For our team, beginning of 2019 is marked by the launch of the Seat2Meet pilot in two new exciting locations – Radisson Blu Palace Hotel in Noordwijk and Ibis Styles Haarlem City Hotel in Haarlem. By opening up these locations to S2M visitors, we strive to promote serendipity and connectivity. To learn more about the vision and idea behind these locations, we’ve talked to the General Manager of the hotels – André Aaij.

Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is André Aaij, I am the General manager of both Radisson Blu Palace Hotel in Noordwijk and Ibis Styles Haarlem City Hotel in Haarlem.

What is your vision for the locations?

In both locations we have a very nice and welcoming Lounge, and I do see possibilities for flexible workers to benefit from the cozy and hospitable environment in combination with perfect and free Wifi, great coffee and easy access. In Noordijk we would be the first S2M location and in Haarlem the second.

Why did you decide to become a powered by Seats2meet locations?

I am convinced that we can offer flexible workers a very trendy and likeable place to meet, to work and to even get in contact with our creative people in sales and marketing. I hope that we can set up an attractive offer for working any time someone likes (7 days a week available, day and night) that brings us traffic and a small incremental revenue source, and also more Social Media mentions and perhaps even co-creation with our teams every now and then.

What do you expect from connecting to the Seats2meet network?

I expect, although maybe slow starting, that with 6 months we do welcome 10-15 people per day to one of our lounges to work and find the best inspiration for themselves.

What kind of atmosphere can visitors expect from your locations?

Both hotels are completely different in terms of franchise organization (Radisson Hotel Group and AccorHotels) and size, and the architecture in Noordwijk is Art Deco style there where in Haarlem the building is brand new and modern with a sports theme in the design. But for both properties count: we are entrepreneurs ourselves and do appreciate the non-standardisation of our hotels, and we are very much open to all people that are looking for an easy accessible and friendly working place for a few hours.

What are unique aspects of your locations?

In Noordwijk we are the first hotel that received the golden Green Key certificate in 2011, and since then we keep on working with our Green Team on new ideas around Corporate Social Responsibility (“MVO”). We have our own three beehives on our roof, do support the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (“KNRM”) in may ways and we attract young people with a chronic illness to start off their career with us via Foundation Emma at Work. Our hotel won the Dutch Hotel Award in 2012, a true teamwork result of our “innovative management team” (jury’s report).

In Haarlem we have fully adapted the theme of sports to our design, due to the fact that we are right in between an ice skating rink, a base ball stadium, a large badminton hall, fitness and squash etc. Therefor we have created 18 art impressions of famous sports persons that are originally from the city of Haarlem, and who are honored by the Pim Mulier Foundation for their unique efforts in their sport careers. In line with this theme of sports, in this location we are big supporters of the Foundation Sport Supports, a group of people that make personal meetings possible for very sick children with sports heroes from many different sports.

List a couple of interesting facts about your locations.

In Noordwijk we have 120 hotel rooms, large meeting facilities, a large fitness club, a kids club, wine taste room, 1 bar, 1 Lounge, 1 restaurant, 160 parking spaces and a wellness/pool/sauna area. Hotel is situated 500 meters from the beach!

In Haarlem we have 109 hotel rooms, a very nice Lounge with view in the Ice Skating Rink and 34 parking spaces (with 500 extra public spaces within 3 minutes walk). Hotel is located 2 kilometers from Haarlem city center and 750 meters from Bloemendaal village centre.