TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Wladimir Schrijver, Managing Director at Luxury Suites Amsterdam
TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
by Melisa Kaya
The history of the building that hosts Luxury Suites Amsterdam dates back to the 18th century. The building, which previously served as a Jazz Concert building (BIMhouse), is now home to the Luxury Suites Amsterdam, located in the heart of Amsterdam, promises guests a luxurious experience in both their short and long-term stays. I talked with Wladimir Schrijver, Managing Director at Luxury Suites Amsterdam, to learn more about their 25 uniquely decorated suites and penthouses, Golden Key approved concierge service, and the spirit of Amsterdam.
Wladimir, before talking about Luxury Suites Amsterdam, could you tell us about yourself and your career?
Born and raised in Amsterdam but looking for adventure, my husband and I had a dream to have our own hotel in Portugal. We bought a very nice property on a Stuw Lake and run this for almost 10 years. After the big depression, we decided to return to Amsterdam.
I found very easily a job as a Front Office Manager in a hotel of a big chain. After doing this I found that it was not my thing. To much mass and not a real personalised contact. I found that there were building a small boutique hotel nearby my house. After talking a couple of times to the Dutch owners I decided a new start. I started as a Reservations Manager. After that, I became the General Manager and now for 2 years I can call my self a proud Managing Director of a beautiful property. In my job, I have a lot to handle with. Budgets, staff, guests, meetings, trainings. It all makes my job very variable and a lot of fun to do. Of course, there is also stress but since I am biking when I commute, I have a chance to relax.
Luxury Suites Amsterdam - Royal Penthouse
Luxury Suites Amsterdam is located in the historic city center. Please tell us about your location, the history of your building and the advantages of being there.
We are located in a residential area of the city centre. The “Oudeschans” (old defense line) used to be the last defense line of the historical city centre in the 15th Century. Where the hotel is built now were only warehouses and shipwarves.
Because of the fact that more and more people came to live and work in Amsterdam because of its trading advantages, houses were needed in Amsterdam. Amsterdam expanded rapidly and in the 18th and 19th Century a lot of the warehouses were transformed into apartments and other houses were built. Before the hotel, the building is used to be a Jazz Concert building (BIMhouse).
Because of the noise problems it gave, the BIMhouse moved to another location in Amsterdam near the sea, the new music building of the IJ. During the building of the hotel, they found all parts of pots and pans and parts of ships.
This needed to be preserved by the archeological department of the TownHall. That was the reason the building took a few years longer as planned.
What do you enjoy most about Amsterdam?
Although Amsterdam is a world city it still has a small village feeling. Most things are within walking or bike distance.
Besides this, it is also a city with a lot of nationalities. You can find restaurants from all over the world here.
Luxury Suites Amsterdam
Could you tell us about Luxury Suites Amsterdam and the overall concept?
Luxury Suites Amsterdam is a small boutique hotel and we love to give our guests personal attention. The competition is quite fierce in Amsterdam but we really make a difference in our approach towards our guests. We want to make sure they feel at home in a very relaxed way.
We are proud of being the Ambassadors of Amsterdam
Luxury Suites Amsterdam - Royal Penthouse
In Luxury Suites Amsterdam you are welcoming your guests with individually designed suites. How many different suites and penthouse option do you offer to your guests? Could you tell us about their features and design details?
We offer Luxury Suites (50m2) with a Kingsize bed, a small sitting area and a dining table. These rooms have a bathroom with a spacious walk-in shower. Some of the Luxury Suites have a small patio on the back side.
Luxury Suites Amsterdam - Royal Suite
We also offer Royal Suites (75m2) with a stunning view on the canal “Oudeschans”, one of Amsterdam’s widest canals. These rooms have a Kingsize bed, a large sitting area, and a dining table. The bathroom is very spacious with a big bath and a separate walk-in shower.
Some of the Royal Suites have two King size beds.
Luxury Suites Amsterdam - Imperial Suite
We have 2 Penthouses (70m2) and 2 Imperial Suites (95m2). They have a spectacular view on the canal “Oudeschans”’ and the top of Amsterdam houses. These rooms have a Kingsize bed, a large sitting area, and a dining table. The bathroom is very spacious with a big bath and a separate walk-in shower. From the bathroom, they also have a view of the Gassan Diamond Factory.
All Suites have a small kitchen so guests can prepare their own meals, if needed.
Luxury Suites Amsterdam - Luxury Suite Patio
What kind of special services do you offer to your guest for making their stay unforgettable?
We start with a complimentary private pick-up service from the airport. Our driver will be waiting for you with an Ipad at the exit of the luggage belt.
We offer a Concierge service for any request. We do not like to say no to a guest or otherwise, we will do everything to find an alternative.
We also offer on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays a free walking tour of two hours to show our beautiful city.
We also offer a free minibar (non-alcholic drinks).
Besides this, we also offer unique devices like WiFi to go (guests can carry a hotspot with them so they always have WiFi in the rest of The Netherlands).
We also have a tablet in the room where guests can read the newspaper of any country for free.
We also have a Handy Telephone. Guests can call dedicated countries for free.
Luxury Suites Amsterdam
What would you want to say about the gastronomic diversity of Amsterdam? How could your guest live this experience?
Amsterdam has a great variety of restaurants, from day to day eating cafe to 2 star Michelin dinner experiences and everything in between. Our restaurant experience in Amsterdam covers most continents as we have the best Thai restaurants, Indian, Steakhouses, and from French restaurants to Schnitzel or vegetarian restaurants to local food restaurants, as well as Asian fusion and sushi restaurants in all categories. Please feel free to contact our concierge at the concierge desk and have him make a reservation in any of these culinary options for you. Sometimes you just want a bite to eat before the theatre and another day you would like to eat out fancy with friends, our concierge can meticulously accommodate these very different wishes and moods.
Sometimes the guests in our hotel just want to stay in for an evening after strolling all day long around Amsterdam, so the hotel staff can cater to that in ordering in collaboration with the guest the best food from Amsterdam has to offer to be brought to the hotel and delivered in the room, where there are ample silverware and plates plus complimentary soft-drinks from the hotel to enjoy a cozy in-room dinner.
Luxury Suites Amsterdam - Luxury Suite
How could your guests spend time at Amsterdam?
There is truly a lot to see and to do in Amsterdam. Now in the winter season, we have ice skating possibilities in Amsterdam.
You can visit museums, make boat tours, shopping, cinema, theaters, biking, etc. One never get bored visiting Amsterdam.
But also outside Amsterdam, there is a lot to explore. In the spring they can explore the bulb fields but also a visit to unique windmills belongs to the possibilities.
We also have 24hours and 48hours programs so guests only need to travel to Amsterdam and we arrange the rest. Depending on the package it can include a private boat tour with a dinner on board (brought in by various restaurants you pass by) and/or a helicopter flight above Holland and partially Amsterdam (restricted area because of Schiphol Airport).
Luxury Suites Amsterdam - Golden Key concierge Peter
Could you tell us about your Golden Key concierge Peter and concierge services?
The Golden Keys are a very recognizable sign of quality, usually immediately spotted by the world travellers that stay in our high-end boutique hotel, as they recognize it from other great properties all over the world where they have stayed before. Its a sign that they can trust all their queries, great or small with the concierge and he will see it done, alone or with the help of the rest of the Front Office Team. Peter has been with the Luxury Suites for 2 years now, after having worked in several other high-quality properties in Amsterdam. The ceremony of pinning on the Golden Keys happened in the lobby of the Luxury Suites in 2017 in accordance and the presence, with the attendance of the chairman of the Golden Keys society in the Netherlands Mr. Ron Stoevelaar.
Peter is a very openminded and knowledgeable person with an immense know how of Amsterdam’s history and architecture as well as restaurants and fun things to do, whether it be for a family with children, or for a young romantic couple or 2 businessmen on a day off from their busy conference, every single guest needs a personal approach for the best results. Peter can easily shift in between these different needs and not come up with standard solutions for different situations, but try to add something personal to each different guest or family. He makes the guests want to return to the Hotel as they feel that they have left friends at the hotel, it’s great to have a friend in an unknown city, Peter tries to be that friend.
Luxury Suites Amsterdam - Lounge
What kind of additional services do you offer for business travelers?
Business travelers are of course also very much welcome. All our guests have free wi-fi which is available also outside the city by carrying a small hotspot from the hotel with them. We even offer a telephone which guests can carry with them and call dedicated countries free of charge. Because we are located in the city centre we also offer valet parking.
Do you have any advantage packs, special offers and deals that you offer to your regular and long-term guests?
We always would like to offer long stay guests something special. Although we do not have a particular package for long stay guests we are always looking for possibilities to spoil guests.
How can travelers make their individual or business/group reservations?
All travelers can make their reservation directly on our website. It is also possible to send any request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the most famous attractions near you?
Very close by are the Rembrandt House Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Nieuwmarkt. On the Nieuwmarkt you can find the “De Waag”. In the old times, this was the entrance gate of Amsterdam where you need to pay the wages the city.
If you have only one weekend in Amsterdam as a first-time visitor, in this limited time, what are the best things to do?
I would advise taking a boat tour. This can be a bigger commercial boat tour or a private boat tour which will bring you also to the smaller canals in Amsterdam. A boat tour is like a trailer of a movie. It gives you a very good impression of the city without spoiling the plot.
How do you describe Amsterdam in one sentence?
It is a combination of everything that makes Amsterdam unique.
Thank you Wladimir for this enjoyable interview.