating, I knew I wanted to go to the US, so I started to apply for jobs and in 1982 I was hired by the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. I worked in Room Service and later as Assistant Director of Food and Beverage. After the Mayflower Hotel, I worked for Regent Hotels as Food and Beverage Director in one of their new hotels in Washington DC. Next was the opening of The Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, another small deluxe hotel.

“I am a 3rd generation Hotello: my grandparents worked for and with Hotelschool The Hague, my parents met each other at Hotelschool, and I studied there.” 28

In 1991, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts contacted me and I got the opportunity to become the General Manager of The Hershey Country Club, located in Hershey, 1.5 hours from Philadelphia. In 1994, Hershey decided to sell the golf asset, however, I was asked to stay with Hershey, which I did until 2006. In 1996, I got the opportunity to become General Manager of Hotel Hershey. During my time there, we renovated Hotel Hershey from a 4 star into a 5 star hotel. The renovation covered the entire hotel and the additional development of a 1580 m2 spa, which opened in 2001. As Hershey is the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, you can also find the cocoa influence in the spa. We had a fantastic PR department and for the opening, they arranged for the NBC Today Show to send one of their famous reporters to visit the new spa. She took a chocolate bath on national television and the phone has never stopped ringing ever since. People wanted to book a stay and reporters wanted to visit to write about it. It was truly an extraordinary PR success. The following year, we decided to practically double the size of the spa to be able to meet the high demand. During my time at Hershey, I rekindled my relationship with Hotelschool The Hague and we hired more than 25 management trainees over the years. They all signed up for a 12-month management internship programme. Most of them were offered positions so that they could stay with Hershey. Another wonderful experience was working at The Holland Heineken House during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. A nice break from the daily GM routines at the Hotel Hershey.

Currently I volunteer as a Senior Expert Consultant for PUM Netherlands. PUM helps entrepreneurs in third world countries, by offering advice concerning problems and projects within their companies. It is a global organisation initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so applications come from people from different kinds of industries and from all over the world. I focus on the hospitality related companies. A while back, I went to Albania, to Tirana, helping a family-owned hotel to make the transition from a 29-room hotel to a deluxe boutique hotel with 98 guest rooms. During my two-week mission, I assisted the seven family members with overhauling the new hotel operation, making them much more efficient as a management team. In addition, we developed a marketing and sales plan. I am still in touch with this hotel and it looks like I will go back for a second mission. A great experience. Another mission was a consulting job for a beach resort in southern Vietnam, near Vung Tau. The resort has 184 rooms, a 5000 m2 swimming pool, two large restaurants, a spa, kids club, 1600 m2 banquet and conference space and a few other amenities. However, the resort was empty: there were no guests! We set up a marketing and sales plan and I shared my thoughts on how to solve their challenges! They appreciated my help and are now implementing the plan. By the way, the Vietnamese people are delightful: eager to learn, respectful; it was a pleasure to be there. Working with PUM is a great way to share knowledge with people who need it and will use it. These people from all over the world, are very motivated and grateful which makes it very rewarding and for now I am really enjoying where I am.

From 2006 to 2014, I worked in three different country clubs in America as a General Manager, until my wife and I decided in 2014 that we wanted to ‘grow old’ in The Netherlands. So we moved back to The Hague in 2015. 29

Design Hotels Special Many Students and Alumni of Hotelschool The Hague work for Design Hotels. We talked to Susan Meinl, Director Human Resources and asked her about the ideal candidate. Susan Meinl - Director Human Resources I have been the Director Human Resources at Design Hotels for more than 17 years. When I started at Design Hotels, it was still a start-up. Over the past years, we have grown to become a significant brand and player in the industry. And I’m proud to be part of it. Design Hotels has its headquarters in Berlin, Germany. This is also where I am based. We represent and market a curated selection of over 300 independent hotels in over 50 countries across the globe. And Design Hotels is more than a collection of hotels; it’s a collection of stories. Each property reflects the ideas of a visionary hotelier, an “Original,” someone with a passion for genuine hospitality, cultural authenticity, thought-provoking design and architecture. We have branches in London, Barcelona, Singapore and New York. Also, each of our 120 employees is an “Original”, coming with a great personality, life story and a passion for our industry. Internship Programme Our internship programme gives students the opportunity to gain experience in an environment that is quite different from on-property or most offices. We operate more like a marketing agency. I have been working with

various hotel schools for many years and I have been visiting Hotelschool The Hague for over 10 years. We offer placements in sales, marketing, distribution technology, revenue management, digital marketing, PR and graphic design. Especially in Berlin, where we have around 100 employees, students can get a great insight into many different functions by working on joint projects with other interns. For us as a company, it is important to hire students with a hospitality background, who are truly passionate about our industry, really want to learn and contribute. We embrace interaction with young professionals, who as digital natives bring innovation and fresh energy into the organisation.

“Each property reflects the ideas of a visionary hotelier, an “Original.”

When I screen CVs, I’m looking for the “Originals” among the candidates. It is very important that a candidate fits our company, our core values – passion, innovation, responsibility and authenticity - and also the respective team. It sometimes happens that someone applies for e.g. sales and during the conversation I realise that he or she would be a better fit for another role, which could be a better challenge and more interesting in terms of career perspective. Some try it out and say “Wow, this is a completely new experience and I never thought that this would be a career path for me and this is what I am looking for.” It makes me feel good if I can truly contribute to an intern’s career. So far, all students from Hotelschool The Hague have turned out to be great personalities and it has been a pleasure working with them. The fact that the placement is at the end of their studies is also great, since we always have entry-level positions and the ones who have been a great fit can stay on and start their career with us. This is a win-win situation for both the students and for us. I have been doing this job for quite some time now. Thus, it only takes me a moment to find out more about the person’s character. A 15-minute conversation is enough to know if it is a match or not. We are in this industry, because we are passionate about travelling, design, architecture, culture, and working with different nationalities. I am looking for this passion and a spark in the eyes, for the next Design Hotels “Originals”.



Alumni at Design Hotels Paul Radny (2012)

Senior Manager Business Development I did my management internship in Business Development at Design Hotels. It is a great company to work for, I am very happy to be here. Now I work in Membership Services, a sub-department of Business Development. My team is working on portfolio development, so when new hotels are added to our portfolio, we work on incorporating them. We are the first point of contact for clients. One of the main projects right now is our new collaboration with Starwood Hotels, and incorporating their hotels into our portfolio. New hotels are added to Design Hotels continuously, from all over the world. For instance, the latest additions include hotels in New York, on Zanzibar and on Mallorca.

Kristin Andreassen (2015)

Account Manager at Thon Hotels; Previously - Sales Coordinator RFP Programs During my management internship in Sales, I worked on different events, doing the planning and coordinating, and I got to travel to Oslo and Stockholm, meeting all the hoteliers; A great experience! I stayed after my internship, and continued as Sales Coordinator of RFP Programmes at Design Hotels. RFP (Request For Proposal) means that we receive invitations from major players in the industry: big companies like Ernst & Young and KPMG, who want a contract with us, and I facilitated this process. I coordinated the RFP process for all our corporate accounts; managing all renegotiations and all the contracts. I loved working with such a dynamic, young and international team. I would never get the insights you get into the industry working on a property level. The social skills I developed at Hotelschool The Hague are so valuable to me: giving and receiving feedback, communicating with clients and our hoteliers, and learning how to behave in a cultural environment. In the future, I can see myself working for a start-up company here in Berlin. My advice to current students: Aim high, don’t let anyone intimidate you and work hard!

Jennifer Pielage (2016)

Assistant Commercial Operations As part of the Events team, I organised events such as trade fairs. I met with clients and suppliers. It was a very versatile and exciting job. I started as a management trainee, and I liked it so much, I decided to stay. I worked in the position of Sales Coordinator for more than a year and in June, I have started my new position as Assistant Commercial Operations. At Hotelschool The Hague, you learn that it is all about networking, and now I get to know the large network of Design Hotels, and see how far it stretches. It’s all about meeting new clients, interacting with them, getting to know them. It is something I will take with me for the next 10 years. To me, it is so important to do something I really like, and to be part of a great team. As long as you work with a

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR Philipp Schaefer Philipp Schaefer (2009) is the Risk Manager for Raiffeisen Informatik GmbH, one of the largest IT firms in Austria. We asked him five questions about his experience at Hotelschool The Hague and his career. What did you want to become when you grew up? Being German, growing up in Africa and travelling a lot, I guess I always had a connection to tourism. However, hospitality wasn’t on the map until later in my life and what does a young boy want to become when his parents are taking him to all sorts of places? I wanted to become a pilot (obviously)! What is the greatest lesson you learned at Hotelschool The Hague? That knowledge is important and gives you credibility in the professional world. However, the most important lesson I learned, is clearly to network and build up connections. The friendships and bonds I made throughout my Hotelschool The Hague career are still lasting up to this day. Knowing how I can still rely on those connections does make a whole lot of a difference in how I approach networking events. Networking opportunities are the foundation of my professional life. What is one of your favourite quotes? I know it is possibly one of the most cited quotes but I nonetheless love what it stands for and I try to live by it: “Stay hungry, stay foolish” - Steve Jobs

What do you like to do in your free time? Now living in Vienna (Austria), I am spoiled for choice. Do I go hiking through the local vineyards enjoying a glass of newly made wine every now and then? Do I go skiing? Do I soak up the incredible and diverse cultural programme this city has to offer? There is just so much to do. I completed my Master of Arts in Risk Management & Corporate Security here in Vienna and transferred from my Marriott hospitality job into the world of banking. So, keeping in mind that I currently have a sole office job, I do crave the outdoors and spend most of my time hiking, mountain biking or taking my motor bike for a spin. What is the greatest country to live/ work in, and why? The greatest country to live in is clearly Canada to me. As we increasingly work in a multi-cultural and more and more international environment, Canada is the perfect place for us internationals to be. Being the No. 1 immigration country in the world, internationals fit right in from the start. Furthermore, Canada takes in the best of both worlds. It’s a perfect blend of the United States and Europe. And now, I haven’t even mentioned how breathtakingly beautiful the nature is over there…

Virginia Shmuel (2010)

Head of RFP Programs & Trade Marketing I started with a management traineeship for the opening of one of our member hotels in Berlin. Afterwards, I did another opening for one of the Autograph Collection hotels. This is my first position in a Head Office. Now I am the Head of Trade Marketing & RFP (Request For Proposal Management). I work with a team of 4 people, and we support our member hotels in the whole RFP process, giving them advice on consortia programmes and suchlike. It involves a lot of marketing activities, and working closely together with our design team. My advice to current students is: build on your network. Stay close and stay in touch, it will always open up new opportunities! 32


From being a Student... K

eeping in touch with you, our Alumni of Hotelschool The Hague, is very important to us as you represent our past, our present and our future. A few years ago, we launched our first Alumni Chapter in London. We now have over 20 Chapters all around the world. We believe that these local HTH Alumni Chapters are a powerful networking platform for all our HTH Alumni.

Results of the Alumni Survey 2016 Since the foundation in 1929, thousands of students have graduated from Hotelschool The Hague. Alumni from many different countries study at the The Hague Campus or the Amsterdam Campus, and afterwards move all over the world. They hold leading positions in the Hospitality Industry and in hospitality-related industries. The first Alumni Chapter was launched in London; there are currently more than twenty active Chapters: from Singapore to Sao Paolo, and from Berlin to Beijing.

Currently, we have the following Alumni Chapters: Bali, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Curaçao, Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Munich, Oslo, Rotterdam, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Washington and Zurich. More Chapters are under development.


Our HTH Alumni Chapters are a great way for Alumni to interact and network with those who find themselves in the same international cities worldwide. With the establishments of these local chapters, the spirit of our special Hotelschool The Hague community is kept alive in all corners of the world. So if you are in (or close) to these cities, make sure you join them on Social Media! Furthermore, we would like to invite you to join our Alumni Hotelschool The Hague LinkedIn page: https:// Here we will share the latest updates. In case you have any questions or if you would like to inform us about changes in contact details, please send an email to Alumni Relations:


To being part of our global Alumni Network

1.115 of a total of 7.500 Alumni completed the questionnaire this study is based on

Alumni should be the best possible ambassadors. This study proves that this is indeed the case for Hotelschool The Hague: 99% of Alumni recommend Hotelschool The Hague. Another good sign: 1,155 of a total of 7,500 Alumni completed the questionnaire that this study is based on. This response rate of more than 15 percent is almost twice the average for this kind of study. The questions posed in the study cover various topics, such as the education itself, the management placement, what Alumni did after graduation, their first job, entrepreneurship, their current job, and a review of the study at Hotelschool The Hague. Alumni are divided into four sub-groups in this study: • Men and women • Dutch and International Alumni (Internationals) • Alumni from Amsterdam and The Hague • Clusters of graduation years: less than 5 years ago, 5 to 10 years ago, 10 to 15 years ago, 15 to 25 years ago, more than 25 years ago This refinement of the study gives detailed insight into the employment of Alumni, their career development, and the link between education and the professional field.


Hotelschool The Hague Hospitality Business School


had a job within

three months


of Alumni went travelling after graduation 53% for less than six months



within six months

is currently in a

62% started in

management position Over 60% manage more than 10 people

the hospitality industry


62% of whom in hotels on property

of the current salary is above â‚Ź 4,000


(gross per month)

16% of all earn over â‚Ź 8,000



Hotelschool The Hague

work abroad


males opt for entrepreneurship 36


speak English 30% females

7% work in Germany and 6% in the UK


did further studies

in their career


Broaden your horizon A normal work day for Kuzey Alexander Esener (1997) - Head of Media Relations at TUI Group - starts with looking at all media coverage on TUI, the industry and the competition. Kuzey is a relationship builder, he travels a lot, speaks to journalists, or works in the office responding to media enquiries and developing corporate stories.


started at Hotelschool The Hague in 1993 and graduated in 1997. I did my first internship at the Hyatt Regency, in Istanbul. For my second internship, I was invited back for a direct entry at the same hotel which is now the Grand Hyatt. I worked in Food and Beverage, Banqueting and Outside Catering. Afterwards, I moved into another Food and Beverage role within a large Golf and Country Club, also located in Istanbul. In order to broaden my horizon, I stopped working in the Hospitality Industry and I did an MBA in European Management, in Berlin and in London. I then moved into Financial Journalism, and worked as a television reporter and editor at Bloomberg Television in London, for the German market. I reported from various events such as the Ecofin meeting with the European Finance Ministers and the Stock Exchange from Wall Street, in New York. After 5 years of working in Television Journalism, I switched to PR and I started working for TUI Group in 2005. There, I had the opportunity to combine my financial experience with my hospitality background, working as a spokesperson for finance and corporate issues. My career then took me to Deutsche Post DHL, in Germany and again, via Vodafone Germany back to TUI. I am currently working as Head of Media Relations at TUI Group. We call ourselves the ‘World’s Largest Integrated Tourism Company’. It means that we accompany the customer throughout the whole customer journey: from the booking process online or at a TUI travel agent to travelling by a TUI airplane, going to a TUI Hotel, to having trips organised by a TUI guide. A normal work day starts with looking at all the media coverage on TUI, the industry and the competition. I travel a lot, speaking to journalists, or I am in the office responding to media enquiries and developing corporate stories that we share with the outside world. I am constantly building relationships with external and internal stakeholders. I work with a rather small team, however, I am in close contact with the TUI communication teams all around the world. When I started at Hotelschool The Hague in 1993, the International Stream had only recently been founded.


I experienced and appreciated the liberal and open culture, and I learned the Dutch language, which I still use a lot. The Hotelschool provided a great mix of theory and practice. What I particularly liked about the Hotelschool, was the student life and the extracurricular activities. As an active member of the Student Association La Confrérie, I could use the skills that I learned at school and put them into practice in various functions within the student association. Hotelschool The Hague provides a great opportunity not only to become a great Hotel Manager, but also to develop your personality. You will benefit from it your whole life. One of my lecturers, Mr Schoemaker , was very inspiring to me. He was someone who enjoyed life and the greatness of hospitality. He was able to convey that feeling and the love of hospitality to his students. I also enjoyed the practical courses. Practical Managerial Skills is a course I still benefit from today. Hotelschool The Hague has a great community feeling, it almost feels like family. I still regularly speak with Alumni from the Hotelschool. A few have remained my friends ever since our graduation. There are also people who pop back into my life now and then again, thanks to Facebook. With other Alumni, I do business. So the network that I gained from the Hotelschool has been very useful. I would advise students not to follow an upward career path only: look to the left and the right as well, and find a whole new playground, broaden your horizon, learn as much as you can and never stop learning. If you follow my career, you can see that I haven’t followed a straight career path. I am thinking of starting something on my own in the future, but I don’t know when yet.

“Hotelschool The Hague has a great community feeling, it almost feels like family.” 39


Kirsten van der Woning Web Analytics/Lead Consultant (2011)

Birgit van der Woning

Sales & Events Coordinator (2013)

All in the family: We spoke with sisters Kirsten and Birgit van der Woning and they told us everything about their Hotelschool experiences. KIRSTEN: I am currently working as a Web Analytics Consultant and Lead Consultant for a few large companies within The Netherlands. After my last internship and graduation, I started working in the media industry, for several publishers. I ended up working for National Geographic Magazine as a Product Manager and E-commerce Coordinator. As I wanted to be part of the digital and online revolution, I started to specialise in web analytics at the well-known online marketing agency OrangeValley in April 2015. This has been a perfect decision. Looking back at my time at Hotelschool The Hague, I have many great memories. From the start until the end, I enjoyed my time at the school. Skotel was great, one year of great fun and meeting many awesome and new people. This was followed by the next highlight, my internship in Barcelona; a great city where I had a great working experience. Also working with Marit Berssenbrugge as a Marketing Student Ambassador on Selection and Open Days has been a real pleasure. I also met my boyfriend at Hotelschool The Hague and we have now been together for several years! To the current students my advice would be to make the most out of your studies while not forgetting to be a student, meaning: to have a lot of fun. Moreover, figure out what your interests are and start focusing on them during your studies. This helped me to launch my career. And lastly: Go digital, it is the now and the future.


BIRGIT: Two and a half years after Kirsten, I applied for Hotelschool The Hague. My sister’s stories made me realise that Hotelschool The Hague would be the right choice for me as well, so I applied. It is so important to do what you love in order to become who you want to be and what you want to be! Throughout my time at Hotelschool The Hague, there have been many great memories. Personally, the Outdoor Programme has been a unique and awesome experience as well as my first and second internship. Moreover, just like my sister, I enjoyed the opportunity to work as a student ambassador and learned a lot from this experience. I also made some very close friends at Hotelschool The Hague. Even though it was very difficult to find a job during the time I applied, I was lucky and found a position as Assistant Manager in a restaurant after graduating. It turned out to be a different job than expected. Luckily, the company offered me another position at a new location as Restaurant Supervisor. This was a great opportunity for me as the restaurant wasn’t open to the public yet, so I was able to learn from scratch how to open a restaurant and to develop my leadership skills. As I actually always wanted to work in Marketing & Sales and/or Events, I was very happy when the position for Sales & Events Coordinator was offered to me afterwards.

“Go digital, it is the now and the future.” 41

Let people experience great service Jan-Willem Smulders (2001) is the CEO/Founder of AQ Services International (AQ), a global mystery shopping & audit specialised company, and Ideas Academy, an academy in Kuala Lumpur providing free education for young refugees.


rowing up, my parents worked for Shell and this meant that we moved many times, in and out of different countries. When my parents were posted in Brunei, I stayed at a boarding house in The Hague. There, I met Stephanie van Aken. When we were reunited at the Hotelschool, I knew we were meant to be. It took her a little longer, but, luckily for me, she came around. We both wanted to see the world and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing, together: living, working and travelling all over. At first, it was just the two of us, but now we can share our experiences with our children, three girls and a boy.

In return, we offer them the chance to travel, and to function as a consultant reporting to a division director. A Global Undergraduate must analyse a key challenge that we face, design and implement a sustainable solution. For example, one of our students, Ms Laura Susnea, is designing the framework for our first retail training software. This product will allow retail staff to be trained independently through an application. To do this, Laura is spending hours on desk research, speaking to app developers, brainstorming with clients, and getting trainers and storytellers on video. This is a great educational and formative experience for Laura, and it provides a solution to many challenges retailers face. Retail is reinventing itself, finding its new identity, and so must we. Having ambitious students to work with is exactly what we need to make it happen.

Ideas Academy In 2012, Stephanie got me involved in the refugee community in Malaysia. As we became more committed over time, we recognised that there was a real need for quality education. After a successful fundraising effort during a Dutch-Asian hockey tournament (ZOAT), we set out to establish a refugee school. After almost 2 years of fundraising and planning, the Ideas Academy was officially launched in 2014. What began as one small class, hosted inside another school, has now developed into an Ideas Academy, helping over 125 students (2016) forge a future. The Academy now has its own building, complete with IT room, library, canteen, and multiple classrooms. We have room for up to 300 students and we’ve got a dedicated team of professionals. We hope to reach full capacity by 2018, and keep fundraising towards that end. These children deserve an education, and we won’t stop until they get it.

“We strive to be hospitable & proactive.”

I always wanted to be a General Manager of a luxury hotel. In my heart I still do, but I realised that AQ would allow me to be an entrepreneur and to work with hospitality as opposed to in it. Thanks to AQ, I’ve been able to connect with amazing people and brands all around the world. It’s allowed me to live in different countries and experience their cultures up close. I am exposed to continuous change and I love it. 15 years ago, Thomas Kascha - now active with SD Trading - and I co-founded AQ Services International. We were fresh graduates from the Hotelschool. Our first official office was a 6m2 room in a back attic at Basics Uitzendbureau. At first, we chose to focus on the Hospitality Industry. We realised there was no method to measure frontline performances objectively, and we felt we needed to fix that. AQ`s mission statement - “To Let People Experience Great Service” - acknowledges our Hospitality Industry origins. Our hospitality-based approach gave us the advantage in our work with other industries. These brands and companies often struggle with customer service. Coming from a customer service background we could provide solutions. Now, AQ serves four main industries - retail, automotive, financial and luxury goods. We have a large team of specialists from over 25 different nationalities, spread out over our offices in Asia and Europe. Our company headquarters is in Singapore, and we run operations out of Kuala Lumpur, where my family and I have lived for the better part of a decade. Global Undergraduate Programme We strive to be hospitable & proactive. This is what we call the ‘AQ Difference’; it’s what we promise our clients. Both hospitality and proactivity are traits I consider most ‘hotello’s’ master. That’s why we continue to take on trainees from the Hotelschool. Two years ago, we decided to overhaul our traineeship programmes. We needed to address students’ changing requirements, and we wanted to attract only the best. I’ll be candid: we don’t make it easy. Interested students start with an online survey and then go through a series of interviews. They’re also required to make a video showcasing who they are and why we should choose them. Successful candidates will spend 9 months across three of our largest offices - Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and The Hague. They’re expected to work hard and to show results. 42




Ronald Huiskamp

What would you still like to learn? Currently I am in the process of further developing my set of skills. The major skill to learn/enhance is leadership. What makes a good leader? In my opinion, you are never done learning so it will be a continuous work in progress.

Could you tell us something about your recent positions? In September 2015, I was selected for the Hilton Elevator Programme. This graduate programme is widely regarded as one of the best hotel training courses in the industry. The programme is designed to fast-track the participants to run their own hotel within 5-8 years after completion.

What is the greatest country to work/live in and why? The best country I have worked/ lived in is South Africa, because of the warmth and atmosphere from the locals, the rich history and heritage. This country is still developing, and at a huge pace. It is mind-blowing to see and experience it. The only thing more impressive is the vast amount of wilderness, the amazing nature throughout the country. Everything in balance, wildlife and humans, cities and nature. When was the last time you were nervous? I come across situations almost daily that make me a bit nervous, as part of my development in the Hilton Elevator programme. Examples being dealing with delegates from high commissions from across the globe, signing a £50k deal or selling 450 room nights in one go are things that made me nervous the first time. In my opinion, being challenged is how you become a better version of yourself. What is still on your bucket list? Owning my own vineyard with my own B&B to be able to host friends from all over the world to come and visit and enjoy the good life.

Daan Kitschmann (2013) is currently working as Assistant Banqueting Manager at Hilton Amsterdam Airport.

For me, the Elevator journey was a great one. The differences between Hilton Frankfurt Airport and London Hilton on Park Lane were amazing to experience. As a result of these differences, I have gained significant work experience in both properties and across all departments I have been working in. Consistent with Hilton’s dedicated commitment to support Elevators in their journey, I believe that being on the receiving end of this, I have been (and still am) in a fortunate position. Besides professional development, I definitely can say I have grown personally as well. Broadening and deepening friendships in different cities have been incredible and I look forward to continuing on this path. Part of the development after this programme is to start a new position. To develop my core leadership skills, I am now working as Assistant Banqueting Manager at the Hilton Amsterdam Airport. It is a beautiful property, where we strive to be the leading MICE hotel in Europe. Our stunning décor and unbeatable location leave the challenge to me to make the best use of our talent and deliver exceptional experiences for our guests.

“In my opinion, being challenged is how you become a better version of yourself.” 44

Owner/Founder H-Hospitality (1986)

After working abroad since 1986 and being in management positions for several large organisations, Ronald Huiskamp started his own business. H-Hospitality is a Concept Studio, focused mainly on Food & Beverage. Hotelschool The Hague The most memorable moment at Hotelschool The Hague is probably that I got married during the first semester, with all my fellow students present. The first semester made the most impact anyway. It left me with several great friends whom I still see regularly and whom I am very grateful for. After my graduation in 1986, I moved to London to work for Hilton Hotels & Resorts. I worked for Hilton for 6 years in London and in other places in Europe. After that, I joined Sheraton in Belgium and in the Middle-East. Then I moved back to The Netherlands, to work for Bilderberg Hotels as an Area Manager. For a decade, I was responsible for the Zuid-Veluwe Hotels. After 20 years of management in large organisations, I started my own company called H-Hospitality. Looking back, I worked one decade abroad, one decade in the Netherlands and one decade building my own business, called H-Hospitality. H-Hospitality H-Hospitality is a Concept Studio, focusing mainly on Food and Beverage concepts. We provide an A-to-Z solution for restaurants in Europe, Africa and the MiddleEast, with offices in The Netherlands and in Dubai. At the office in Dubai, we cover the entire Middle East and part of Africa. The office in Amsterdam is responsible for Central– and Eastern Europe as well as Russia. We are executing projects for all kinds of clients, one day it may be consulting for a small café on the Haarlemmerstraat in Amsterdam, and the other day it can be a 300-seat restaurant in Dubai. This way, we keep it interesting for us as every situation calls for new solutions. However, next to consulting, we also manage our own restaurants. One of them is a health concept in Dubai and the other is in the Pijp in Amsterdam called ‘Arles’. Arles is a modern French, neo-Bistro that opened in September of last year.

Our future plans are to diversify our portfolio by adding our own 300-seat restaurant in Amsterdam by 2018. The restaurant will be located in the ‘Citroen Garage’, a beautiful industrial white building at Stadionplein, right in front of the Olympic Stadium. Interns Almost everybody who works for H-Hospitality graduated from Hotelschool The Hague. We believe in Hotelschool The Hague students and it is always a pleasure to have them as interns because we already know what they are capable of. The three things I look the most for are: a positive attitude, a keen interest in the restaurant business, and an international perspective. It is definitely a plus if you can combine the strategic and the practical aspect of the job, as well as being creative. In our type of business, we need people that can also pay attention to the details. As we have grown over the years, many interns – all from The Hague/Amsterdam – have stayed on to work with us. Therefore, we always welcome new interns who can give added value to H-Hospitality, and to themselves by growing into the world of concepting.


Engage in the process of change Karin van den Berg (1997) is the General Manager of Hilton Rotterdam. Her first internship was at a very traditional, independent five-star hotel in Germany, called ‘Breidenbacher Hof’ and that is where she learned the most important service skills.


fter I graduated in 1997, I did my final internship in Phuket, Thailand. I was supposed to stay there for 6 months but it ended up being 2.5 years. After my experience in Thailand, I decided to face a new challenge as a Guest Services Manager at The Peninsula in Beijing. This gave me a great insight into the overall Rooms Division department and it enhanced my management skills. After 4.5 years in Asia, I received an offer from Hilton in Europe in 2001 . Hilton had just acquired the Swedish hotel chain Scandic at the beginning of the year and needed a skilled team that was able to integrate the new brand into the system; particularly in relation to property management systems (PMS). I took the chance and worked together with a highly skilled team on adjusting the Fidelio setup, so it was in line with all the different Hilton systems and managed three additional openings at that time. Further to this, the importance of revenue management increased and Hilton opened the position of Revenue Management Installer, which was a very specialised function back then. It granted me the opportunity to travel around the world. Once the position was further developed, Hilton added the function of Revenue Management Support to my responsibilities and gave me Turkey and Eastern Europe as the main focus. Later, I got promoted to take charge of mainland Europe which also meant that I could move back to The Netherlands. In 2009, Hilton announced the opening of Hilton The Hague. Being from The Hague, living in The Hague and loving the Hospitality Industry, I was lucky enough that I was given the opportunity to become the Hotel Manager. After 2.5 years of managing the Hilton The Hague, I was granted another, new opportunity to open a DoubleTree in Zagreb, Croatia. It was an interesting time because I had the chance to get to know a new concept of the Hilton brand portfolio and did another opening. I was there for 3


years and at the beginning of 2015 I had the opportunity to become the General Manager of Hilton Rotterdam. Hilton Rotterdam is a prestigious hotel that has been operating for the last 50 years, and keeping in mind that I had only managed newly opened hotels, I found it very interesting to manage a hotel that had been operating for such a long time. Being a General Manager is great, I love this job. No two days are the same. The biggest challenges for General Managers are to not get completely absorbed in the day-today distractions that are going on within the hotel, so you do not lose sight of your mid to long-term objectives for the hotel. I am not somebody who works from 9 to 5 behind a desk, I also like the social aspect of the role: the networking, developing the city and the diverse guest contact. The great thing about hospitality is that you do not have to travel to exotic destinations to meet many inspiring people. The more you are in touch with the guests, the faster you receive feedback regarding new changes in the hotel. Within Hilton, we have an advanced system that helps us to collect even more feedback. So, we can really see what works and what guests like or dislike, so you can constantly improve. Also for the team it is really important to be engaged in the process of change and improvement. We are always trying to encourage the team to speak up if they have ideas regarding improvements for guests’ experiences or internal processes and this is a culture that Hilton is engaging in all their hotels. The best advice that I can give is to make sure that you like what you do. You need to have fun in what you do. That, to me, has always been the driver for change and for accepting challenges. I am always seeking new challenges and sometimes you should not be too concerned about whether you have all the knowledge and skills to accept a new challenge. I am the kind of person who prefers taking risks, for me that is part of the job and I have been quite successful working that way. I have always looked at new job offers as opportunities to learn something new. When I stop learning, I will be ready for a new challenge.


RIC O C Customers are changing and according to Ricco de Blank (1990), CEO of Sun Hung Kai Hotels, you just have to be fast enough to change with the customer. Reviews are so important, they influence the guests, making them book with you instead of the competition. Therefore, you have to pay close attention to details. Our Student Diana Eldefrawy interviewed him and discovered a lot about success, talent and inspiration: all needed for that dream job in hospitality.




Ricco de Blank

CEO of Sun Hung Kai Hotels (1990)


ould you tell us a little bit about your career so far? I have had three positions after Hotelschool The Hague. My first one was at Disney, where I spent four years in both Florida and Paris. My second position was at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, where I spent almost 17 years, in various locations. I became General Manager at one of the properties at quite an early age and stayed General Manager for about 10 years. After Ritz Carlton, I joined Sun Hung Kai, which most people don’t know, but is the world’s largest property developer in real estate. We have hotels that we run ourselves, all based in Hong Kong, and we have partner hotels such as the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, W, and Park Hyatt. We call them partner hotels, because we really want to partner with them. We want to learn from what they are doing, to be able to keep improving the total hotel portfolio. We also have serviced apartments, which fall under my responsibilities. Most of the hotels are located in Hong Kong and China.

“That sparkle in your eyes, don’t ever lose that. Keep that sparkle, make sure that sparkle is an inspiration and motivation to other people.” 50

What can students do to be as successful as you? Oh well, success is a big word, I never see myself as successful. I think that you have to work really hard in the hotel business, especially in the beginning. I remember when I graduated, my friends went outside of the hotel business and immediately earned more than me, and some even got a company car. I became a dishwasher and management trainee in a restaurant, working seven days a week, even on holidays, getting paid a lot less. However, I really learned a lot, because the basis for your hotel business is made in those divisions. It became interesting once I became a General Manager, because then you really are leading people who have specialised individual talents, being an engineer, in Finance, in Human Resources. You are not the expert in those areas, but you can lead those people to perform better, to ultimately make your hotel perform better. What was your specific talent before you became General Manager? Well, let’s go back. I think already when I was very young, at my parents’ house, I was always the one serving the drinks when we had people over for a party or a reception. I really enjoyed that, I enjoyed serving people. And I enjoyed them saying “thank you”. That recognition of me delivering a service, ws really special, which of course I didn’t realise at the time. At a later stage, I realised that this is something that I really like to do. I don’t want to be a servant, I want to be a service professional. That takes people with love for the business, and love for people because it’s all about the people: how you treat your employees, how you treat your guests, how you treat your peers. It is very much a people’s business. If you are good with people, I recommend continuing in the hotel business. Did you always know you wanted to stay in the hotel industry? Yes, kind of. Back then, when I was serving at my parents’ house, I remember I watched this TV programme called ‘Hotel’. It was about this beautiful hotel in San Francisco, and the General Manager, Mr McDermott was driving a Porsche and he lived inside the hotel. I said: I want that job! It was a dream for me as a little boy, because I also liked cars. So I followed that dream. Luckily, I had good mentors, people who guided me. The journey wasn’t

always smooth; I got fired a few times. My manager did hire me back though. I am very thankful for my great mentors who guided me, who helped me, and who gave me opportunities. When I thought I wasn’t ready, they said that I was and had faith in me. Do you see yourself as a mentor? I do want to give people a chance, I really enjoy that. If students send me a letter, saying “I’m at Hotelschool The Hague, I am looking for an internship and I would love to work in Hong Kong”, I always give them a chance. I will pass that letter on to the General Manager. The students have an interview, and I wish them good luck. I try to give them that opportunity. The students have to decide whether it is the job for them. They have to ask themselves: Can I afford an apartment in Hong Kong? Am I going to leave my boyfriend? I will help you, give you a little push, but you have to do it. Try to get the best out of your internship. You manage many people. How do you inspire them, to be the best they can be? It’s about trust. I think you have to have a lot of integrity. Do what you said you would do. Be very disciplined and try to make the right decisions. When you don’t, just don’t make the same mistake over and over again. Those are the qualities that I enjoy in people around me. I don’t want to work 15 hours a day, for 7 days a week and I don’t want to overwork myself. I do want to be effective and efficient. So, once you have those people around you, you have to set very clear goals. These goals should not be set by you as a leader but by the employees. This way, the employees are involved in the planning of the work that affects them, and they want to achieve, and they are driven to a better performance. What did you take from Hotelschool The Hague that helped you in your career? Many things! It’s interesting, I was

having dinner with a friend of mine last night, who also went to Hotelschool, and he owns recruitment agencies. Big companies, such as KPMG etc. come to him and say: “We are looking for a leader for this division”, or “we need to have a CEO for that company”. And he asks what kind of people they are looking for. Often they say “You know what, we want those hotel school kind of people”. And I thought: what does that mean? It means they are flexible and enthusiastic. If I meet students, I always tell them to never lose that. That sparkle in your eyes, don’t lose that. Keep that sparkle; make sure that sparkle is an inspiration and motivation to other people. It’s contagious, so make sure you keep that always. Over time, you will get tired sometimes, doing the same job every day. But keep that sparkle, make sure you keep yourself motivated. Did you keep that sparkle throughout your career? I hope so. I mean in my life, in my marriage, as a parent, you want to make sure you do the best that you can. Do you think that Hotelschool The Hague teaches students a certain mindset? I don’t know what they teach nowadays, but it is a whole package. It is not just a thin road of specialisation, it is also your student life, and the other things that you do besides it. And that is so often overlooked. I have always had great students from Hotelschool The Hague, great interns. I remember the first time I gave a speech at Hotelschool The Hague, in 1991 or 1992. I hadn’t even graduated yet. There were about 6 or 7 students there, and that was it. The whole auditorium was empty, so I hired them all, gave them all a job. 6 months later, during my second speech, there were 89 people in the room. So you just have to give people a little bit of inspiration, a small push, to see what they want to do and inspire them a little bit. Before you know it, you have people interested. Do you think that the hotel industry is changing? Do you see a different future for the hotel industry? Very much, yes. In the past, there were a lot more full service hotels, nowadays hotels are outsourcing a lot. For instance, restaurants are not part of the hotels anymore. Customers are changing, you just have to be fast enough to change with the customer. Reviews are so important, they influence the guests, making them book with you instead of the competition. Therefore, you have to look after the small things. How long does it take for somebody to check in? I remember, I asked the front desk years ago, what do they need to check in faster. Apparently, the printer was slow, a laser printer could save one minute. Done! Little investment. But the employees need to tell me that, for me to be able to improve. You have lived in a lot of different countries. Could you tell us more about what was hard, what was easy, and what you enjoyed? Yes. Everywhere, I think, cultures are different, languages are different. I am a very tall person, so immediately people are kind of afraid when I walk in. I try to sit down very quickly, so that I am eye to eye with people. Cultural differences are always a fact. But at the same time, everybody wants the same thing: they want to be treated with respect. If you treat people with respect and they really enjoy what they do, you can work anywhere. You just have to adjust a little bit to different customs. Adapt to those customs, try and fit in, but keep your own identity.



Martine Nerheim Ahlsen

Head of Marketing at Quality Hotel Nordics (2010)


hat an amazing time I had at Hotelschool The Hague. It was absolutely fantastic, meeting so many people from different cultures and making friends from all over the world. I think maybe the most valuable experience from school, was how the entire course was laid out. When I started, we had the eight weeks on, one week off module system, which gave us the opportunity to really go deep down into one specific subject and always work in teams. After graduating Hotelschool in 2010, I started working for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, holding various positions from 2010 until the end of April 2016. I started right after Hotelschool as an intern at the Starwood EAME Divisional Office in Brussels, where I was a Brand Management Intern working primarily with Sheraton, Aloft and W Hotels, on different brand marketing projects. Working for a company like Starwood was my number one goal because I knew I would learn a lot from an internship with them. I can say that everything I have learned from Starwood has shaped me as a young professional. Towards the end of my internship, there was an opening in the team that I was working in as Brand Management Coordinator, so I did a three-month extension, where I worked closer with the events team for Starwood and then I started my new role as Brand Management Coordinator working on the Luxury and Design brands. After eighteen months, I was promoted to Brand Management Specialist overlooking the same brands with a particular focus on W Hotels as the brand expanded in EAME, which was a lot of fun and gave me great opportunities where I got to develop my skills further. I managed brand activation projects and brand experience events across Europe and the Middle East. I worked closely with the global and divisional brand teams in strengthening the brand, and worked with pre-opening teams and new openings. Working on the W Verbier pre-opening project led me to the next step in my career, as I joined the pre-opening team as Marketing Manager in May 2013 – 6 months prior to the opening. Being part of a pre-opening hotel team was an exciting and challenging experience. Not only was W Verbier the first W hotel in a mountain location (flagship hotel for the brand), but also the first W hotel in Switzerland and the first international hotel brand to establish a presence in Verbier.

“Set your goal and follow it with passion!” 52

I held the role as Marketing Manager, primarily leading the Social Media strategy, events, programming and brand activation projects, until May 2015, when I was promoted to Director of Marketing & Communications. In this new role, I led the overall marketing and communications strategy, plans and execution, and I became part of the Management Team at the hotel. After ten years of living abroad, I wanted a change. A great opportunity came up back home, so I took on this new challenge as Head of Marketing for Quality Hotel (part of Nordic Choice Hotels – a franchisee of Choice International) and moved back to Oslo, Norway in May 2016. I am based in Oslo, where our headquarters are, and I am overlooking the Nordic region, where we have

sixty hotels at the moment. The Quality Hotel’s brand is right now being re-shaped and it is extremely interesting because of the whole transition from where it has been up until now, and where it is going. First of all, my main goal was to get a good understanding of the brand, where we are and where we are going and then putting that into what the new Quality Hotel brand should look, see, sound and feel like across the countries, across the portfolio. The company has a multibrand-strategy, and we are right now at a crossroads; putting more emphasis on the uniqueness and individuality of each brand, building and strengthening the brands further as opposed to communicating the company ‘umbrella’ and company name. I am extremely excited about being here and being part of building these brands. Hotelschool has been a great starting point and stepping stone for me. It was invaluable to get a broad understanding of the general topics within hospitality at the Hotelschool, and we got the opportunity to figure out in which direction we wanted to go along the way. I think, in terms of getting into the Brand Marketing field as a young professional, as a Junior Marketeer, you should be interested in the world of branding, communication and marketing. Succeeding in this realm has a lot to do with personality traits. From my perspective, being passionate, eager to learn and develop, and being flexible has a lot to do with being successful in the field. It obviously helps being social too, networking and being able to deal with different characters is important. My advice to students with a clear goal in mind is to never doubt yourself! Be confident, believe in yourself and believe you can do it, and just do it! Go for it! Set your goal and follow it with passion!



The introduction of semesters

In the 70’s, Director Mr A. Mostert started working on a new timetable; introducing semesters. This meant that students were now able to start the course every half year.



The new curriculum The beginning

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by industry for industry, to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insights, skills and knowledge in the field of hospitality.

Female Students at Hotelschool The Hague


Our Heritage

During the ‘30s, the Hotelschool gained more and more recognition from abroad. In 1938, the first female students attended the Hotelschool as a test, to see if it would work. The test proved to be successful. A year later, the programme started with 35 students of which 8 were women. Each year more women would attend the Hotelschool, often ending up in the ‘Top 5 Best Succeeded Students’ of the course.



New courses in the programme

In 1940, new courses were introduced as part of the programme. Swimming lessons at the Mauritskade, butchery classes and a new language course: Bahasa Indonesia, which is part of the Malay-language. In 1941, Hotel Plaza was taken over due to World War II, and the classes were cancelled during the winter period.


The challenging years after the war

The retirement of Queen Juliana, who was succeeded by her daughter Beatrix, marked the start of the ‘80s. The Hotelschool was experiencing many changes and developments. In 1984, a new curriculum was introduced, which allowed the intake of 120 students per semester, instead of 72. students.


Opening Skotel

The world around the school changes quickly. New laws are introduced and changes in the industry are made. In 1992, the boarding school, called Skotel, in the Zwolsestraat is opened, with 256 beds for the students, 21 hotel ooms and a gym.


The time of changes and success In 2001, a new magazine for the Hotelschool’s Alumni was introduced; the Alma. In 2002, restaurant ‘La Classe’ was changed to ‘Zinq’ and Le Début was revitalised. The Hotelschool’s initiative to set up the ‘Leading Hotel Schools of the World’ became a success. In 2008, Hotelschool The Hague launches the English taught curriculum. Then, in September 2002, the Amsterdam Campus was established. The Hotelschool was proudly educating its students at two different campuses; one in The Hague and one in Amsterdam.


85 year anniversary

In 2014, Hotelschool The Hague celebrated its 85 year anniversary. Over the years Hotelschool The Hague developed from a very small vocational school to an international renowned hotel school with 2 campuses, 2000 students and over 7000 successful Alumni.

“Cheeeeese! That one word that everybody knew in the years 1955-1957 (...), because every other day we got cheese for breakfast. (...)There was not a serious lack of food, but I wouldn’t say there was an abundance of food either. So we got ‘beschuit met muisjes (a sweet Dutch breakfast) and jam’ on one day and on the other day we got: cheeeeese!” - Alumnus Bert Zekveld.

New beginnings The ‘60s was a decade of solidarity and time of disciplined regime for the students. In 1961, the Hotelschool opened a new Boarding School at the Badhotel at the Gevers Deynootweg 15. 55


fter Hotelschool The Hague, Jurriën Theuvenet started as an Operations and Marketing Manager for a small start-up called Surgytec, a platform for medical specialists, who shared their knowledge through videos and slide shows. Not a traditional hotel or restaurant business, but still a company with a strong sense of hospitality, which you need if you want to welcome people onto your platform and make them feel comfortable and appreciated. He stayed there for about two and a half years and learned a lot about the challenges and problems that start-ups have. To develop a new product and to market it with a very limited budget was a great learning experience for him.

Jurriën Theuvenet

Owner/Founder ClickTight (2008)

“Introducing an innovation to the market can indeed be challenging, which I also found out when I started my own company: ClickTight. You come up with an idea, which brings a solution to a problem you are experiencing, but you are not sure if you represent a wider audience. At the start, I was lucky to work with the leading Dutch research institute TNO, and to make it to the finals of the two biggest innovation competitions in The Netherlands. Very important for ClickTight was the help of Hans Koeleman, a two time Olympian champion and long distance runner, with a long career at Nike. He not only endorsed the product, but also gave us a lot of information and helped us develop the product and the brand further. More and more athletes use ClickTight, with a highlight being Wilson Kipsang, the winner of the NYC, London and Berlin Marathon (World Record 2013). He stated on his website that “in preparation for a marathon you need to hydrate, focus and keep your laces together with ClickTight”. We are focusing on selling the ClickTights through retail, online platforms and events. Especially for events we customise our ClickTights to the design wishes of our clients. ClickTight is the perfect tool for brand activation as you wear it on your shoes at all times and show the logo of the event and its sponsor. KLM was the first to order a batch for the Curaçao Marathon, and other races have followed since. ClickTights are always visible, unlike T-Shirts or other items, which might be covered up during winter months. I don’t think I was ever really made for the Hospitality Industry, at least not as clearly as others were. Neither did I as a kid dream of inventing a 1-click solution to fastening and loosening shoelaces. You keep your eyes open and jump into adventures that feel exciting and challenging. The Hotelschool is a gateway to the world and its treasures. The key hospitality element that I learned at the Hotelschool was how to exceed expectations. I continuously use this attitude in my day-to-day business life and I am still very grateful for that.

“Entrepreneurs often have a similar mind set. Our semester, as it turned out, had many successful entrepreneurs.” 56

I have a vivid memory of Mr Lam. He embodied hospitality and represented the high standards of the Hotelschool at all times. He gave me a very good understanding of what real hospitality is. If there are people who are truly born for hospitality, he is definitely one of them. My entire time at the Hotelschool was amazing. Solid friendships were formed. Skotel was a lot of fun, and the buzz of freedom and ambition was contagious. I especially enjoyed the practical courses. I gained a lot of inspiration from the classes as well as from the other students, especially those who had an energetic vibe and who also started their own businesses. Entrepreneurs often have a similar mind set. Our semester, as it turned out, had many successful entrepreneurs. Hotelschool has proven to be a great school for entrepreneurs, because we all learned to think in terms of solutions. “Be creative and always try to find a way to comply with the various requests of a quest” was a much-repeated mantra during my time at Hotelschool The Hague. Nothing is impossible. My outlook on life in general is pretty positive and I really want to create and learn new things.”



Jan Peter van der Ree

Area Vice President/GM at Grand Hyatt Berlin (1987)

Jan Peter van der Ree works as Area Vice President & General Manager at Grand Hyatt Berlin (previously at Park Hyatt Zurich) and tells us everything about his current job and future plans.


started working as a General Manager in 1993, in South Korea, I was 33. Afterwards, I moved back to Cologne, then to Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, to Dubai, Istanbul and Zurich and I am currently based in Berlin with the additional function of Area Vice President. I started Hotelschool relatively late; being 23. This was mainly because of a very long High School period. I graduated from Hotelschool when I turned 27 and started working very quickly for Hyatt. I actually started my career at Hyatt thanks to the great lecturer Mr van Delft. He taught us law and was busy with placements and curriculum changes at that time. After my graduation, I went to school just for a beer and there I met Mr van Delft. I asked him about interesting hotel chains to work for. He advised Hyatt to me, so I decided to pursue a career at Hyatt. I approached them and asked if I could work in Asia. They said: how about first helping us with the opening of a Hyatt hotel in Cologne. I decided to go for it, and it turned out to be a good decision.

Hotelschool The Hague is a school that educates you on a lot of different aspects. You get your practical education, theoretical, it teaches you to have responsibilities, you get the chance to work outside of school and build connections. Furthermore, you learn to take risks and become curious and openminded; so yes, the school shapes you!

Germany is a country with great career opportunities. I always call Germany my ‘launching pad’. I was lucky that during my first Hyatt Asia assignment in China, I could travel to South Korea for a holiday. I met the GM of a Hyatt resort in South Korea who showed me his hotel and the island. I responded very enthusiastically and within a year I received a call asking whether I wanted to become the GM of Hyatt Regency Jeju.

I still see all people from my old year club. They live all over the world - in Marbella, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia, etc. I am the only one who still works in the hotel industry.

Therefore, I also think it’s sometimes a matter of being in the right place at the right time. It’s also all about connections: look around you and travel! The only obstacle was maybe moving to China in 1992 where not a single person could speak English; this was a big challenge. But if you’re motivated, you can achieve anything you want to. I even learned Mandarin.

Plans for the future Normally, if you want to become Area Vice President, they ask you to stay somewhere for 5 years. So I expect to be here for another 5 years. After that, we’ll see. I like what I’m currently doing and I don’t have the ambition to work at a corporate office. That’s way too political for me and you don’t get to see any guests! So, I will just enjoy my time here and be open for new challenges that will come along. This is also my advice: always stay curious and be open for challenges! If you are not curious anymore, it is basically over and you can start thinking about your retired life.

Current job I currently work as a General Manager / Area Vice President for Hyatt. In my position, I am responsible for Grand Hyatt Berlin and for all other Hyatt properties in Germany. Previously, I had four countries in my portfolio: Switzerland, The Netherlands, Italy and Morocco. The world within Hyatt is divided into three different areas: The Americas, EAME & SWA and Asia Pacific. All of these regions are again divided into different areas. And all of these areas consist of a maximum of ten hotels that all have an area manager, like I am. By the way, I graduated in 1987! Things must have changed since that time, I hope! The thing I really like about my current job is the combination of being a GM and an Area Vice President. On the one hand, I am still involved in the operations of my own hotel, and on the other hand, I am also busy with the operation of the other Hyatt properties in Germany. Every hotel also has different investors that I am involved with. So, there is a lot of interaction with different owners, etc. Around 75% of my work takes place at the Grand Hyatt Berlin as a GM and 25% is divided into the other hotels which I work for. Of course, all the hotels have their own GM.


Back to the ‘80s: Memories of Hotelschool The Hague It was in one word: fantastic! We had seven semesters of which two were practicals. It is a school that is always thinking about the future and further developments. This definitely helped me. When I graduated, I noticed that I was better educated than what the hotel industry at that time had to offer, and what was required in the first years. Of course, it is probably a bit different now. I was a member of La Confrérie and a fraternity. I was always involved in what was going on in school. The good thing about Hotelschool The Hague is that you are almost guaranteed to turn into a confident person. You can’t be a shy person in this industry. The school shapes you!

Other advice to current students: just enjoy your studies, enjoy what is coming and enjoy all the benefits that this school offers you. A lot of industries and branches are waiting for people from Hotelschool The Hague!



Crème de la crème


Restaurant Arles. The host of Arles is no one else than Xander Waller, well-known in the restaurant scene of Amsterdam. The atmosphere at Arles is warm and modern, an important element of ambiance forms the attractive art collection with art and photography, inspired by the city of Arles. - Alumnus Ronald Huiskamp


For Toastie lovers Looking for a lunch restaurant in The Hague? Happy Tosti is somewhat different compared to others. The tastiest tosti’s, panini’s, soups and salads are being prepared and served by employees with a disability. Come to experience Happy Tosti’s happy atmosphere, swinging chairs, bright colours, fake grass and art. - Alumni Sam Holtus, Jasper Kool & Wibe Smulders

Organic Fast


Thoughtful Boosty At Boosty it is not just about serving ‘fresh food’. Boosty promises to energise you with thoughtful ingredients and a positive service! Salads, sandwiches, juices and much more. Shop locations and more information: - Alumnus Jorik America

Under the Tuscan Sun

For the best Organic Fast Food in Amsterdam, we advice you to pay a visit to Grizzl. Fear not, vegetarians – their juicy burgers and crispy flammkuchen come in both meat and veggie versions. Grizzl claims that in there, even the most die-hard meat lovers are licking their fingers! - Alumnus Philip Paternotte

Do you wanna spend a night under the Tuscan Sun? Traditional Italian food, self-imported wines and passion. That is what family Caron does, in their Restaurant Caroni. It is a family owned restaurant in the centre of The Hague, where you are invited to have a cosy and intimate evening out. - Alumna Chloé Caron

Pizza and oysters? Did someone say Pizza, Oysters? Or both? Try Renato’s Osteria, Renato’s Pizzeria or a combination of both concepts in Renato’s Foodhallen. Italian food, with fresh ingredients imported directly from Italy. - Alumna Kim Lakho

Private dining? From Barcelona to Amsterdam At Barça, you can drink a glass of Cava or the delicious Spanish drink, Sangria Vino Tinto in a Spanish inspired atmosphere on their sunny terrace, or a caña at the bar. Immerse yourself completely in the Catalan food culture by ordering some of their tasty tapas. - Alumnus Raymond van ‘t Hooft

If you are in favour of staying home all ‘gezellig’, Jessie’s cuisine is a private dining concept that offers activities such as walking dinners, catering, events and wine tasting, mostly focusing on private dinners. - Alumna Jessica Heidekamp

Feel at home Ivory is the place to take your friends to enjoy some great food. Without burning a big hole in your wallet, they offer new and exciting dishes. Ivory simply flourishes in offering a good night out to their crowd, young or old, it doesn’t matter. People will feel at home, as they will enjoy good music, food and drinks in a classic atmosphere. - Alumnus Henk Hetzel

Best cocktails and local beer Resto-Bar Snappers is located at the famous Regulierdwarsstraat (21) in the city centre of Amsterdam. Go to Snappers if you are in the mood for delicious cocktails, ice cold beer from a local brewery or crave classical dishes with an emphasis on comfort food. - Alumnus Mats van der Sluijs




Niki Kervezee

Senior Operations Specialist at the International Secretariat of WWF (2011)


fter graduating from Hotelschool The Hague in 2011 and performing my management internship at a record label in Berlin, I kept working in the music industry. I organised different festivals, show productions and concert tours, but somehow ended up at the corporate side of the industry. After five years, I slowly started to realise I felt the need to be more involved in social work. Even though the music industry was very interesting and dynamic, I was up for a new challenge after a number of years. One day in August, Floris Pocerattu (also Alumnus) and I came across a Facebook post of a fellow Hotelschool student, stating that he was looking for people to help to establish a hotel school in Bhutan. We looked at each other and within a second we decided to take this opportunity. However, it did take us five months to obtain a visa.

“We even had to Google where Bhutan is situated on the world map, you can imagine that we faced a real culture shock upon arrival!” Since a couple of months, I am working as Senior Operations Specialist at the International Secretariat of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Last year, WWF launched a new strategy that harnesses the strengths of the WWF network in a shared vision, focussing on six major goals: water, wildlife, the ocean, climate and energy, forests, and food. There are three key drivers of environmental problems: markets, finance and governance. Together these are called the nine "Practices". As the operational spider in the web, I maintain an oversight of all relevant aspects of Practice operations

and take action to resolve issues arising, consulting as necessary with the Head of Conservation Office. I function as the point person in the Global Conservation Department for Practice Leaders and their core teams and provide support on issues related to Operations, Finance, integration and progress reporting. Summarised, I have the ambitious task to "make it happen". And that's what Hotelschool Alumni are usually pretty good at!

The youth unemployment in Bhutan is remarkably high and there is an urgent need for education in order to give young adults a career opportunity. At the same time, the tourism industry is growing rapidly. This inspired a collaboration of hospitality experienced people from Switzerland and The Netherlands to open the Bongde Institute of Hospitality and Tourism: an institute which allows students to learn everything about Rooms Division, Kitchen and Food & Beverage service. Furthermore, it guarantees them a practical internship and a career at a hotel or restaurant. The institute has its own restaurant and hotel where students get to practise what they have learned in class, just like we did at Hotelschool The Hague. My main responsibilities as General Manager were on a tactical and strategic level: operations and finance, as well as leading a team of teachers and other staff to negotiate with the government about licences and scholarships. We oversaw the student affairs and hotel operations (assessing exams, reservations, etc), carried out by our staff. The government and other educational bodies also involved us in improving the education in Bhutan. This not only included operations and finance, but also organising proper meals for the students, assessing the exams and making reservations for the restaurant. Every day was very different, especially in a country like Buthan. As we even had to Google where Bhutan is situated on the world map, you can imagine that we faced a real culture shock upon arrival. Most of our Bhutanese students have never seen a hotel before, as they originate from the countryside. It was a blessing to introduce them to and make them become passionate about the Hospitality Industry, with the use of what I learned during my study. It is very exciting to see that everything you learned at Hotelschool The Hague can finally be put into practice, especially with a job like this. Above all, it made me realise how valuable a practical oriented study like the one at Hotelschool is. Not many people have been introduced to the business industry during the first day of their studies in the way we were. Especially courses like Team Management Skills and Personal Selling have prepared me for the real world. I dare to grab as many opportunities as I can and always advise people to say “yes” as much as possible. Outside your comfort zone is where the fun happens!



FIVE QUESTIONS FOR Nigel Brown & Oky Ceelen Founders of Jugo Consultancy Pte Ltd

Be delighted in one of our restaurants If you want to experience true service, come and visit one of our own restaurants. At both campuses, we offer different restaurant concepts. Whether you feel like a nice croissant in the morning, a bite or a cocktail in the late afternoon, Les Saveurs in Amsterdam or Zinq in The Hague are the places to be. You can also enjoy our fine dining restaurant Le Début in both Amsterdam and The Hague, where our motto is: “The closer to home the better the taste!” since here we prepare ethical food using healthy and local ingredients.

Nigel (2003) What is your greatest accomplishment? So far, my greatest accomplishment is setting up my own company with fellow Alumnus Oky Ceelen. For both of us, it is our first business venture, so we are looking forward to being able to offer our MICE and hospitality consultancy services to clients in South East Asia and beyond. What is the greatest lesson you learned at Hotelschool The Hague? The best thing that I learned at Hotelschool The Hague is entrepreneurial learning. I must admit I struggled with this concept during my years at Hotelschool The Hague but it all made sense as soon as I started my first job and it has really given me an advantage throughout my career. What is the greatest country to live/work in, and why? So far, in my opinion Singapore has been the greatest country to live and work in. It’s a compact city state with everything within reach, an excellent public transport system, a foodie’s paradise and with Singapore being a transport hub there are plenty of opportunities for weekend getaways. What was the first thing you bought with your own money? This is embarrassing, but the first thing I bought with my own money was the single of MC Miker G & Deejay Sven’s Holiday Rap on vinyl. I had just moved to Holland and thought that would be a good idea to spend my money on. What makes someone a great leader? I think great leaders should be able to listen, not be afraid to ask for advice and should be able to inspire.

“Great leaders should be able to listen, not be afraid to ask for advice and able to inspire.” 64

Book now at

Oky (2003) What would you still like to learn? There are still many foreign languages I would like to learn. At the top of the list are French and Japanese. What is one of your favourite quotes? ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step.’ - Laozi Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but turned out to be for the best? I had just failed my first year of university and was quite unhappy in the South of Holland. Two of my friends were studying at Hotelschool The Hague at that time, and I went to visit them at Skotel. I was impressed with the international vibe, as well as their stories about the programme. I immediately signed up for Selection Day, and started 5 months later. When was the last time you were nervous? At the end of September, when I was asked to be the Master of Ceremonies during one of my best friend’s wedding. What is still on your bucket list? I would love to go diving at Raja Ampat in New Guinea.



The Uniform Revolution From jeans to designer dress


y Femke Verhoeff (2016) Uniforms in the hospitality industry are more and more adjusted to fit the ambience of a company. This conclusion is drawn by Femke Verhoeff, who researched the change in uniforms within hotels. Femke Verhoeff, Alumna at Hotelschool The Hague, Campus Amsterdam, did this research in collaboration with FashionWeek Nederland. Verhoeff: “Instead of choosing a standard uniform, the clothing choice is part of the offered experience nowadays.” The choice of employee clothing depends on the concept of the company, their target market and which atmosphere matches with this. When implementing a change in clothing style, it is important to reflect the wishes of your employees and your guests in design or choice of clothing style. This in order to cater to the millennial generations’ needs and wants. Millennials “The so-called millennial traveller isn’t looking for white linen and bellboys carrying a suitcase. The millennial traveller wants the feeling that they are at home”, say Veronice Waldthausen and Alett Oehmichen, of hotel consultancy agency HVS. Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000. They love to travel and search for the ultimate experience, in which they are part of the local community. This generation is currently the fastest growing segment of guests within the Hospitality Industry worldwide. For a Hotel Manager, it is of importance to attract millennials not only as guests but also as employees. For the millennial employee, it is important to be seen as an individual. He wants to show his identity on the work floor and wants the opportunity to wear clothes in which he feels comfortable. Uniforms Wearing uniform is traditionally used to show hierarchy, authority and status and to make a group directly recognisable. When, at the end of the nineteenth century, due to the increasing labour market, the demand for uniforms was growing, clothing designers decided to collaborate with manufacturers in order to meet the demand of ‘ready to wear’ and ‘one size fits all’. At this time, the standard uniform for the hotel industry was born. Change According to the research, uniforms are becoming more and more casual. People choose a clothing style which optimises the experience and which is most suitable for the atmosphere the hotel wants to emit. Which could also mean that the employees are not even wearing a uniform. This choice is of importance for the employees, as they need to feel comfortable to deliver the best service possible. Exclusively designed uniforms At Hotel W Amsterdam, the employees are wearing clothes that are exclusively designed by the Dutch designer Mattijs van Bergen. Van Bergen uses the symbol of Amsterdam - three crosses placed underneath each other - in his clothing in a very subtle way. Christoph Waser, Rooms Division Director of


the hotel: “Starting a collaboration with a famous designer is a good PR tool. Besides that, the clothing is also in line with the luxurious expectations of our guests. Moreover, it matches the ‘casual cool’ atmosphere of Amsterdam.” The Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam also uses exclusively designed uniforms. This hotel collaborated with ‘Suit Up Corporation Fashion’, a supplier in professional business attire. Prior to the designing, employees were able to point out their own wishes and ideas regarding the uniform. This, but also other unique details, are to be found in the clothing. For example, the flower pattern in the windows of the historical building are displayed on the buttons. Besides that, the orange colour represented throughout the hotel can be found in the clothing as well. Idividualisation within a group Hotel chain WestCord has chosen for suitable details per hotel, matching the ambience and colours of that specific hotel. At the WestCord Fashion Hotel Amsterdam, they have chosen for fuchsia accessories. Employees are able to choose on a daily basis, if they want to wear a bow, suspenders or a scarf in this colour. Europe Hotel Private Collection chose a different uniform for every hotel, in order to individualise their concept. The Sir Albert Hotel in Amsterdam collaborated with the denim brand ‘Good Genes’ and ‘G-Star’. They designed a fancy outfit which matches the profile and style of Sir Albert. Max Brown Hotels work together with jeans label from Amsterdam, ‘Denham’, to pursue a more casual look.

feeling’. Ties are not allowed, because they are too formal. At the Student Hotel Amsterdam West, employees wear clothes in which they feel comfortable. Employees are only recognisable by a button of the Student Hotel. “By doing this, there is no distance between the guest and the employee.” This suits the concept where guests, mainly students, can rent a room up to one full year”, according to the hotel. Recent trend It is remarkable that all hotels that participated in this research only implemented the new choice of clothes recently. This may indicate that there is a new uniform trend: a uniform revolution. Trends: • Hotels are more and more focusing on a specific target market and they choose a style which suits their wishes and expectations. • The clothing style of the employees is part of the experience and suits the hotels’ concept. • The uniform reflects the character and ambience of the city and surroundings. • Uniforms are exclusively designed for a hotel or concept. • The colours and/or materials used for the uniforms

The creation of the ‘home feeling’ The Hoxton Amsterdam chose to buy clothes from a local clothing store. This idea is inspired by the first Hoxton Hotel; The Hoxton London, which collaborates with a local brand from London. The Hoxton Amsterdam chose for a casual uniform which can be described as ‘streetwear’, resulting in a removed barrier between the guest and the employee and an intensification of the ‘living room Femke Verhoeff conducted this research in collaboration with FashionWeek Nederland. This article was originally published in Misset Horeca, in autumn 2016. 67

hotelschoolthehague “We become who we are by the choices we make.” Caroline H. and Alexandra H. #laugh #youreapwhatyousow #hotelschoolthehague #friends


hotelschoolthehague “Hotelschool The Hague makes dreams work through team-work!” Sebastian M.

Hotelschool The Hague This year we have chosen some of our favourite and most inspiring moments at Hotelschool The Hague. Have you missed any of these? Follow us on Instagram: @hotelschoolthehague

hotelschoolthehague What a great evening we had yesterday at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards in Paris: Hotelschool The Hague finalist ‘Best Hospitality Management School’ and Alumnus Melle van Uden finalist ‘Best Professional Success’! #proud #hotelschoolthehague #hospitalityawards #wha2016 68

hotelschoolthehague “It´s not about what you look like, you have to really prove yourself with the service you offer.“ Daran H. #25hourshotel #berlin #internship #international

hotelschoolthehague “Si luchas puedes perder, si no luchas ya has perdido.” Carla B. (If you fight you can lose, but if you don’t fight you’ve already lost.) #amsterdam #hthstudentsareawesome #dontgiveup

hotelschoolthehague Another historic moment for Hotelschool The Hague: our student Margot H. has graduated this week with a perfect 100! (Final research project and management internship). What a fantastic accomplishment, we are all so proud of you, Margot! #hotelschoolthehague #hthstudentsareawesome

hotelschoolthehague There is nothing better than some peaceful music at Les Saveurs! Our Master student Gerasimos D. was behind the piano to set the mood for the day. #hthstudentsareawesome #hotelschoolthehague #music #instagood

hotelschoolthehague “A pizza a day keeps the doctor away” Maxime P., Phillip K., and Hafsa B. #hthstudentsareawesome #attheheartofhospitality #hotelschoolthehague #pizza #smile 69

Colofon Editors in Chief

Miriam Sperling Vivian van der Wielen

Deputy Editor Nikolett NyĂşl


Vivian van der Wielen Nikolett NyĂşl Silvia Masturzo

Strong heritage, established in 1929

Excellent world-wide reputation in a wide range of industries

Business study set in context of hospitality with a focus on personal development, leadership and management

Over 50 nationalities on our campuses in Amsterdam and The Hague


Giampiero Maietti Kelvin Seppenwoolde Midas Meeuwisse Robin van Dort Riia Jarvinen Nathalie Janssen Sharoena Kanhai Alanah Blokdijk Emma Steenstra Toussaint

Respected network of Alumni working in senior management positions

Best value of all the International Hotel Management Schools

Special thanks to

Victoria Pairet Diana Eldefrawy Andreas Krausz Susanne Stolte Femke Verhoeff Misset Horeca Haagsblauw All Alumni featured in this magazine


If you would like to be featured in one of the Alumni Newsletters or on our HTH Blog, we kindly ask you to send an e-mail to Please provide us with some background information, e.g. current position and professional career.


International University, 100% in English

Two international internships

Small community and classes, warm atmosphere and personal guidance

Xerox Nederland B.V. International, industry experienced lecturers with strong academic credentials



P.O. Box 84359 2508 AJ The Hague The Netherlands Campus The Hague Brusselselaan 2 2587 AH The Hague Campus Amsterdam Jan Evertsenstraat 171 1057 BW Amsterdam T +31 88 028 18 00


Profile for Hotelschool The Hague

HTH Alumni Magazine - 3rd Edition  

HTH Alumni Magazine - 3rd Edition