Our Story

Three generations

of hospitality

My grandmother Geesje de Jonge started renting out her rooms some time ago. 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. All the guests had supper with the family and granny entertained her guests – who came from all over the world - without speaking any foreign language and with only a few years of primary education.

 of hospitality

Locally Sourced & Organic Oriented

We are constantly buying and helping local businesses and organic farmers, with locally sourced products.

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My mother, the eldest daughter called Roelie de Jonge, soon realised 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.

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer hospitality experiences.

Of course inspired by these two entrepreneurs, I have worked 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. Because, as well as my passion for hospitality, I am also passionate about new media and communications. Thus, a further study in that area at Amsterdam VU University was a logical step. After working in the marketing department for a top-rank hotel, 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 the emphasis on the natural environment.

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After few years being a hospitality entrepreneur I decided to do the international promotion for my hometown Giethoorn (Tourist Office Giethoorn). Thanks to this campaign, our destination is quite successful in the world till now. While doing these promotions, the Asian market, cultures and entrepreneurships have inspired me to expand the Giethoornbusiness to China, with the Holland Giethoorn Restaurants concepts.

Since 2005 we started to develope hospitality and leisure concepts for other companies. For example: small restaurants and tea salons in the National Park areas; regional tourism campaigns for the province of Drenthe, Zwolle area and individual hotels and parks.

In 2015 we started “Giethoorn Hospitality, Agri & Tourism”. It is a full-service consulting and development firm providing innovative and strategic counsel to the international hospitality industry with Dutch flavors. This company has brought new leads and guests to Giethoorn with the most popular and hidden attractions.

gabriella esselbrugge,van hotel-restaurant de dames van de jonge,giethoorn,iov sena,fellowsGabriella Esselbrugge Director of Giethoorn hospitality, events & tourism