Hans Brinker Hostels, Q&A with Pieter van der Zeeuw, MD

The Worlds Worst Hostel!

Hans Brinker Hostel in Amsterdam is well known throughout the world with their wonderful marketing and  branding of “worlds worst hostel” and “the hotel that couldn’t care less, but we will try”. Turning the tables on the traditional guest welcome message, Hans Brinker has managed to become one of the world’s leading hostels, and the place to stay when in Amsterdam and now their second property in Lisbon, Portugal.

We sat down with Pieter van der Zeeuw at this years WYSTC conference over a glass of wine (of course) to hear his story:

CMS: Hallo Pieter, how are you ?

PvdZ: Hi I am fine thank you for asking how are you?

CMS: Pieter, The Hans Brinker hostel brand is synonymous with providing great value accommodation, in popular cities such as Amsterdam and Lisbon. What is the key to your ongoing success?

PvdZ: Our key factor to our continued success is our staff, because people make a hostel great! As you know we have a special way of looking at our own product; our brand promise is under promise and over deliver in as many ways as possible. The other one is location – you have to be in a good location. Location, location, location.

CMS: As a leading advocate for the advancement and the promotion of the hostelling industry, what are you excited about at the moment as far as the direction the industry is heading in?

PvdZ: I have the strong belief that we are at the start of a period of change and becoming more professional within the industry. This means that the big hotel chains also will come to the hostel market as next year Accor will do with Jo&Joe’s.

CMS: What led you to this great industry?

PvdZ: I started my career in the bar and club industry and moved to the hostel industry about 4 years ago but it is all about selling an experience to people and dealing with young people who are learning and growing up and would like to have a great time.

hansbinker-worst-hostel

CMS: The 1865 novel by Mary Mapes Dodge, “Hans Brinker” or “The Silver Skates – A Story of Life in Holland” , features young Hans and his sister Gretel, discovering ice skating and the many other pleasures that Amsterdam had to offer back in the day. What is drawing tourists to Amsterdam these days?

PvdZ: The city of  Amsterdam has so much to offer for example we have the bike tours, our fantastic Rijksmuseum, the amazing festivals the whole year round.

CMS: You have been a CMS/GuestCentrix customer for a long time. What do you value most about our partnership?

PvdZ: The people who work for GuestCentrix – they always deliver what they promise or try to solve the problem in another way. My special thanks go out to the UK team. Without them I wouldn’t be a client of GuestCentrix.

CMS: Ladies and Gentlemen, despite Pieters’ fantastic tongue in cheek marketing promoting “the worst hostel”, do yourself a favour and check them out in Amsterdam and Lisbon , you would be crazy not to.

Thanks Pieter, Tot Zo

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