Category: Lifestyle

‘It has only become more attractive, trendy and sociable here’

Lisette Vriend combines work and life at Zuidas. “Buitenveldert and Zuidas both have an atmosphere that suits me, and it has only become more attractive, trendy and sociable here.” If…

Lisette Vriend combines work and life at Zuidas. “Buitenveldert and Zuidas both have an atmosphere that suits me, and it has only become more attractive, trendy and sociable here.”

If you skip an Ajax football match to attend a community meeting, you can call yourself a proud Amsterdam-Buitenveldert local. Lisette Vriend feels at home in this neighbourhood. “Even grocery shopping is fun. I get in the elevator to enter the indoor shopping centre”.

Lisette tells me that “I was born in Aalsmeer. Even as a young girl, I was bored there. So later, I moved to Amsterdam and have never left. After college, I studied at Schoevers. For some time I had ambitions to be an air hostess, see the world, hang around pretty places for a while, it sounded nice… But I stopped dreaming eventually as life in the airline business is not as glamorous as it used to be. During that time, I realized I should do something else: sales. I proved to be good at it, and it made me happy. For a long time I worked at all levels of account management.”

Life just found a way

Lisette lives at Gelderlandplein and works around the corner, at Boelelaan, as an assistant/office manager at Vanderkruys. Vanderkruys is a recruitment firm for responsible positions in the public and private-public sectors such as the government, hospitals and universities.

“For a while, I had been looking for a job in the neighbourhood. I wanted to live and work here. At Zuidas, recruitment is a booming business, but this specific role suits me.”

Lisette calls herself an “all-rounder”. “I like to get everything thrown in my direction and take the lead. Especially for activities such as organizing events and planning meetings.”

What about women at Zuidas?

According to Lisette, we do not have to worry about the number of women working at Zuidas. “In prominent positions around here, you see women. As a matter of fact, there are more women than men at my office.

“I have lived in Buitenveldert for years now. I used to think it was a bit old fashioned. But not anymore, it has developed and it is now a super luxurious place to live. Buitenveldert and Zuidas have an atmosphere that suits me. It has only become more attractive, trendy and sociable. Here you can find everything you want and need, right at your doorstep.

“The international feel appeals to me. There are many nationalities and expats in our apartment building. In the evening there is a variety of smells coming from everyone’s different cooking habits.”

A proper lunch

“I like to have a good lunch, not grab a quick sandwich, but an extensive one, it might even take up the afternoon. With a lunch consisting of starters and a main-course, you do not need dinner at night.” She visits restaurants local restaurants a lot. “Ron Blaauw’s restaurants, as well as Het Bosch at Nieuwe Meer; all the typical hot spots for Zuidas people. And Aan de Poel in Amstelveen is a favourite as well.”

If it were up to Lisette, the only thing that would improve this new, glorious southern part of the A-10 would be if it were more car friendly.

“There are few parking options. If you don’t have a bike it is hard to get around. That proves to be annoying for people that do not live here. Oh, and a local cinema would be lovely. To go to see a film right now you need to take the tram into the centre. But really, what is that as a complaint?”

Skipping an Ajax match

Lisette and her husband love this neighbourhood, and won’t miss a community meeting here, even if Ajax is playing at the Johan Cruyff ArenA on that particular night.

“We think it is essential to be involved. We would not miss a community meeting for the world. We even skipped an Ajax football match for one once. Harsh, but that’s life. I do like to be in the ArenA, real fun! But to be honest, as it starts getting colder in the winter months, it is good to sit on the couch and watch the games at home.”

 

  

 

   

 

 

 

No Comments on ‘It has only become more attractive, trendy and sociable here’

Pedro Celli’s morning routine

Pedro Celli (30) hails from the Brazilian city of Campinas, close to Sao Paulo, but has been living in the Netherlands ever since he was 13. He studied International Business…

Pedro Celli (30) hails from the Brazilian city of Campinas, close to Sao Paulo, but has been living in the Netherlands ever since he was 13. He studied International Business at Groningen University and works as an account executive for ZOOM, a company connecting communication and technology. He starts every working day with a work-out at 7 am.

“It’s only since I’ve been working at Zuidas that I have the feeling I am actually working. It is a totally different atmosphere compared to inner city Amsterdam. Zuidas has become a major financial district so you realize that this is the place where business is done and where things happen.”

“Since I’ve been working at Zuidas I get up early, at 6 am. Then it’s straight to the gym at Club Sportive for a yoga, boxing or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class. A quick shower and then I’m off to work.  I get myself a cup of coffee and some breakfast and start reading my emails. That’s when my working day starts.”

“I like this routine a lot better than going to the gym in the evening, which I used to do a few times a week. Those sessions were much longer and a lot tougher. Now I enter the office full of energy instead of feeling knackered. Another advantage of doing my workout in the morning is that my girlfriend can go to her gym in the evening so I can look after our little kitten.”

 

Comments Off on Pedro Celli’s morning routine

Challenge yourself, release your inner dandy 

Martijn van Herwijnen is co-owner of bespoke suits store Sarto Undici. In his column, he offers tips and discusses the latest trends in men’s fashion. Dandy or Denim? Once upon…

Martijn van Herwijnen is co-owner of bespoke suits store Sarto Undici. In his column, he offers tips and discusses the latest trends in men’s fashion.

Dandy or Denim? Once upon a time, things were so easy: a dark-grey or blue suit, worn with a blue or red tie. This used to be a winning combination, but not anymore. 

When I’m walking around the Zuidas, I see three stereotypes. First, the classic three-piece suit, preferably grey, worn by men of a certain age with important jobs.

Then there is the ‘dandy’, wearing a nice jacket, chinos, matching shirt and the right accessories: a colourful pocket square, nice watch, leather briefcase. He’s a man of taste who likes to look good.

But there’s also a third category and their numbers are growing: men who used to wear a normal suit but switched to jeans and a white or blue shirt they previously wore with their now-discarded suit. Maybe I’m wrong but my guess is that this type of man considers ‘dandy’ an offensive word. 

To me, as co-owner of bespoke suits store Sarto Undici, the word dandy has no bad connotation at all. Originally, it signified a man who cared about his appearance but did not take himself too seriously. 

The way we dress keeps changing and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. What is bad, however, is not caring how you look, wearing your suit like a bus driver: too long, too big, too wide, lacking colour and imagination. Or simply going for the trusted jeans and jacket combo, the so-called “modern uniform”. With a bit of effort we can all look so much better and more stylish. Isn’t it pretty easy to look a lot better?

 

My tip for all men is straightforward: challenge yourself, throw out the jeans and release your inner dandy. 

 

Martijn van Herwijnen

Sarto Undici

Comments Off on Challenge yourself, release your inner dandy 

Zuidas Nightwatch guarantees safety

The residential towers at Zuidas are real eye-catchers, housing wonderful apartments with large balconies and terraces. Great places to live but as Zuidas is pretty quiet in the evenings, it…

The residential towers at Zuidas are real eye-catchers, housing wonderful apartments with large balconies and terraces. Great places to live but as Zuidas is pretty quiet in the evenings, it is a challenge to guarantee safety on the streets for local residents. Cue the newly-established Zuidas Nighwatch.

It is Monday morning and there is a real buzz around Intermezzo, one of the stunning buildings here at Zuidas. We meet Emile Rietveld (35), first resident of this stately building and chairman of Intermezzo’s Property Owners Association.

We talk to Emile to discuss a new initiative he started: giving people living at Zuidas area the same feeling of security one could expect in a village or a suburb. “Due to the high-rise buildings and the fact that Zuidas is pretty quiet in the evenings, that’s a bit of a challenge”, he honestly admits. 

Rich pickings…

It is no secret that thieves like to hang around Zuidas. And that’s pretty logical, Emile says. “One way or another, the area offers rich pickings. A lot of famous Dutchmen and other successful people live here. They have money, expensive stuff. Plus there is much less social control and that creates a fertile stomping ground for malicious people. But we do our best to fight that!”, Emile hastens to add. 

So he came up with Avenue Services – The Zuidas Nighwatch. “In other countries, having a professional neighbourhood watch is quite common. With the international appeal of  Zuidas it was only a matter of time until a collective monitoring system would be introduced here as well.”

“It starts with discouraging people who have wrong intentions. We do that by being visibly present, also in the evenings and at night, and talking to people on the street, asking them what is going on – these are things thieves and burglars don’t like. This is what happens automatically in other neighbourhoods with a higher level of social control and more people on the streets at night. We don’t have that here so we’ll need to create such an atmosphere.” 

Concierge Plus

Emile’s security professionals will be moving around the area on a… Segway. “I’d like to call what we offer a Concierge Plus service. A concierge in a building has a relationship of trust with the residents; he knows them and helps them or visitors to and from their car or the train station, for example.” 

He continues: “The space around Intermezzo and the nearby area is actually too small to monitor by car. By patrolling on a Segway, we are agile, relatively fast (around 12 miles per hour) and we stand a little bit taller. We will be doing our rounds from 10 pm to 6 am. These night guards, myself included, will be keeping an eye out in this area”, he explains.

He has already completed a few test rounds. “It struck me that not all the entrance doors to the buildings are locked. Well, that’s just asking for trouble. When we run into suspicious-looking fellows or people who have no reason to be here at night, we’ll approach them. If they have bad intentions they usually disappear out of sight very quickly.”

Professional social control

This new security initiative has been met with enthusiasm by local business owners and the residents of Intermezzo and the surrounding buildings. “These people and their property deserve to be well-protected. Thankfully there is money to realize this kind of professional social control. This service is a collective supported by the local business owners and residents. They all benefit from this system”, Emile says. 

He has so much confidence in this new way of creating a safe environment that he has said goodbye to his old career in order to launch Avenue Services. “I used to work in the aviation and telecommunications industries as a consultant on risk assessment and incident investigation. I have a lot of knowledge of risk control and safety, plus I have a good network.”

Good social skills

At the moment he is busy building his team. “We are carefully selecting people to carry out these shifts. As we are not a traditional security company, professional training in security is not a hard requirement. What we do expect, however, is a good eye for suspect behaviour, good social skills and a willingness to approach people. You could say we are a human level of crime prevention, alongside monitoring cameras and other – invisible – security measures.” 

Emile emphasizes that his ‘Segway riders’ will not intervene in case of any wrongdoings. “No, they will immediately contact the police. The municipality and the police are fully behind this concept. Our cooperation with the police has already proven successful as we recently managed to help the police to arrest three burglars in Zuidas area.”

 

 

photo Katja Mali

Comments Off on Zuidas Nightwatch guarantees safety

Efficient Hotel Partner: carefree outsourcing

In the digital age the world is at our feet. Yet we all know how long it can take the find the perfect hotel. And once we’ve managed to get…

In the digital age the world is at our feet. Yet we all know how long it can take the find the perfect hotel. And once we’ve managed to get that ‘dream spot’ we soon find out it’s either fully booked or – even worse – it’s nowhere near as perfect as the pictures on the website suggested. Together with her team, owner Marianne Kuiper of Efficient Hotel Partner provides a good old-fashioned travel service.

In Amstelveen’s Oude Dorp area we meet Marianne and her 5-strong team in the stylish office that has been the home of Efficient Hotel Partner (EHP) for 21 years now. “Yeah, we’ve finally grown up”, Marianne laughs. “Many people celebrate being 20 or 25 years in a certain business, but we liked the idea of celebrating the age of maturity for EHP.”

First things first: what does Efficient Hotel Partner do exactly? “We arrange suitable accommodation for our clients”, she explains. “Whenever companies are looking for a venue to hold a training course, meeting, brainstorm session or a congress – with or without overnight stay – we help them find the location that’s perfect for their needs. Every one of us here is specialized in a certain field so we really complement each other.”

Carefree outsourcing

“Jacco Verschoor, the only man in our team, is a travel industry veteran and Jennifer Lam, who has worked for large hotel chains in Australia, is our expert in complex bookings. Mieke van Middelkoop is the creative mind and Mirna van Driel is our source of information and financial expert. As for me, I worked for the Bilderberg Group for 15 years. Together we operate in a fast, effective and, as our name suggests, efficient manner. Above all, we really love our jobs and our clients can feel that. Our reward? A happy client. And a happy client is someone who will definitely use our service again.”

In this day and age everything can be arranged from our comfy chair using online platforms such as Booking.com and Trivago. So why should companies contact Efficient Hotel Partner? “When a secretary is asked to book a nice venue for a brainstorm session – with or without overnight stay – for a group of 20 to 200 people, she’ll start looking on Google. She probably has a few ideas and her colleagues will chime in as well. She’ll start emailing to see if the venue is available at the requested date, then she’ll ask for a few prices and presents the plan to her boss. Maybe the programme needs to contain a fun outing, like a guided bicycle ride, a boat tour, or sheep-shearing. Again she’ll start looking around, asking for prices. It’s a hell of a task and very time-consuming.”

Your Personal Assistant

What does EHP have to offer, other than what people can find out themselves? “Good old-fashioned service, personal contact. A voice listening to you at the other end of the line, someone asking you what you need and acting upon this information. We’ve noticed that people really want this. After a period of economic crisis and online bookings, there’s a growing demand for personal service. No phone menu, no ‘do it yourself’. You could say we are a kind of personal assistant to our clients.”

“From the very first day we’ve managed to build a solid reputation; we know the Netherlands inside out and we’ve visited virtually all hotels and meeting venues. We’ve built a great client base and we’re very proud of that. Our secret? We love our clients and that feeling is mutual. That’s our trademark and the reason why large companies like Nationale-Nederlanden and Henkel, but also DJ Martin Garrix, like to do business with us. ”

Sharp and creative

So many companies, so many employees, so many requirements. How do you manage to meet all their different needs? “People experience fragmentation; they have to deal with myriads of suppliers and suffer from choice overload. We structure the booking process, making it easier for them. And we ask our clients lots of questions: What is your budget? What do you prefer: city, countryside, or the coast? Should the accommodation be easily accessible by public transport; is parking space required? Are there any foreign guests that need to be picked up from Schiphol Airport? Once we know the ins and outs of their request we start our search and soon after we send them proposals for a few venues. Plus we do all the invoicing so the client only has to deal with one supplier: us.” 

The interview for this magazine was conducted in a beautifully decorated room, the Music Meeting Lounge, at a separate location but under the same roof as EHP. This is Marianne’s youngest brainchild. “I really missed having guests around me so I came up with the idea of having our own meeting venue. A location in Amstelveen’s Oude Dorp, at walking distance from De Poel and the Amsterdamse Bos, where hospitality is written in capital letters.” 

This year the Music Meeting Lounge was hailed as the best small-scale meeting venue in the province of Noord-Holland. A very nice award to receive. “Not bad, given that our Meeting Lounge only opened 18 months ago!”

Efficient Hotel Partner
Badlaan 1 bis
Amstelveen

T 020 345 2322
W www.efficienthotelpartner.nl

 

Picture: Marianne Kuiper wears a red coat

Comments Off on Efficient Hotel Partner: carefree outsourcing

‘We are not going to live anywhere else’

Having been born and raised in India, at the age of twenty four Simmer Madan choose to study and work in London. There she met her husband, and started combining…


Having been born and raised in India, at the age of twenty four Simmer Madan choose to study and work in London. There she met her husband, and started combining life in London with a job in Denmark. However, for three years now she has been living in The Netherlands, “we stay here and nowhere else,” she tells me. 

For the first time in nine years, she went back to London this September. “I was shocked! It was so much more crowded. People kept pouring out of the underground. In London, it took me twenty minutes to get from work to the underground. Here I am home in twenty minutes.” 

Simmer can hardly find anything negative to say about living in The Netherlands. Apart from “the language, that’s hard. What does help is reading product advertisements and ads about houses-for-sale in newspapers. That way, you learn ordinary words. I shop at Bol.com, so now I know what douchegel is.”

She gained a lot from the government’s integration course, which she had to take because of her marriage to a naturalized Dutchman. “As a result, when I started to use public transport, I knew how to use the OV-chip card. As well as that you learn how to shop at Albert Heijn, very convenient.”

Open minded

In Simmer’s experience, the UK promotes a somewhat hierarchical relationship between people, while people in The Netherlands are more open-minded. “It is easier to approach people here, plus the fact that people think in terms of solutions.”

After completing a BA in Psychology, she studied an MBA in Business and Finance. She now works as a project manager with a company in financial services in the Atrium building at Zuidas.

“The Zuidas neighbourhood is just a marvellous work environment. People are friendly, and people often know each other, which offers lots of opportunities. The atmosphere is super-competitive however, there are more people than jobs. It is booming.”

Life is very relaxed in Amstelveen, where Simmer lives with her husband. “We wanted a house with a garden, but that did not work out in Amsterdam. And very important: we needed a room that both my parents and parents-in-law from India could stay in when they visit us. Furthermore, we are only 12 minutes from Schiphol Airport, there are many restaurants around us, and we have our friends nearby. So, we are not going to live anywhere else than here.”

Comments Off on ‘We are not going to live anywhere else’

‘Nobody is interested in me, guests come here for an experience’

Roberto Payer is one of the best hoteliers in the world, a formidable achievement. Not only did he manage to put the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel firmly on the map, five…

Roberto Payer is one of the best hoteliers in the world, a formidable achievement. Not only did he manage to put the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel firmly on the map, five years ago he also opened the Waldorf Astoria at Herengracht and he has been running both hotels ever since.

Is there an Italian who loves Amsterdam more than Roberto Payer, general manager of the city’s Hilton and Waldorf Astoria hotels? Probably not. “I found everything in Amsterdam. It’s the city that made me happy and still does. In Amsterdam I fell in love. Will I ever move back to Italy? No way, I want to be buried in Amsterdam!”

Roberto Payer (69) just got back from Tuscany, where he owns a house. Italy may be the country where he was born, but you won’t hear him wax lyrical about its cuisine, the delicious wines or the close-knit family ties. Payer has been living in Amsterdam since he was nineteen and he doesn’t feel the urge to go back to Italy. “No, that’s certainly not my intention.”

Challenge

The question about moving back to Italy is not as inappropriate as it may seem. After all, Payer is nearing his 70th birthday and he feels he has seen everything under the sun during his long career. Then again, there is always a new challenge around the corner, like completing the third restyling project of the Hilton Hotel since he became general manager in 1992. “This year we’ll finish the lounge and then everything is done.” 

Another challenge was the Waldorf Astoria Hotel which opened its doors  at the Herengracht in 2014. “After the opening I could have stopped working but I didn’t think that would’ve been fair. I wanted to show people I could manage a luxury hotel, so I stayed on. In 2021, the Rosewood Hotel will open in Amsterdam and I’m very curious to see how it will turn out compared to the Waldorf. That is my big problem: there is always something else to do. When should I call it a day?”

Best hotelier

After this interview, Payer will fly to Las Vegas to attend the award ceremony for the best hotelier in the world. Virtuoso, a network of 1,000 travel agencies employing 17.500 travel advisors in 35 countries with an annual turnover of 23.7 billion dollars in luxury travel, has invited him to attend this prestigious event where there will also be an award ceremony for the best hotel in the world. Apart from the Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam is represented by the Amstel Hotel, Hotel De L’Europe, The Grand, the Conservatorium Hotel and the Pulitzer Hotel. 

“I’ll be staying for three days and I have around 80 appointments every day, plus lunches, social drinks and gala dinners. That is hard work but good fun. The most important thing for me is the Hotel of the Year Award. The best of the best. That would be the crown on my career. The Waldorf has already made the top-5; that is nice but still not good enough. For a few weeks I was sick of not getting the no. 1 spot. I simply hate losing, I want to win! If guests tell me they don’t like our hotel, I don’t sleep at night.” 

Five best hotels

The Waldorf may be one of the five best hotels in the world, but that won’t have much of an impact on what Payer is going to do next. He loves his job and Amsterdam too much to stop working. After graduating from hospitality business school at age nineteen, he applied for a job in the Netherlands. Since he was eight years old he had been dreaming of becoming general manager of a hotel. 

“I’ve only experienced nice things in Amsterdam. When I came here in 1969, I lived in the Jordaan area and I knew the local greengrocer, the shrimp seller, the poulterer. I really felt at home; the people in the Jordaan loved Italians. It was great!”

Cultural education

Famous conductor Bernard Haitink introduced him to the world of classical music – ‘he opened my eyes, especially for Mahler and Bruckner’ – and Payer is a regular visitor to the city’s Concert Hall. For contemporary art he heads to the Stedelijk Museum. “In the seventies, the foundation for my cultural education was laid in the Stedelijk. I went there every Sunday afternoon. I really cannot live without the Concert Hall, the Opera and my three museums: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum.”

Amsterdam may have given Payer a lot, he himself has certainly given back to the city in equal measure. For example, he launched the Herring Party in the garden of the Hilton Hotel – a huge success every year. And he is chairman of the Tulip Festival,  president of the supervisory board for the PAN Art Fair and chairman of the Chocolate Festival, plus he holds various other positions on boards and commissions. “I’m in a relationship and my partner gives me room to do what I find important. I really feel I need to give back to the community.”

Convincing

Moreover, he was instrumental in bringing the Waldorf Astoria to this city. The Hilton concern, owner of the Waldorf Astoria, initially didn’t want to open a luxury hotel in Amsterdam. Payer managed to convince them. “The Waldorf Astoria is here because of me,” he says, beaming. 

The Waldorf has caused an upturn in the number of well-heeled tourists visiting Amsterdam. The average luxury guest spends five to ten thousand euros in three days. “That’s what we give back to Amsterdam.” Lady Gaga, King Mohammed of Morocco, Keith Richards, Michelle Obama and Leonardo Dicaprio all stayed here – not that Payer would ever confirm this as discretion is his middle name.

No consistent policy

Payer may be fond of Amsterdam, he doesn’t shy away from criticizing his adopted hometown. For many years he has been saying that Amsterdam needs to appoint a councillor for tourism. “The turnover in the city’s tourism sector is 240 billion euros and town hall doesn’t even have one dedicated manager focusing on this industry!” And there are other things bothering him as well. “The city let AirBnB in, but nobody thought about the consequences. And there are more than a million bicycles in Amsterdam and they cost the municipality a fortune – providing bicycle racks, removing them, etcetera. I would say: charge every bike owner a tenner and use this money to do nice things for our city. There is just no consistent policy.” 

But above all, Payer is a hotelier through and through. “The atmosphere you create with your team makes or breaks your hotel. Why are guests willing to pay 1,200 euros or more for a night in the Waldorf Astoria? They come here for a wonderful experience and for the tremendous service. Everything has got to be perfect. I have a script, so each staff member knows exactly what needs to be done from the moment the guest arrives at the hotel entrance until the guest goes to his or her room. That is the ultimate service.” 

Incredibly angry

And Payer won’t go for second best. “I can get incredibly angry if the doorman is wrongly positioned when a guest arrives by car. When you open the door, you are at the right-hand side; then you release the door handle and move to the left-hand side and keep your arm against the arch so the guest won’t bang his head. If my employees don’t follow the correct procedure I’ll let them know I’m unhappy, and I won’t leave it till the next day.”

To achieve this very high level of service, the Waldorf has 200 employees for 93 rooms, whereas the Hilton has 220 employees for 271 rooms. “The Hilton is a business-oriented hotel, mainly serving people visiting the Zuidas.” Each hotels has its own atmosphere. “I really love style. I don’t care about trends and I don’t follow them. They always simply die out. They last 6 or 9 months max, and then it’s over. Roberto’s, the classic Italian restaurant inside the Hilton Hotel, has been in business for 25 years. How many restaurants in Amsterdam can actually say the same?”

Pure food

And it would be unusual to see Payer in a different type of restaurant. “I want pure food and I don’t like people toying with my meal. Try cooking something nice, that’s difficult enough. There aren’t many chefs who can really create a fantastic meal like Sidney Schutte, our chef and proud owner of two Michelin stars. I just want to eat very good food; no ostentatious stuff, please! I love liver with bacon and onions, a dish I regularly eat at Myrabelle (a cafe and restaurant in Amsterdam).” 

He says he’s totally unpretentious. “Nobody is interested in me. Guests come here for an experience. And the general manager of a hotel is really nothing without his team: they decide who you are – every moment of the day.” Like a real Italian family all the employees of the Waldorf eat together at a big table every day. “I’ll sit wherever there is a chair available and that could be next to the dishwasher or the chambermaid. It’s really important to maintain that relationship. I can be tough with them, but at the same time: If you dare touch my team, Roberto Payer turns into a very nasty person.”

 

  photo Janiek Dam

Comments Off on ‘Nobody is interested in me, guests come here for an experience’

Hotel Okura jumps out again

Hotel Okura Amsterdam has been selected by readers of the influential travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top 3 Dutch hotels. In the top 25 of favourite…

Hotel Okura Amsterdam has been selected by readers of the influential travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top 3 Dutch hotels. In the top 25 of favourite hotels in Northern Europe, the hotel occupies the 13th place.

More than 600.000 readers worldwide voted for the travel magazine. These elections, the Condé Nast Travelers Reader’s Choice Awards, are the longest-running in the travel industry and are generally regarded as the ‘crème de la crème’. The results for 2019 will be published on this website.

Hotel Okura is part of Okura Nikko Hotel Management, a chain with more than 70 hotels, mainly in Asia. The Amsterdam hotel has 300 rooms and in addition to high quality hotel accommodation, the hotel also offers a spa and fitness centre, ultramodern conference rooms and a choice of four restaurants, three of which have been awarded by Guide Michelin.

 

Comments Off on Hotel Okura jumps out again

‘Windows with the curtains wide open!’

The Swedish Valentina Ericson has lived and worked in Norway, Spain and Belgium, but she sees herself staying longer in the Netherlands. “Life here has many similarities with what I…

The Swedish Valentina Ericson has lived and worked in Norway, Spain and Belgium, but she sees herself staying longer in the Netherlands. “Life here has many similarities with what I like about my home country, but also some differences that I’ve come to appreciate.”

Comments Off on ‘Windows with the curtains wide open!’

My style: Margitte Verwoerdt

Whether something is in fashion or not, Margitte Verwoerdt honestly could not care less. “I like to make combinations, some designer jacket, and vintage trousers, for example, adding a ring…

Whether something is in fashion or not, Margitte Verwoerdt honestly could not care less.

“I like to make combinations, some designer jacket, and vintage trousers, for example, adding a ring of some young designer.” In daily life, she advises individuals and companies buying and selling art, quotes collections and sets up exhibitions. Furthermore, she is involved in the photo-exhibition at Zuidas, ‘Streets of the World’.

“Whatever I am wearing totally depends on my mood and the setting. It can well be something with a wild print, something eccentric, or like for this particular photo shoot ‘less is more’.” If art is your natural habitat, then, of course, AKZO Nobel Art Space is the most obvious location for this photo shoot. “It is a beautiful site where everyone can enjoy Art. You can just walk in and have a cup of coffee. Zuidas needs more of these locations.”

“For the photo shoot, I was inspired by this painting by Robert Zandvliet. My denim-look alike jacket and white pants are by Spanish designer Pedro del Hierro. I travel a lot and do not buy my clothes ‘off the rack’. That way, I often create an eclectic mixture. I finish off my outfits with jewellery and other accessories.”

“Pleasant about nowadays fashion is, you can choose to make endless combinations. I pay special attention to materials, quality, shape, colour and I certainly avoid the every-day look.”

 

Photography Oona Brueren

Comments Off on My style: Margitte Verwoerdt

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search