Innovation That Matters

Community hotel

New hotel has the community at its heart

Work & Lifestyle

The Good Hotel, which can be moved by barge intact, is giving back to the local community by offering a unique economic programme

After making its mark on the people of Amsterdam, the Good Hotel has set up home for five years on English waters. Aiming to provide job opportunities and training to the local community by reinvesting its profits back into the business, the Good Hotel is the first of its kind.

It’s the brainchild of CEO Marten Dresen and two Dutch designers, art director Remko Verhaagen and lead designer Sikko Valk, who took on the challenge to build a community project that literally floated on water. Unlike other well known chains, this hotel works with its local community to help disadvantaged people get back into work and opens the door to a variety of options for people to learn new skills. It offers a long-term programme and, after completion of training, candidates will be offered paid work and then the opportunity to integrate back into the wider community.

As well as its workforce, the Good Hotel also sources its produce and materials locally, and works with partners in the community to do business. Its neighbours include new flat developments and it is located in the hotly anticipated Crossrail area which will increase links from Reading and Essex to London. The hotel has been designed with clean, minimalism in mind and of course, the cause is at the forefront. The design shows a blend of natural and the industrial, and visitors will definitely get the feeling of ‘locally sourced’. Charities have not been forgotten and the hotel donates GBP 5 to their NGO partner, Niños de Guatemala, from every direct booking, and local charities receive support building their businesses and a platform for new development.

The Royal Victoria Docks will now house the floating structure for the next five years. It was carefully transported to London from Amsterdam by barge. Similar projects include the Port X houseboat which was created in the Czech Republic as a home that can be customised to order and anchored both on land and water and the Waterspace H2Office, in the UK. Another similar concept, was the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington, which is also giving back to the community by getting guests involved in community projects during their stay.

Could this be a platform for other hotels, where buying a plot of land or renting a building or existing shop is a thing of the past?




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