Annette Atiya, new co-owner of Boutique Hotel Herbergh & Brasserie La Bouche
Annette, we are in Badhoevedorp. What does this place mean to you?
We have lived in Badhoevedorp all our lives and my children grew up here. It's really great living here. There are many nice sports clubs in the area and very good schools. The village is charming but at the same time you are close to Amsterdam, so you can get there by bike in no time.
Does living and doing business in one village have advantages?
Certainly! Because we live here ourselves, we can respond well to local needs. Residents of the village like to come here for a bite to eat. Although we have no experience in the hospitality industry, we believe that we make the difference with our company with personal and quality service. But not just for the locals. Especially for travelers who, for example, are away from home for a long time or have made a tiring journey. Then we offer them a bit of coming home. That is really distinctive here in the vicinity of Schiphol.
With the help of the municipality, we are investigating through the archive from which year the first liquor license dates. This is probably sometime in the mid to late 1800s.
The place where we are now, hotel Herbergh, has a rich history. How did this start?
Indeed, I found this very special to discover. The municipality of Haarlemmermeer already has a lot of history of its own, with the reclamation in 1852. With the help of the municipality, we are investigating through the archive from which year the first liquor license dates. This is probably somewhere in the late 1800s. At that time, this café served as a bar for horse and worker. So much has happened since then, Schiphol has even been added in the meantime. Today, our boutique hotel has 25 hotel rooms, a cozy bar and a brasserie with a sunny terrace. But this won't stay the same for long either, because we have big plans!
People often say: “How tough, running a catering business!”, and that is true. But we especially like doing it. Doing business in a fun way.
Recently you are the new owners and you are taking a new (culinary) path. What can we imagine here?
In November 2022, I took over the hotel with a few business partners. Of course we doubted for a while, but this is really cool. People often say: “How tough, running a catering business!”, and that is true. But we especially like doing it. Doing business in a fun way.
Our new menu started in February and we get a lot of positive reactions to it. The approach is Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, such as the delicious Sabich dish, combined with international cuisine. In addition, we also offer plenty of alternatives for dietary requirements, and we work with local and fresh seasonal ingredients. I am also proud of our two female chefs. Lisa has been working here for a long time, Hanna is new and from Ukraine. She is very good and has participated in MasterChef in Ukraine.
Why is this such a fun place to work?
The team assists in places where it is busy at that moment; be it the reception or the restaurant. That makes it dynamic, but also personal. Really that boutique hotel feeling.
Our small team is a mix of young and old. The permanent team remained intact when we took over. A few very good people have been working here for decades with pleasure. They are also good teachers for new employees. The nice thing is that these are often young people who also enthuse their sports or school buddies to come and work here as a side job. Everyone has trouble finding staff, but we're actually doing pretty well.
What does the future look like for you?
We are currently working on a master plan with ENZO architects. They also did the previous renovation of this building in the 60s, so that is very special. Next year we will renovate everything and emphasize that boutique style even more. There is a lot of space that is not being used properly at the moment, so we are going to break open a lot and design it smarter. We will also use hybrid spaces that you can rent for business or private purposes. It will be really surprising and contemporary, with nice Instagram corners and a beautiful hotel lobby. In addition, we will give the current hotel rooms a major upgrade and also add more hotel rooms in areas that are not currently being used. It's going to be really cool, so keep an eye out!