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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.