Ger Klaver enthusiastically answers the phone, even though it turns out he is in the middle of commissioning the first phase of the new Jan Luyken Hotel in Amsterdam. “Is this really a good moment for an interview?” we asked the Technical Director at Eden Hotels. “No problem, just let me find a quiet corner. I am surrounded by Bulsink workers”, he laughs. “So everything will be alright.”
“We have fourteen hotels, and we have been renovating them one by one over the last eight years”, Ger begins. “It is all part of a larger plan under the motto ‘going for a nine’.”
That room had better be ready when the guest arrives.
– Ger Klaver, Technical Director Eden Hotels
Eden Hotel’s ambition: ‘going for a nine’
“Our ambition is to score at least nine out of ten on booking and review sites; or a four and a half out of five”, he explains. “We realise that improving customer appreciation starts with the quality of our product. That is why we started the process of giving all our hotels a makeover.”
“To achieve our goals, we are well aware that we need to work with high-quality partners. Not just a conventional contractor who shows up at the construction site with three carpenters and asks us to tell them what to do. In our search for such a high-quality partner, we came across Bulsink. We clicked immediately. Not only on the business operations side, but also on a personal level.”
First project: the Savoy Hotel in Rotterdam
Ger’s first project with Bulsink was the renovation of the Savoy Hotel in Rotterdam, in 2018. “I was already pleasantly surprised by the way they drew up the planning”, he remembers.
“We sat down with all the disciplines involved and they just interactively put the planning together, on a large screen on the wall. Add a week here, take a week off there and go home at the end of the day with a schedule that we knew had everyone’s consensus.”
Implementation of the project also went smoothly, says Ger: “In the hotel business, we sell our products a year in advance. So that room had better be ready when the guest arrives. Bulsink has it logistics well organised, and its managers are on top of the day-to-day project execution; that really sets them apart from just a random contractor.”
We had originally planned eight weeks per floor. We managed to do it in seven.
Speaking of logistics: during the renovation, hotel operations continued as usual. “We carried out the project in two phases”, Ger explains. “During the first phase, we tackled 94 rooms spread across four floors, one floor at a time. We had originally planned eight weeks per floor and guess what, we managed to do it in seven! Something I had never experienced in my entire career.”
“In the second phase, in which we tackled the ground floor and basement, it was inevitable that we had to close down for three weeks. But we could plan that exactly in the Christmas period.”
Follow-up projects: The ED, Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American and Jan Luyken Hotel
After the successful renovation of the Savoy, Eden Hotels also involved Bulsink in the renovation of The ED Amsterdam in 2019, and the conversion of the American Hotel into a Hard Rock Hotel franchise in 2020.
“The latter was a really big project”, says Ger. It was also a project in which Bulsink’s experience in working according to strict brand concepts came in handy: “They really understand the importance of such a concept. They understand what it means to implement it – down to the tiniest details.”
And now the Jan Luyken, an Amsterdam boutique hotel with 61 rooms, the first 31 of which are being delivered today, literally, as we speak. Ger sounds happy on the phone: “We started in January and today is 26 March, so do the math: we have completed the entire first phase in less than three months.”