Zoku: hotel – office – living
Zoku will be facilitating global living and working, it’s a home-office hybrid with the services of a hotel and the social buzz of a thriving neighbourhood. The first Zoku will open this fall in Amsterdam.
Zoku is announced as the end of the traditional hotel room. This new hotel concept is a hotel, office and residential space in one. This way they will meet the needs of global nomads, for who working internationally is an essential part of their lives. The Zoku Loft will offer them an efficient workspace that also provides a comfortable and cozy feeling of home at inspiring places.
On-Air will be a new iconic building in Amsterdam
Real estate developer COD, architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis agency OMA / Rem Koolhaas, the NH Hotel Group and sustainable developer ‘Being Development’ have joined forces and came up with the ‘On-Air’ building as new icon for Amsterdam. It was the winning concept of the tender the municipality of Amsterdam and the RAI Convention Centre issued for the location in the south of the city.
About the alliance
COD developed two hotels in Amsterdam in 2015, Motel One at the Europa Boulevard (320 rooms) and Generator (168 rooms) at the Mauritskade. The recent projects of the OMA agency include the new headquarters for G-Star in Amsterdam (2014) and the towers of The Rotterdam (2013). The NH Hotel Group will implement the nhow-label at ‘On-Air’ with 650 rooms hotel. Being Development is a young and innovative company that develops the sustainable real estate from the end user’s perspective.
The On-Air hotel is designed by OMA / Rem Koolhaas. It will include a restaurant, a TV studio, a spa / gym, shops and a sculpture garden. The sustainability ambition for the building will be ‘BREEAM outstanding’ and it will be carbon neutral. With 650 rooms nhow Amsterdam RAI will be the largest hotel of the Benelux. The start of the construction of this 91 meter high hotel is planned for midst 2016. The location is triangle bounded by the Europa Boulevard, the A10 and the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre.
The municipality of Amsterdam aims for a larger and more varied hotel offer and better spreading across the city. The new hotel and its facilities can be of great value to the city at this location on the south side of the city and the surrounding business district.
The opening of INK Hotel Amsterdam
INK Hotel Amsterdam opened its doors at the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal early April. INK Hotel Amsterdam is an innovative lifestyle hotel ‘where stories are yet to be written…’. The hotel owes its name to the history of the building. And also the interior can be traced back to the former owner, newspaper ‘De Tijd’. The themes ‘Stories, Ink & The Time’ played a role in the determination of the interior.
The hotel has 149 rooms, a garden room, standard business facilities, the ‘PRESSROOM’, patio’s, room service, breakfast-to-go, a gym, free Wi-Fi and a fast check in & out service. The facilities meet today’s expectations, from both local Amsterdam citizens and international guests.
For the interior the hotel collaborated with architect office ‘concrete Amsterdam’. The history of the three former Amsterdam canal houses has inspired the interior from where INK Hotel Amsterdam is built now.
The entrance of the hotel is a reflection of the canals of Amsterdam. You can find high bar tables at the reception along with ‘check-in- tablets’. ‘’We let the boundaries disappear between outside and inside at INK Hotel Amsterdam, with green, rough stones, glass walls and of course a lot of light’’ according to ‘concrete Amsterdam’.
The PRESSROOM is the ‘Drink & Eat’ concept of the hotel. This includes a restaurant, bar and a lounge. The floor consists of the same cement tiles print as in the pressroom. A part of the PRESSROOM is the Library Lounge with a fireplace, leather banks, wood tones and a lot of books.
Smart hospitality: BarDoggy unlocks ‘the Internet of Things’ for the hospitality industry
BarDoggy creates an infrastructure for smart internet in catering establishments. The company places bluetooth sensors that are linked to the Internet (also called iBeacons) in restaurants and bars.
Bardoggy started with connecting the first five catering establishments with iBeacons on 1 March 2015 linking the catering business and the app. Meanwhile, more than 20 establishments have an active link with the Bluetooth sensors. Creator Tim de Kraker focuses on making smart hospitality concepts. After a conversation with an entrepreneur of a local bar Tim de Kraker thought that it would be enormously expensive to create an app for just one pub. Why not create one app for all the pubs which will add value to the user as well?
The app is launched for Android and iOS this year , and there already are a total of more than 50.000 downloads and 20.000 profile pages of entrepreneurs. With their business plan they were able to pick up € 350.000 for the development of their platform and the support of a community to use the services. The app is aimed at young people and now has 100.000 users.
BarDoggy makes hospitality smart and automates a part of the hospitality. There is a connection between all hospitality locations using one central platform to connect to the host. Users have one personal profile and only have to register once to be able to enjoy benefits at all internationally connected SmartBars. (A SmartBar is a hospitality venue with one or more sensors).
Once a user of the platform comes within 50 meters of a sensor, he is recognized and greeted by the hospitality venue with the possibility to offer nice advantages. The possibilities and interaction are numerous. The longer the guest uses the platform the more insight in his profiles is built. Insight on the number of times and duration of the visits and the type of hospitality venues frequented. There are connections established with other social media for acquaintances from other networks can easily find each other. It’s one of the most comprehensive entertainment platforms of Europe. With the app, young people in the target group of 18 to 30 of ages weekly find fun parties, score cheap drinks and will easily see where friends are within the connected SmartBars after the next update.
On 16 April, BarDoggy won a prestigious pitch contest organized by McKenzie Pitch Partners in New York, as best concept and pitch. The jury consisted of four global business leaders including the President Americas Global Corporate Payments of American Express and the Canadian CEO of FedEx. At present, there are ongoing discussions with investors for a new capital injection of 3 to 5 million to roll out BarDoggy. Spain, Portugal and America seem to get more concrete for international expansion.
Laugh your pants of
At the ‘World Laughter Day’ (the first Sunday in May), Herengracht Restaurant & Bar in Amsterdam serves free ‘bitterballen’ (this is a typical Dutch treat, mini croquettes).
Herengracht Restaurant & Bar in Amsterdam is located right at one of the canals. The ideal place for a quick stopover while cruising through the canals. Herengracht Restaurant and Bar will launch a special boat catering menu this spring. Serving a nice and delicious lunch on the water of the Herengracht (one of the main canals). To start the boat-catering-season the Herengracht serves the free ‘bitterballen’ in collaboration with ‘Oma Bobs’, to the boats coming by and the visitors of the Herengracht Restaurant and Bar.
The boat catering season starts with a playful ‘Laugh your pants off’
The typical Dutch saying: ‘Laugh your balls out of your pants’ is freely translated in English as ‘Laugh your pants off’. That’s why The Herengracht Restaurant and Bar is serving ‘Bitterballen’ (balls) at the ‘World Laugther Day’.
‘World Laughter Day’ was founded in 1998 within the motto: “We do not laugh because we are happy, we are happy because we laugh” and takes place every year. On 3 May to boats on the Herengracht canal and visitors of the restaurant or bar can pick up their free ‘bitterballen’. “We will distribute the mini-croquettes as start of the boat-catering-season and because we need more laughter” Says Wessel Kuipers, co-owner of the Herengracht Restaurant and Bar.
Easter campaign in Brielle
We can’t say it often enough: if you do a sales promotion, point it at your potential visitor. After Easter we read about the promotional action of Sven Schreuder for his Brasserie Hotel ‘De Nymph’. Inspiration for Easter next year but in the way he implemented it could work for other campaigns as well.
Fans could hunt for giant Easter eggs in Brielle
Sven hid 10 giant chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday. He did this in Brielle, the town where his brasserie and hotel is located. From 8 o’clock in the morning enthusiasts could try to find the hidden eggs. Last year, participants tried to follow Sven while he was hiding the eggs. So this year he went out extra early! As from 8 o’clock he gave hints on his Facebook page.
The finder of the giant chocolate egg could of course keep it, all finders could get a free ice cream in his ice cream parlor ‘De Koele Kever’ (The Cool Beetle). In addition as an extra incentive Sven hid in one of the eggs a free night at his hotel ‘De Nymph’. A great Easter action and an example of how you can implement a local promotion: local press was involved (the newspaper ‘AD Voorne Putten’ paid attention to the promotion before Easter) and the fact that Sven also used social media to give hints and placed pictures of the ‘finders’ on Facebook. Next to the annual celebration of the Brielle capture by the Sea Beggars on 1 April 1572, the city now has a new tradition.
The Roast Bar and Rotisserie
The Roast Room is the new restaurant of Michael and Saskia Deenik and opened officially on 8 April. The Roast Room is a butcher shop, roast bar and rotisserie in one, located in the RAI Amtrium at the Europaplein in Amsterdam.
The butchers cut the meat that’s used in the restaurant themselves and they make fresh sausages and burgers as well. The vegetables and herbs for the restaurant come from a five floors City Farming space on the south side of the Amtrium.
The Roast Bar and Rotisserie
The Roast Bar on the ground floor is a brasserie which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If the weather allows, it’s possible to eat outside at the terrace. The bar is decorated with large copper beer tanks filled with Warsteiner lager and the special beers.
The Rotisserie, a fine dining restaurant which is open for lunch and dinner, is located on the first floor. It includes a roof terrace for sunny days. The open kitchen has a Rotissoire, a charcoal grill, Australian Beech-wood furnaces for gas burners and a California South Bend-broiler that can heat up to 1,400 degrees Celsius.
The interior is the work of Studio Modijefsky and Studio Molen, who were responsible for the interior of Visaandeschelde as well. Restaurant Visaandeschelde is from the same owners. A bronze ‘Tower of Babel’ with shiny sausages welcomes guests at the entrance, an iconic butcher’s leg dangles in front of the butchery and a giant bronze ‘Ginger’ chandelier is one of the other unique cool features of the restaurant.
10 tips for small gestures that make a room more welcoming
A hotel room is a room where you sleep when you are traveling. Whether this is for business or pleasure, it doesn’t really matter much. The guest pays for the luxury he or she wants to experience during the stay. Yet there are those little gestures you can use to pamper the guest just a little extra. We have collected 10 examples of small suggestions to spice up your hotel room.
We all know the standard of soaps, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, bathing caps, toothbrush sets and shaving kits by now. Many of these amenities disappear in the suitcase and are a lasting reminder of your hotel in the bathroom of your previous guests. Definitely keep the standard amenities as a giveaway. I must say, I’m still positively surprised if I find mini packs makeup remover wipes. Hoteliers, this is highly appreciated by women!
Bath Menu and sunscreen
At the Andaz Hotel in San Diego they have a bowl at the front desk with sunscreen sachets that have a high protection for your face! What a great service. At the Surf & Sand Resort Laguna Beach (Los Angeles) there are cheerful messages on the amenities of the hotel. Texts that make you happy when you walk into the bathroom in the morning.
More and more hotels are offering some kind of a Bath Menu: you can get an extended bath treatment from top soap brands. This can be a form of upselling, recently we wrote about it on horecatrends.com.
Magazines or other books besides the bed
At Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles next to the Getty Museum, the nightstand contains a book with uplifting and cheerful texts and drawings next to the traditional Bible. Guests can buy the book downstairs in the shop as well, along with other fun books in this series! You see more and more luxury hotels that present a selection of magazines in the room. And if you do it, do it right. At the Schloss Bensberg in Bergisch Gladbach we received a daily selection of various magazines!
Children in the hotel room
It always amazes me that there is so little attention to detail for (parents with) children. Occasionally we’ve encountered some toys at a room, a simple gesture which makes a child happy and the parents as well. At Shutters on the Beach Hotel in Santa Monica they have a box in the bookcase with a yo-yo and three juggling balls. For the little ones, they have also a small whale for in the bath! But even older children find these toys fun, is my experience! A beach ball in a seaside hotel or some traditional Dutch games like the reversed buckets that you keep under your feet while walking by two strings in your hand. A doll in traditional costume for the toddler could be fun too, and so on.
Even adults like to play …
Adults also love to play as well, they know that at Shutters on the Beach. At the bathroom they have locked some guilty pleasures in a bathroom cabinet. More hotels are offering excitement in this form, sometimes in collaboration with well-known adult shops like Christine le Duc.
Yoga offer in your hotel room
At LUXURY Sunset Boulevard hotel a yoga mat in your hotel room is ready to use. There is a business card attached to it that says “Decompress with my yoga works” and it includes a code for a month of online yoga classes. Guests can also attend a complimentary yoga class at a location nearby. It could be interesting to collaborate with a local yoga teacher on this. Or if you haven’t got a gym at the hotel, working together with a gym nearby can be an option as well.
Use a minibar in a charming way.
In a number of luxury hotels the minibar is already free of charge. Given the prices you pay for the room, the cost is often negligible. It is really charming to offer some drinks for free in any case, even a simple bottle of water on the nightstand is appreciated by your guests. Every day the Andaz Hotel in San Diego offered some drinks and snacks for free. They would put these on top of the mini-bar with a friendly note attached.
Do not disturb sign
The Marriott hotel in Dana Point California has a special ‘do not disturb’ sign: Gone Surfin ! It’s definitely responding to local conditions ;-). The Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach (Los Angeles) has a ‘do not disturb sign’ sign that you put into the keyhole. That will keep the maid out if you want to sleep..
Local hints in your hotel room
It’s old fashioned but at the luxury hotels it’s certainly still common, a box of stationery and postcards. Yet there are more and more people who just send postcards from their holiday address. The Surf & Sand Resort has put a handful of shells from the beach in their box which can be added to your letter. What is a local element at your location? If it’s the view, provide a binoculars for your guests.
Responding to special circumstances for your guests …
Nothing is easier than a guest who indicates that he or she is at your hotel to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or something else. An opportunity to score for an open goal. And yet many hotels miss this! A small cake with a personal congratulation can sparkle a miracle and is often shared via social media. It is not really about what you do, as long as you do something.
Marjolein van Spronsen
Fiii Fun House, the place that has everything to make kids happy
Fiii Fun House is a fun restaurant for kids. It has toys, swings, hanging hammocks (for the sleepy young ones), a coloring table, a ballroom, a play area for babies and an area for the parents and other adults to enjoy a meal while the kids play.
The interior of Fiii Fun house
Fiii house is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is designed by architect Iris Cantante, obviously with kids in mind! The environment is eco-friendly and a lot of wood was used in the design to create a calming atmosphere. The owners Mariela Vergagni and Diego Cores have an eatery that offers something for everybody from 0 till 99 years of age. The two-story space features a top floor designated for private events and a bottom floor with long communal tables, with for example swings as seats. So no more: ‘don’t rock your chair!’
Upselling with a luxury bathing service
At the Ritz hotel in Kuala Lumpur, you can choose a bath ‘fragrance line’ from a Bath Menu. A luxurious gesture … We wrote about the Bath Menu in our publication ‘Royal hospitable gestures’ in April 2013.
Luxury bathing service at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
Recently we read an article on Luxury Launches that the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel is bringing back the Bath Ritual. This (free) service is only available to guests of the suites of the hotel. The guests can choose between 3 rituals: Journey to India, Journey on the Silk Route and Journey to Africa. The bath will be prepared while guests drink or dine. After returning to your room, your bath will be ready and you can bathe with a set of fragrances, body oils and unguents, while enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of cake or something healthy. After this relaxing bath you can use the lotion from one of the ‘ritual bath’ lines.
Inspiration: More luxury hotels offer a ‘bath butler’ service. The butler comes to your room with the luxury bath products the hotel offers, you choose the one you prefer and buy it. If a hotel offers the right products this might be a form of upselling.