THREE GENERATIONS OF HOSPITALITY
My grandmother Geesje de Jonge started renting out rooms many years ago (even the rooms of her children). In the beginning of the sixties, when tourism started to develop in Giethoorn, these types of initiatives were quite popular: taking pot luck as a guest and being a real part of the family. “Fanfare” (a film by the Dutch producer Bert Haanstra) was set here in the fifties and increased Giethoorn's tourism attraction. Granddad De Jonge had a contracting firm and Grandma also wanted to run a business. There was a need for growth and Granddad started to expand. This was the first step from a homestay with cold running water to a Guesthouse with washbasins and hot and cold running water in every room. All the guests had supper with the family and Geesje entertained her guests – who came from all over the world - without speaking any foreign language and with only a few years of primary education.
My mother, the eldest daughter of the family called Roelie de Jonge, soon realized that the hospitality business was rather fun, so she helped in the hotel, and not long after that, she gained all the necessary diplomas. Some innovations were made, such as a new garden room, more hotel rooms, and a large terrace on the waterside were added when Roelie took over the business from her mother. She developed special multi-day arrangements for guests with boats, providing them with dinner and accommodation; this marked a new era for the business.
And I, Gabriella, although with a different surname (Esselbrugge), was of course inspired by the two previous female entrepreneurs. I started working in the hotel from a young age. I would sell regional products by the roadside, take guests out boating, and help in the kitchen. As more or less expected, I studied International Hospitality Management in Leeuwarden and worked as a marketer at Golden Tulip Worldwide Hospitality. Aside from my passion for hospitality, I am also passionate about new media and communications. Thus, further study in that area at Amsterdam VU University was a logical step. After working in the marketing department for a top-ranked hotel and the market leader in the domain of online hotel bookings (Booking.com),I wanted a village adventure again! With new features: the addition of a herb garden, a mini marina, big terraces (still with the same intimate atmosphere of course), and an emphasis on the natural environment.
After few years of being a hospitality entrepreneur, I decided to do the international promotion for my hometown Giethoorn. While doing these promotions, the Asian market, cultures, and entrepreneurship have inspired me to expand our hospitality business to China.
Personal: Every member in the team (family) of de dames van de Jonge believes strongly that every reservation is an opportunity to meet the unique needs of guests on a personal level. We are empathetic, empowered, professional and unobtrusive. We would go above and beyond to provide personal touches and personalized services to ‘surprise and delight’ each and everyone of our guests.
Instinctive: de dames van de Jonge team do not only reacts, but we proactively anticipates guests’ needs. Our family culture inspires the team to use their own decision-making skills, intelligence and personal judgment to engage with guests at an advanced and personal level. We intuitively and proactively make every guest feel special and at home.
Local: recognizing the rigors of the road, de Dames van de Jonge offers a full spectrum of products and services that provide everything from tranquility to rejuvenation. Whether the guests is alone or with company, we wish to give them new perspective and appreciation of the unique local leisure experience in our wonderful Giethoorn village that is surrounded by national park area. This is achieved through an array of services and special touches to give the guests a full understanding and immersion in our local culture.
Act with responsibility: We maintain integrity, fairness and honesty in all our internal and external relationships. We support initiatives that improve the environment of the biggest wetland of western Europe called Weerribben Wieden National Park and are responsible members of our community.