A day in… ‘s-Hertogenbosch

If you would like to go off-the-beaten-path for your next meeting or event, I highly suggest the hidden Dutch secret that is called ‘s-Hertogenbosch. I know, it’s a handful to pronounce, but you may also call it Den Bosch, as the city is colloquially known. ‘s-Hertogenbosch has all the ingredients for a well-rounded, memorable event. It’s is a place where old meets new, hospitality meets Burgundian culture and art meets nature – a perfect backdrop for your event.

St. John's Cathedral Den Bosch

Facts

‘s-Hertogenbosch is the capital of the province North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands
‘s-Hertogenbosch, which means ‘The Duke’s Forest’, is colloquially known as Den Bosch
‘s-Hertogenbosch is known for its hospitality and unique Burgundian culture
Population: 150,000

Getting there

With 6 international airports at close by ‘s-Hertogenbosch is superbly accessible. The closest airport is Eindhoven Airport, which is only 35km/22mi from ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport offers frequent daily train connections, which will take you to ‘s-Hertogenbosch in less than an hour. Other airport options in Holland are Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Maastricht Airport. In addition, Düsseldorf Airport in Germany and Zaventem Brussels Airport in Belgium are a respective 110km/68mi and 125km/78mi away.

By the way, ‘s-Hertogenbosch is also known as Holland’s connectivity city, due to its very central location in the country. Conveniently this makes it very easy to reach ‘s-Hertogenbosch by train from all major Dutch cities.

Meeting and business venues

‘s-Hertogenbosch is still one of the off-the-path Dutch meeting destinations, but it truly offers everything to host a great event – no matter the size. From historic venues to modern hidden secrets, ‘s-Hertogenbosch will surprise you with a great variety of event venues. Let me give you a glimpse of what you can expect:

Modern
The brand new KASerne is a hotel, restaurant and unique meeting venue (for up to 200 people) all in one. It’s a place where you experience the hospitality that the region is renowned for. And best of all: one of the meeting spaces is a modernised, former greenhouse.
073 Meeting Company is a modern, no-nonsense event location. Efficient meetings in a pleasant environment, state-of-the-art meeting facilities, a variety of after-dinner options and centrally located. What more can you ask for?!

Classic
Today’s standards combined with yesterday’s values. That’s what Hotel Central in the heart of ‘s-Hertogenbosch stands for. The multifunctional meeting rooms offer space for up to 300 attendees.
De Orangerie is without a doubt one of the most enchanting meeting venues you will find in Holland. The former church dates back to 1859 and will surely leave a lasting impression.
In 1931 ‘s-Hertogenbosch opened its first indoor cattle market. Since then the building has become a historic landmark and is now a convention venue. 1931 Congress Centre Brabanthallen‘s multifunctional space can host up to 2,000 guests.

Hidden secrets
When I say meeting, you won’t necessarily say wellness next. But, it is possible at Meetwell. Experience the perfect mix of business and wellness by adding creative and unconventional elements to your event.

Do you want to add some drama to your event? At Theater aan de Parade you can take your meeting to the theatre stage. The rest is up to you until the curtain call!

After your meeting

In ‘s-Hertogenbosch, which was founded as fortified city, heritage and modern architecture go hand in hand. Did I mention that ‘s-Hertogenbosch is most renowned for its Burgundian culture? Enjoying the good life is definitely part of the city’s DNA. This mix makes ‘s-Hertogenbosch an attraction in itself and offers you plenty of opportunities to relax and recharge before, after or during your meeting or event.

Museums
From historical to contemporary art, from young designers to renowned artists like Jheronimus Bosch or Vincent van Gogh – you can enjoy it all in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Take a guided tour through one of the museums or discover the inspiring works by yourself.

Stedelijk Museum: museum for contemporary art and design and one of the two museums located in ‘s-Hertogenbosch’s museum quarter.
Het Noord Brabants Museum: the second museum located in the museum quarter displays regional art, history and culture including original works by Jheronimus Bosch and Vincent van Gogh.
Jheronimus Bosch Art Centre: It’s all in the name! The international knowledge and experience centre is a unique tribute to Jheronimus Bosch and a ‘must-see’ while in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Sights
The river Binnendieze is arguably one of the most popular attractions in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Sail the canals and gain unique insights into the history, architecture and culture of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Even better: take the Jeroen Bosch ‘Heaven and Hell’ boat trip on the river, which takes you along sculptures from Jheronimus Bosch paintings, a unique screening of a short movie and ends at the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center.

If you prefer heights over smooth sailing, you might want to opt for the ‘Een wonderlijke klim‘ (‘An Enchanting Climb’) tour up the Sint-Jan Cathedral. In this dizzying experience you can walk along the cathedral’s roof gutter and discover the 96 sculptures otherwise almost impossible to spot. And while you’re up there, you should not forget to take in the breathtaking view of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the beautiful region.

Bosch by Night is a spectacular open-air light show on the market square in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, where Jheronimus Bosch once had his studio.

Shopping
Don’t let ‘s-Hertogenbosch’s smaller size fool you. It’s still a shopping heaven with more  than 150 shops waiting to be discovered. Just stroll around the city and thou shall find! My favourite areas are around Snellestraat and Verwersstraat, where you can find inspriational boutique shops. Caught a rainy day? Visit Conceptstore Robbies for indoor fashion, lifestyle, food and coffee.

Restaurants
As I may have mentioned once or twice before, ‘s-Hertogenbosch breathes Burgundian culture and hospitality. So no surprise that you will have a hard time choosing your culinary experiences while in town. There are three main restaurant area’s in the city centre: Uilenburg, Korte Putstraat and Parade, where your taste buds will surely be satisfied. But just in case you’re simply not able to choose, here are a few recommendations:

Korte Putstraat Den Bosch

Noble: dine in the informal restaurant, enjoy an intimate dinner or simply have a drink at the bar and enjoy the distinguished Chalet Royal building. Tip: Noble also offers a meeting room for up to 12 people.
At Fabuleux not only the French seasonal cuisine will appeal to your senses, but also the cozy, historic building in the heart of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
Looking for a more unusual dining experience? The menu at Sense consists of a variety of small courses, which can be ordered in random order. I should also mention that Sense proudly holds a Michelin star.

If you want to experience the burgundian atmosphere like the locals do, I highly recommend paying a visit to the local beer brewery Cafe Bar Le Duc. They even have meeting space for up to 12 people. Make sure to try the Jheronimus Bosch Beer and maybe even go on a tour of their brewery.
Beer really isn’t your thing? Fear not! Wijnbar Bij Dirk is ‘s-Hertogenbosch’s first true wine bar offering wines from around the world. Just sip and enjoy surrounded by a chique and trendy interior.

And last but most certainly not least (well, not in my book anyways): you simply cannot leave ‘s-Hertogenbosch without tasting one typical and very famous local pastry: the ‘Bossche Bol’ at bakery Jan de Groot. This delicious pastry is filled with whipped cream and coated almost entirely with dark chocolate. Hmm..

A Bossche Bol - Jan de Groot

A day in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

‘s-Hertogenbosch is one of those cities that you can talk about quite a lot, but that simply has to be experienced. Nonetheless, I hope you have gotten a good taste of our hidden gem in the southern part of Holland and the possibilities it offers as meeting and event destination. Please feel free to reach out to my colleagues from Convention Bureau Brabant for more information.

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A day in… Eindhoven

If you are looking for a creative environment for your next meeting or event, Eindhoven is without a doubt your place to be in the Netherlands! Known as the design capital of the Netherlands, Eindhoven is a creative hub in the fields of design, technology and knowledge. Philips’ influence on the (development of) the city can be experienced everywhere. Choosing Eindhoven as the destination for your next meeting, convention or event will leave you buzzing with inspiration – guaranteed!

Septemberplein Eindhoven

Facts

Eindhoven is the 5th largest municipality in the Netherlands
Eindhoven is the capital of Dutch Industrial Design
Eindhoven is a creative hub in the fields of design, technology and knowledge
Population: 225,000

Getting there

Due to its convenient location in the south of the Netherlands, Eindhoven is easily accessible from 5 of international airports in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium: Eindhoven Airport (just outside the city), Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (1.5 hrs), Maastricht Aachen Airport (1 hr), Rotterdam The Hague Airport (2 hrs), Zaventem Brussels Airport (Belgium, 1.5 hrs) and Dusseldorf Airport (Germany, 1.5 hrs).

In addition, Eindhoven is easily accessible by train and car from all major cities in Holland.

Meeting and business venues

Eindhoven offers a wide range of classic, modern and unique meeting and convention venues. The price-quality ratio of the region’s hotels and venues are favourable compared to the more renowned Dutch cities, which makes Eindhoven an excellent alternative meeting destination.

Industrial
The Klokgebouw is the epitome of a creative hub. The former Philips factory was fully transformed and now offers space for creative entrepreneurs and companies. In addition, event space for up to 10,000 visitors is available. The Klokgebouw, which is located on Eindhoven’s creative ‘mile’ Strijp-S, is also home to the Blue Collar Hotel.
Another former Philips venue is Radio Royaal, which now first and foremost serves as a restaurant. However, the venue is also available for meetings and events of all sorts. The characteristics and machines of the former energy hall have been preserved, giving the space its impressive industrial feel.

Classic
If you are looking for a more classic meeting or event location, Eindhoven has you covered as well. Evoluon is an iconic, eye-catching, multifunctional venue that your attendees will never forget. Hotel Pullman Cocagne Eindhoven has a beautiful winter garden with space for up to 400 delegates – amongst many other meeting spaces. 040 Congress & Events is a state-of-the-art congress centre with meeting capacities for up to 2,500 people. And if you want to connect with a network of world-class innovators you should definitely consider Eindhoven’s Hightech Campus Conference Center for your event.

Hidden Secret
Light up your event at Lac Studios. The former Philips Lighting showroom has been transformed into three unique meeting spaces that will leave your attendees enlightened.
If you are looking for a bit more serenity, ‘t Boshuys might be the hidden secret you’re looking for – quite literally! Located just outside of the city, ‘t Boshuys is a peaceful and serene event location in the middle of a forest.

After your meeting

As design capital of the Netherlands it comes as no surprise that Eindhoven is buzzing with creative energy. Something that you are bound to experience after your meeting.

Museums
Eindhoven offers a variety of museums covering art, design, technology, sports and more. Here are a few not-to-miss suggestions:

Van Abben Museum: one of the first public museums for contemporary art established in Europe
Philips Museum: Experience 125 years of Philips history and discover a world of innovation and entrepreneurship
DAF Museum: See more than 120 historic vehicles and learn about innovation and technology in the car industry
PSV Museum: Discover 100 years of PSV history. A must for every football fan!

Sights
Eindhoven offers some pretty unique sights and things to do. But then again, that is to expected from such a creative city! How about a Space Walk in the city? Download the app ‘Ruimtewandelen in het Stadswandelpark’ (space walk in the park) from the App store or Google play. Then take a walk in the Stadswandelpark (city park) and you just might encounter an astronaut and other space creatures. Afterwards you can visit the Observatory, which is also located in the park. If you are up for a bike ride, you should definitely take a bike tour to the Van Gogh -Roosegaarde bike path, which is part of the van Gogh cycle route.

Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bicycle Path - Eindhoven

Strijp-S is an industrial park turned creative, innovative and cultural hot spot where the people and entrepreneurs of Eindhoven get together to be inspired and inspire, have a drink, shop, live, work and meet. Just taking a break here and sipping a coffee will get you buzzing with creative energy.

On the 18 September Plein in Eindhoven’s old city centre you will find The Blob, an architectural masterpiece by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas. The unique glass and steel structure also forms the entrance to The Admirant shopping mall.

Shopping
Eindhoven’s city centre offers lots of shops, warehouses, design and concept stores – and all within walking distance. Stores are open 7 days a week (except for a few holidays) making Eindhoven a fabulous shopping city.

Urban Shopper – located on Strijp-S – is an exclusive, urban shopping oasis. Here you’ll find everything from industrial furniture, the latest fashion, antiques, unique and creative handmade products and so much more. I dare you to take a stroll and not buy anything!

De Bergen is a charming, artistic area located in former historic city centre of Eindhoven and perfect for a leisurely stroll. The streets are lined with cozy cafes and an array of art-, book- and antique stores.

Every third Sunday of the month, the Feel Good Market takes place at Strijp-S. It’s a lively market filled with design, art, fashion, vintage, kids stuff, (organic) food and regional products. If you happen to be in town, this is a happening you won’t want to miss!

Restaurants
Eindhovenoffers culinairy options for any taste and budget. Here are a few of my favourites:

Ketelhuis: housed in Philips’ former transformer building, Ketelhuis is becoming the living room of the Strijp-S area. It’s a restaurant, bar, food lab, coffee place, bakery and even has a rooftop garden. Don’t blame me if you won’t want to leave again!

Puur Pien: Artist-turned-chef Pien cooks all meals herself using only pure ingredients. Puur Pien is a small, cozy place where you feel right at home. Tip: if the weather is great just get everything to-go and enjoy your meal outdoors.

Vestdijk 47: Enjoy a new French cuisine where classic cooking styles meet modern presentation. Part of Vestdijk 47 is Bar 47, which offers a great assortment of luxurious digestives.

Wynwood: stylish, sexy, delicious and accessible. That’s Wynwood. Located on the infamous Strijp-S Wynwood is a great spot for business appointments, lunch, dinner or drinks & nibbles.

Piet Hein Eek: internationally renowned designer Piet Hein Eek’s restaurant is much more than that: it’s an art gallery, meeting space and dinner house. And of course the interior is styled with his own designs. Get ready to get inspired!

And, if you really can’t choose you can also take a culinairy city walk, a great way to get a taste of Eindhoven.

A day in Eindhoven

I have to be quite honest with you here. A day in Eindhoven simply isn’t enough to discover this Dutch gem of a city. I’ve spent many days in Eindhoven and still get surprised every time I visit. But like they say, you always need a reason to come back. And Eindhoven will give you plenty of reasons.

NH Collection launches in Amsterdam

Traveling for business on a regular basis can be quite demanding. When it comes to staying at the business hotel of your choice, it makes all the difference in the world if you feel recognized and rewarded. And that is exactly what NH Collection stands for.

NH Collection brand image

NH Collection – Feel the extraordinary

NH Collection, NH Hotel Group’s new upper-scale brand, caters to guests who are looking for and appreciate that extra service mile being walked for them. Premium hotel facilities and excellent service are a matter of course at NH Collection. The brand has numerous 4 and 5 star hotels, which are located in historic and iconic buildings in convenient locations. True to the motto ‘feel the extraordinary’ NH Collection’s hotels aims to create a memorable experience for each guest. Exceeding guest expectations is each hotel’s goal.

NH Collection hotels in Amsterdam

On April 7, the NH Collection brand launched in Amsterdam with the re-opening of three unique and inspiring locations in the beating heart of the city: NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, NH Collection Barbizon Palace and NH Collection Doelen.

NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky – Iconic venue on ‘the Dam’

The NH Collection’s flagship hotel in The Netherlands is undoubtedly the renowned NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky.

After two years of re-construction the hotel radiates its grandeur more than ever. The hotel was built 150 years ago by A.W. Krasnapolsky, a Polish entrepreneur who started the empire as proprietor of a coffee house. Krasnapolsky was well known for his innovative entrepreneurship: he was the first hotelier who integrated bathrooms into hotel rooms and who came up with the concept of room service. Thank you, Mr. Krasnapolsky!

Today NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky tells 55 buildings with 451 rooms and suites including a Royal and Presidential Suite. For meeting planners, the hotel offers 2200m2/23.680ft2 state-of-the-art meeting- and event space with enough room for up to 1500 attendees. Most notably: the hotel’s exceptional Winter Garden, which also serves as breakfast area.

In February 2016, NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky was named ‘Best Meeting- and Event Location in The Netherlands’ by the National Meeting Award.

Address:
Dam 9
1012 JS Amsterdam
The Netherlands

See NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky on Google maps

Telephone: +31 (0) 20 554 9111
E-Mail: nhcollectionkrasnapolsky@nh-hotels.com

NH Collection Barbizon Palace – focus on gastronomy

NH Collection Barbizon Palace is superbly located in a beautiful 17th century building across from Amsterdam’s Central Station. The building alone would be worth a visit. Add the NH Collection concept and you probably won’t want to leave again.

NH Collection Barbizon Palace offers 12 meeting rooms for up to 330 attendees in theatre-style setting. The most unique (events) feature of NH Collection Barbizon Palace is without a doubt the stunning St Olof’s Chapel, which dates back to the 15th century. The hotel and chapel are connected via an underground passage. St Olof’s Chapel is arguably one of the most enchanting meeting- and event locations available in Amsterdam.

Until April 30, the chapel was home to pop-up restaurant Roomservice at Olof’s. The ‘flexitarian’ restaurant put vegetables in the spotlight and was built with the old interiors of the NH Collection Barbizon Palace. Another impressive showpiece at the hotel is the Michelin-starred Restaurant Vermeer, where Chef Chris Naylor will surprise you with his extraordinary creations. Vermeer will re-open in the beginning of June 2016.

Address:
Prins Hendrikkade 59-72
1012 AD Amsterdam
The Netherlands

See NH Collection Barbizon Palace on Google maps

Telephone: +31 (0)20 556 4564
E-mail: nhcollectionbarbizonpalace@nh-hotels.com

NH Collection Doelen – Where Rembrandt, Empress Sissi and The Beatles gathered

Located in a building that dates back to the 15th century, NH Collection Doelen is the oldest hotel in Amsterdam. So it comes as no surprise that the hotel has a rich and fascinating history. For example, painter Rembrandt van Rijn was asked to paint his world renowned ‘De Nachtwacht’ (The Night Watch) in 1642 to be exhibited in the building. Up until today the hotel’s Rembrandt suite is an ode to the painting, which in fact hung at the suite’s wall. In the 19th century, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Empress Sissi, was a regular at NH Collection Doelen. And in 1964 the Beatles stayed at the hotel while performing their only show in The Netherlands.

NH Collection Amsterdam Doelen offers 81 newly renovated boutique-style rooms, with modern design and traditional characteristics. Meeting space is available for up to 220 attendees. The hotel is located on the banks of the Amstel river and even has a private boat landing.

Another unique feature of NH Collection Amsterdam Doelen: Restaurant Swych. Executive chef Rudolf Brand (former sous-chef of NH Collection Barbizon Palace’s 1* Michelin Restaurant Vermeer) offers guests a menu where vegetables and herbs play the centre role. But no worries if you are not vegetarian. Meat and fish can be ordered as side-dish.

Address:
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 26
1012 CP Amsterdam
The Netherlands

See NH Collection Doelen on Google maps

Telephone: +31 (0)20 554 0600
E-mail: nhcollectiondoelen@nh-hotels.com

Experience the NH Collection Hotels Amsterdam in 360˚

Tip: click on the up/down/left/right button in the top left corner of the video to experience the hotels from all angles. It’s pretty amazing!

Ready to feel the extraordinary?

The teams at NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, NH Collection Barbizon Palace and NH Collection Doelen look forward to welcoming you and making your event or business stay extraordinary. Download the NH Collection Hotels Amsterdam brochure to find out even more about the three stunning NH Collection Amsterdam venues.

cover page NH Collection Hotels Amsterdam brochure

Meeting design made easy

Three. Two. One. Done! That’s how easy it should be to get started on your meeting design. Because let’s face the facts: as a meeting or event planner time is a luxury that is not part of the budget. In reality, finding the perfect location and supplier for your business event can be a time consuming endeavour though. Since the Dutch are known for their innovative solutions and creative thinking we turned this challenge into a solution. Let me introduce you to the Holland Site Selector.

The Holland Site Selector – more than just a tool

The Holland Site Selector is an easy-to-use tool that will only take 5 minutes of your time. And you can trust me on this as I have tried it myself many times! But it is so much more than a tool: it will inspire and help you design the business event of your dreams.

Personal meeting advice in four easy steps

In just 4 steps you can tell us what kind of event you are planning and we will deliver a tailor-made advice straight to your inbox. Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t. Here is how it works:

Step 1 – Your Type of meeting

Select the type of meeting you are organising. Is it a conference, exhibition, product launch, brainstorm, client event, corporate event or board meeting?  Holland Site Selector step 1

Step 2 – How Many Participants

Tell us how many delegates you are expecting to attend your event. Not sure yet? Just use the sliders to give an indication. Anywhere from 10 to 2000+ delegates works for us!

Holland Site Selector step 2

Step 3 – What Atmosphere Are you looking for?

Atmosphere plays a big part in meeting design and can actually make or break an event. Are you looking for a modern, historical, classic or design atmosphere? Holland offers it all, you just have to choose.

In addition you can also select which types of suppliers you are looking for. By default we selected all, but maybe you are only looking for a special venue and a hotel. In that case simply uncheck the other boxes.

Holland Site Selector step 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip: if you are not sure yet which atmosphere would benefit your event most or if you would like to provide your client with a number of choices you can fill in the tool more than once and just select different options here.

Step 4 – your details

Now all we need to know is where we can send your personal meeting advice to. Just fill in the basic details and hit the ‘Send PDF’ button. Et voila, within a couple of minutes you will get your personal meeting advice delivered directly to your inbox.

Get in touch with the Dutch suppliers

Once you have received your personal meeting advice it is very easy to get in touch with your Dutch suppliers, since we provide you with all the necessary details. Here is what is included in your document:

  • overview of all the suppliers that match your search criteria
  • short introduction about the venue/service, including images
  • facts such as number hotel and or meeting rooms, capacity, services, etc (if applicable)
  • map of Holland indicating the location of the supplier
  • contact details (address & online)
  • name of contact person

It is basically a ready-to-go shortlist document that you can show to your client for a first impression. And it is print-friendly!

Tip: Most of our partners are attending one of the major MICE events around the world as part of our Team Holland. If you are attending any of these events as well why not arrange a meet & greet with the suppliers from your personal meeting advice? It’s a convenient and great way to put the final touches to your meeting design and see which suppliers are the best match for your event. As we get closer to the exhibitions you can find an overview which Dutch suppliers will be present at the Holland stand right here: IMEX Frankfurt, The Meetings Show UK in London, IMEX America in Las Vegas and IBTM World in Barcelona.

Let’s design your event!

So what are you waiting for? Your meeting design inspiration is just 4 easy steps away. Let’s get started!

Hotel and venue openings in Holland in 2016

In 2015 we saw a record-number of new hotel and venue openings in Holland. It’s pretty safe to say that there won’t be quite as many openings in 2016, but we have quite a few to get excited about. Here are the meeting hotels and venues that we are expecting 2016:

Novotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport – hotel

opened: December 2015

Novotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Novotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Technically, Novotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was the last hotel that opened in 2015. But since it was literally on the verge of 2016 I would like to include them in the 2016 list as well.

Novotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, part of the Accor Hotels Group, is conveniently located between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and the city centre. This means it can be easily reached from the airport, while Amsterdam’s city centre is just around the corner as well. The modern hotel offers 17 meeting rooms with a capacity of up to 360 people. With 1.300m2/1.400ft2 flexible meeting space Novotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is suitable for large- and small scale events.

Best Western City Hotel Woerden – hotel

expected opening: February 2016

Bird's Eye view of Woerden

Bird’s Eye view of Woerden

The Best Western City Hotel Woerden is a smaller hotel located right in the scenic, so-called green heart of Holland right between the cities Utrecht and Gouda. If you are looking for a meeting hotel outside the hustle and bustle of the major cities Woerden is a very suitable location. The hotel is located in a scenic and historical environment and the local castle is just a short walk away. Utrecht is reachable by train in just 10 minutes. Best Western City Hotel Worden offers a meeting room with space for up to 40 people.

A’DAM – venue

expected opening: Spring 2016

A'DAM toren and EYE Film Museum at night

A’DAM toren and EYE Film Museum at night

A’DAM is an eye-catching tower behind Amsterdam’s Central Station and right next to the equally eye-catching EYE Film Institute. The tower was originally comissioned by Royal Dutch Shell who used the location from 1971 – 2009. After extensive reconstruction A’DAM will re-open as multi-functional venue in the spring of 2016. Besides offices, A’DAM will be home to cafes, restaurants a hotel (Sir Adam, see below), an observation point and a revolving restaurant. It is safe to say that A’DAM offers the best 360 degree view of Amsterdam you will find. Getting to A’DAM is already part of the experience as you’ll have to take a ferry accross the IJ River. Whether you’ll be organizing your next event there or taking your delegates over for dinner or drinks, you will definitely make a lasting impression.

By the way, A’DAM is also short for ‘Amsterdam Dance and Music’ to reflect the business of its main tentants: world renowned Dutch music industry companies ID&T, AIR Events and Massive Music.

Sir Adam – hotel

expected opening: Summer 2016

A'DAM toren with Amsterdam skyline view

A’DAM toren with Amsterdam skyline view

Sir Adam is the newest addition to SIR Hotels’ collection of luxury and boutique hotels and the little brother of the award winning Sir Albert, SIR Hotels’ first hotel in Amsterdam. The hotel will be located in the aforementioned A’DAM tower.

Besides aproximately 110 guest rooms the Sir Adam will offer plenty of creative space, a restaurant, terrace and destination bar. And while not much detail about the hotel is known yet, one thing is certain: Sir Adam will offer the most compelling skyline views of Amsterdam.

Mate Bruno Rotterdam – hotel

expected opening: Fall 2016

Mate Bruno Rotterdam

Mate Bruno Rotterdam

After opening its first Dutch venue in Amsterdam, Spanish hotel chain Room Mate chose Rotterdam for its second hotel in Holland. Mate Bruno will be located at the Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam in a historic building that was used to store tea back in the days. I’m very happy that during the reconstruction all characteristic and monumental elements of the building will be kept. The 4*-hotel will offer about 230 rooms and plenty of meeting facilities (details to follow). Not to forget a spectacular roof terrace with a beautiful view of Holland’s most impressive skyline.

And since its Spanish roots are important to the chain, there will be a Spanish market hall, a ‘mercado’, with several stores and eateries located on the main floor of the building. A touch of Spain in Rotterdam. Vamos a Mate Bruno en Rotterdam!

Postillion Hotel Amsterdam – hotel and conference centre

expected opening: September 2016 (conference centre) & September 2017 (hotel & additional conference space)

Postillion Hotel Amsterdam artist impression

Postillion Hotel Amsterdam – artist impression

Dutch hotel chain Postillion Hotels will open its first location in Amsterdam in 2016. In September the brand new conference centre will opens its doors for up to 2.000 delegates. The conference centre will also host an exhibition space and flexible work spaces. A smart move from Postillion Hotels who will strenghten its position on the Dutch meeting and conference market with this new location. The adjacent hotel will open a year later, in September 2017, offering 300 rooms and additional meeting space for up to 2.000 people. Postillion Hotel Amsterdam’s location in Amsterdam North is very convenient for business travelers: Central Station, RAI Amsterdam and major highways are close by and there is ample parking space.

Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam City West – hotel

expected opening: early 2017

Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam City West

Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam City West

Technically, the new Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam City West is not opening in 2016, but in early 2017. I still think it’s well worth the mention already. Located just outside Amsterdam’s city centre, Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam City West is situated near multiple transport options, including train, tram, bus and major highways and offers plenty of on-site parking space. The hotel’s flexible meeting facilities include a ballroom, 17 meeting rooms and break-out areas. Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam City West will offer just short of 500 Standard and Superior Rooms and Suites.

More hotels opening in Holland in 2016

Dutch habits: we’re happy!

As most of you probably already know by now, I am a huge music fan. Maybe you have even seen me perform during one of the many gezellige Happy Hours at the Holland stand at meeting conventions all over the world? And in case you missed it, I even wrote a song about adding some orange to your world. What can I say? Music just makes me happy.

But truth be told, it’s not only music that makes me happy. There must be something in the Dutch water, because Holland consistently makes it to the top ten of happiest countries in the world.* Well, maybe it’s not so much the water, but more about the way we live our lives in Holland. Let me introduce you to some of the Dutch habits that might shed a light on why the Dutch are so happy.

Part-time work

The Dutch are different

The Dutch are different

Yes, I can confirm that the rumors are true. The Dutch not only mastered the art of painting, but also the art of part-time work. More than 50% of the Dutch population works part-time, which in our book means less than 36 hours a week. The reasons for working part-time for both men and women are very diverse, often personal and even go back in history. But in the end it all comes down to this: it’s all a matter of balance. The Dutch have a rather laid-back approach to work and know that there is more to life than work alone. But, don’t get me wrong now! This doesn’t mean that the Dutch are lazy. Quite the contrary! The Dutch are renown for their strong business skills, directness, no-nonsense approach and getting-things-done attitude. We just like to work efficiently so that we have more time for the important things in life.

Let’s borrel!

Like borrelen, for example. We sure do love a good borrel, no matter where in the world we are. There actually isn’t a word in the English language that would sufficiently translate the meaning of the word borrel. Essentially, a borrel is a more or less informal social gathering while having a drink (or two), some Dutch finger food like cheese or bitterballen and enjoying good company. There are Friday afternoon borrels, after work borrels (which can take place any day of the week really), during work borrels, Sunday morning borrels, after sports borrels, …. You name it, we can always find a reason for a good borrel. In fact, a borrel often takes place after an important (business) meeting and is a great and informal way to further discuss plans, strategies or even close business deals. Some people say the best business deals are sealed by the water cooler, in Holland it’s during a borrel!

Borrelen during Happy Hour at the Holland stand

Borrelen during Happy Hour at the Holland stand

Do you want a taste of a great Dutch borrel? Then make sure to come visit me during Happy Hour at the Holland stand at one of the many international events I’m visiting. Next up: IMEX Frankfurt. See you there?!

We are truly gezellig!

A borrel is also a great means to experience some true, Dutch gezelligheid. Just like borrel, there is really no proper way to translate this extremely commonly used word into the English language. It’s also very hard to describe what gezelligheid is exactly. Gezelligheid, often used as a verb pointing out that something is gezellig, is essentially a feeling that can describe a range of (positive) emotions. For example, a borrel – especially after a hard day’s work or a successful business meeting – is generally perceived as gezellig. Meeting your best friend for coffee is always gezellig. Even having a business dinner can end up being very gezellig (on top of hopefully being successful). Going on vacation is definitely gezellig. But also attending a post tour after a convention surely is gezellig. Even US president’s Barack Obama’s trip to Holland to attend the NSS top in The Hague in 2014 has been ‘truly gezellig’.

I dare say that the word gezellig is likely the most commonly used word in the Dutch language. Here’s a fun challenge: learn to pronounce it as best as you can and then tell the next Dutch person you talk to that it was truly gezellig meeting them. Let me know how it went, will you?

It’s all about the balance

While there is no scientific research showing that these habits do in fact increase the general state op happiness of the Dutch people, these habits surely play an important role in our everyday lifestyle. And like I mentioned before, the Dutch are pretty good at making sure their work life balance doesn’t get out of hand.

I’m curious, have you experienced any of these Dutch habits while visiting Holland or doing business with the Dutch? Or are there any other habits that you’ve come across that struck you as typically Dutch? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

*World Happiness Report 2016 Update