Several months ago, I thought that it was a pretty pessimistic scenario to think that we would not finish the hotel until early October. In any case, the rooms could be booked from that moment on! At this point, I now know that this worst-case scenariowas actually really optimistic, perhaps even too optimistic.
We have now reached a phase in which the hotel takes precedent over all other work. More and more people are working on it. Just two years ago, when building started and coincided with the first corona troubles, the people from the restaurant helped with the build. Now, the people who will be working in the hotel have also donned their painting overalls. The project will end as it started, with a colourful, enthusiastic and motivated team.
The past few months have been rather sad in the restaurant because we heard the news, positive in itself, that Martien, our head chef, and his wife Maaike are going to open their own restaurant and that Sanne, having worked with us for over ten years, is moving on to do something completely new. I’m always happy when people take steps forward, especially when I’m very fond of them, but now I was told, within the space of an hour, that the whole restaurant management team was leaving. To make matters worse, it turned out to be almost impossible to find catering staff. It is always tricky to stay positive when certainties disappear, only to be replaced by uncertainty. This process is always uncomfortable but eventually new certainties always seem to turn up; and the less you allow negativity to take hold, the more fun it is and the better it gets!
Luckily, Sanne, Maaike and Martien did not leave immediately and Marleen, who is going to be managing the hotel as well as working on the renovation of the restaurant, is really finding her feet. It has not been easy for them to adapt to an acute shortage of staff. Right now, what was problematic is turning out to be the opposite; we have hired a large number of great people and are all making plans that are full of energy, and everyone has started working in the hotel! The rooms are being furnished while at the same time the bathrooms are being finished. It is an exciting time, with loads of things going on and in which it is not at all difficult to enjoy life!
And in between all this we also went to the Salone del Mobile in Milan. It was our first international design fair in a very long time. Contrary to reports, in which it was referred to as a disappointing fair, it was actually a really positive week for everyone who was there. Things are possible and starting to happen again!
As well as the hotel opening on 1 October, the Dutch Design Week starts on 15 October. It looks like we are exactly one year late, but perfectly on time for what may very well be the biggest event to date for us. In any case, we have more to show than ever before, and because you learn from doing, it is better than it’s ever been!
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