PAUL – CHEF

Our chef Paul has been working at the Lloyd Hotel for 15 years. His career started off a bit differently than you would expect. Paul started a technical training at first. As a side job he worked at the Zoo in Amersfoort, where they hosted many parties for large groups. After this he decided to start training as a chef. His parents were less happy with this career switch, although his technical background did come in handy in the kitchen. “There’s no need to call a mechanic if the kitchen appliances fail”, says Paul.

Because of a newspaper article he read, Paul started working at Sluizer in the Utrechtsestraat 20 years ago. He describes this period as a big learning opportunity. After Sluizer Paul started working for the Lloyd Restaurant, of which Liesbeth Mijnlieff was the initiator. She had a clear vision for the restaurant, inspired by her experience from Café Restaurant Amsterdam. In the beginning her way of working was very difficult for the cooks to get used to, but it certainly was a welcome challenge. The restaurant started with a unique concept; ‘Slow & Fast’. These terms were meant for internal use but quickly became known in Amsterdam. Paul fondly describes the concept: “it was new, crazy, different and very chaotic.” Everything could be ordered from a stew to an Indian rice table. This made cooking for a table of 4 extremely complicated. Soon we realized that this was not the most efficient way to work and the amount of choices were reduced on the menu. This created more room for variation. “These type of changes have kept my enthusiasm up for the past 15 years”, says Paul.

Paul also likes to be the chef at home, he always cooks for his family. His daughter has never had a store-bought meal, she always gets a freshly cooked meal. “We like to organize dinners, and everyone likes to come, even without an invitation”, he says.

The menu of Lloyd Restaurant changes every season. Paul finds it important to involve his team in coming up with surprising dishes. “I used to love it when the chef put my ideas on the menu”, he says. With all these ideas he forms combinations that then come together to form the new menu. In addition to the new creations, there are always a number of classics on the menu such as our Hamburger and the Caesar salad. For the regular guests he brings back some favourites on the menu. Taste combinations are developed through tasting, a lesson learned during his first job at the zoo. “You have to meet people who know different combinations and recognize flavours, that’s how you come up with a dish”, he adds. “This is not something I learned at home because my mother preferred to stand in the kitchen as little as possible.”

The newly designed kitchen of Lloyd Restaurant in 2018 was much needed. It ensures that the kitchen routing is clear, the team works faster and there is a larger capacity. “In short, we can take on more”, says the chef. This also affects the new menu, we can think bigger. The thought of changing the menu completely has popped up in Paul’s head from time to time, but he is still a fan of the typical Lloyd style.

He describes his profession as creative and technical, with a good dose of organisational skills. It’s varied, especially in a hotel because every day is different. This makes his work challenging, but for Paul the Lloyd Hotel has been the best challenge for the past 15 years.

MAJORIE & JEANINE – EVENTS

Lloyd Hotel started out as a creative hotel that turned out to be very popular in the business world. The close-knit event planners Majorie de Groot and Jeanine Freese are happy to talk about their work. Lloyd Hotel has always been the special hotel everyone likes to return to, says Majorie. When I first started working here, I was always thinking “wow!”; the combination of creativity offers a lot of possibilities. The hotel and the rooms are all so different and separate, adds Jeanine.

Majorie, manager meeting & events, initially started as restaurant manager and was given a new position due to the demand for location rental. She designed the Meeting & Events department. Jeanine joined 5 years ago. Majorie: ‘Lloyd Hotel is full of unusual stories, it’s a special place to host business meetings. Initially, the hotel was not designed for this purpose, which is also the reason it has such unusual spaces and it stands out from the crowd, it is a much sought-after location.’. Jeanine; ‘Diversity is embraced with genuine interest, it makes our spaces ‘places to connect’, places where people meet,’ says Jeanine.

Nothing is too crazy

Lloyd Hotel is a place to connect; between disciplines, between people, between companies. Playfulness and creativity create an openness in which a great deal is possible,’ says Majorie. They experience the craziest things. We love it when people want something out-of-the-box,’ says Jeanine. We really can do a lot. Everyone in the team helps out. At Lloyd Hotel, various events take place, from international meetings to gala dinners, from car presentations to DJ sets and from children’s parties to wedding proposals. At Lloyd Hotel anything is possible.

Amsterdam

Both are not only ambassadors of Lloyd Hotel but also of the city of Amsterdam. For Jeanine, this city is ‘the universe’. The Lloyd Hotel represents the city in a certain ways with the creative connections and surprises you can find there. Majorie: ‘It’s bubbling with creativity here, the diversity which is typical for Amsterdam I also sense in the hotel.’

The Dutch capital has a special attraction for both for tourists and for organisations that want to host an event. Majorie: ‘We have a strong NGO network, who choose Amsterdam because of its central location and international guests who want the Amsterdam experience.

Unique identity

We have guests from all over the world; From guests who are less used to and not looking for the typical “plush hotel”, to guests who are looking for a 5-star experience. Jeanine: ‘If you spend a week here, you should feel comfortable and at home. Our colleagues in the restaurant and housekeeping do their best to recognize guests, that immediately makes you feel welcome.

The Lloyd Hotel has a unique identity in which creativity is guaranteed. That gives this place a special image. It is accessible and informal. It doesn’t matter whether you are staying in a 1 star or a 5 star room, everyone is treated in the same way. Often the initial connection with our guests develops into a more personal one. From the moment the phone rings to waving good-bye at the end of the event, we are the main contact for our guests. The personal touch is our main strength,’ says Jeanine.

Looking for a special location? Organise an event in the original office of the Royal Dutch Lloyd (1921) or in our Piano Room designed by Atelier van Lieshout. Meet on one of the platforms, designed by MVRDV. Get some fresh air whilst you wander around the docks during your walking meeting or take a boat trip from our Jetty. The Playground lives up to its name with all possible games for a creative session or use the Salon for a festive private dinner. On our terrace you can enjoy an excellent lunch, drink or BBQ.

PIET BOOGERT – GENERAL MANAGER

Since the opening of Lloyd Hotel, Piet Boogert has been the General Manager. With his valuable pillars of diversity, inclusiveness and curiosity, he contributes to the unique culture of the hotel, which is so much more than just a hotel. On November 11th, the Lloyd Hotel celebrates its 15th anniversary with Piet at the helm. Join him for a tour at 11am, 2pm and 3pm!

Innovative
Lloyd Hotel was the beginning of a new development in the hotel business. In March 2005 the Financial Times named us in a publication ‘Good design can make all the difference’. I find it very exciting that I am part of this. When the rooms weren’t ready yet, I went to a conference about the hotelmarket with moodboards. I was declared a fool because we placed the bath in the middle of the hotel room. By now there is hardly any boutique hotel without a freestanding bath in a room.

Experiment
It’s a hotel where people dare to experiment. And anyone who experiments runs the risk of being turned down. We still get reviews from guests who don’t like it. We always respond to this. Sometimes we know how to make people fan after a complaint, that’s what I like best. Then we managed to take them along on our journey of discovery.

Diverse
When Lloyd Hotel just started it instantly became popular. The press was very enthusiastic. But we didn’t want it to become a hype. It had to be a future-oriented place. The group of entrepreneurs with whom we opened Lloyd Hotel was very diverse. Suzanne Oxenaar was very culture savvy. Otto Nan was strong in business. I was the experienced hotelier. We all brought with us a different network, like current employees do as well. This mix sometimes creates tension, but at the same time makes it interesting. It suits me well, diversity and inclusiveness are very important to me.

Culture
The hotel is more than just a hotel, many travellers will find a unique culture. Artists are involved in exhibitions and the rooms are created by different designers. I believe that high culture and popular culture should be able to coexist without prejudice.

FOMO
We have 117 different rooms and are the first hotel in the world where you can choose from a 1- to -5 star room. This idea came in response to the Fear Of Missing Out. Here you have a different experience every time you visit. We don’t have pictures of all rooms. At first the idea was not to share any photos at all, when you go to stay with family you don’t ask for photos of the bedroom beforehand either. In practice this was of course not tenable.

Favourite
My favorite room has shifted over the years, as if Lloyd Hotel gives you the opportunity to grow with it. The Chelsea room (112) is one of my most precious rooms, Linda Troeller, who lived in the Chelsea Hotel for 25 years, shared her photos with us. As a tribute to the Chelsea Hotel we made this room. The piano room (221) I see as a beautiful meeting room, Joep van Lieshout made this room truly iconic.

Room 112: The Chelsea Room (4*)

Interaction
In the hotel business you can notice a development towards self-check-in kiosks. However I hope that human interaction will remain, for me this is essential. I always do my best to get to know our guests, the interaction makes it interesting. The ‘open arms’ culture is made by the people who work here, together the people create the identity of a hotel.

Curious
As far as I am concerned, hospitality goes hand in hand with an open attitude towards others, regardless of their clothing or appearance. At the hotel school, many students are taught to work within a framework, with us, interns see that hospitality can also be different. You can’t be hospitable without being curious.

Fifteen years in charge of Lloyd Hotel delivers memorable moments. His focus on diversity, curiosity and inclusiveness have been created since he was a child. Piet grew up in a farmers family, where people in need were always welcome. His dean lured him into hotel industry. At the Hogeschool Maastricht he developed into a host pure sang. The school eventually taught him to stay close to himself. Anyone who meets him during the week always sees Piet in a suit, and at the weekend he wears jeans, even when he’s at work. The suit and tie are part of his identity, with which he triggers others not to judge him on his appearance.

DAVE – WAITER

Our true Amsterdammer Dave has been working as a waiter in our restaurant for the past year. Working 4 days a week makes him one of the regular faces in our team. You can describe Dave as a hard worker and an all-round nice guy, someone who really wants to do good and a true happy face. During a conversation with Dave he talks about our guests, the menu, the neighbourhood and also about himself.

Various

‘Our restaurant has been renovated in the past year. I would describe it as a brasserie with a fresh style. The architecture is divers and layered, it seems to reflect the variety of work we do. You won’t find an old-fashioned vibe here, and we mainly get positive reactions to the changes we recently made to the restaurant.

I’m also very curious to see what the new furniture in the rooms look like, and especially what people think of the room designed by Bas Kosters.’

Favourite

‘Every season we change our menu. Before the menu is released in the restaurant we get to taste it. It’s great to get to understand the menu, which enables you to recommend and explain items on the menu to our guests. Our guests appreciate the seasonal menu, but we are also asked when favourite dishes will come back. The pasta Vongele is very popular and also my favourite!’

Hotspots

‘We often share hotspots with each other. I love Amsterdam East, for sports and food. I enjoy boxing at East Bound Gym, really fantastic. They have those sweaty sofas. East Bound is not like a standard gym, it has a more living room feel to it. When you enter the gym, you find yourself in a room where you can chill out, which creates a nice atmosphere. The beer garden in East is also a fantastic concept -for tasty beers- and the terrace of Lloyd Hotel is great. It really is! I quite frequently end up staying for a drink after work, it’s comfortable and has a lounge-like vibe.’

Well cared for

‘I recently took a cocktail course. Our cocktails are becoming more and more popular, because of their great taste, but also because they are not stupidly expensive. I enjoy making them. It’s great!

On busy days, especially on the terrace, you walk crazy distances. But we are well taken care of here. We get lunch and dinner, and twice a week a masseuse comes by to give massages to the team. But too be honest I’m a bit afraid of massages.’

Crazy things?

‘We don’t experience many crazy things. The band Venice gave a concert here a while back, which was great! The restaurant was full of Venice fans. An older American woman walked in, I think she was around 70. She wasn’t expecting the crowds and you could see she was startled. But she turned around to the band and did a split right in front of the stage. I thought that was really cool!’

Familiar faces

‘An older couple over 80, he gives a very firm handshake. They usually order wine. He likes white, she often chooses red. Sometimes he has a notepad with him, then he orders a different wine from the wine list and takes notes. He always ends his visit with an Irish coffee. His birthday is on the same day as mine.’

Working at Lloyd Hotel

‘You come into contact with so many different cultures, which is great. I have also learned a lot, in the field of service. It is very diverse, because there are so many different tasks. I love the fact that you get to know your colleagues and guests. If you want to work here, you have to speak easy, our guests like getting to know you and all that is going on at the hotel. It would be nice to have some new colleagues, so that we can spend even more time getting to know our guests.

Before, I worked at Loetje, whilst following my studies to become a physical education teacher. As of September, I’m going to study communication in addition to working at Lloyd Hotel.’