Read in: Nederlands

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

Read in: Nederlands