8 Questions With…  Bart van de Brug, Regional General Manager at Lore Group

Do you remember your favorite hotel stay? Maybe it was the perfectly curated, luxe décor. Perhaps it was the amazing view from your private balcony. Or possibly the convivial lobby bar with a great vibe and attentive staff. There’s a certain magic to a great hotel. A great hotel can elevate your vacation or business trip to the next level. We’re excited to introduce you to Bart van de Brug with Lore Group, creators of beautiful and storied hotels ready to host your next trip to Amsterdam, London, or Washington, DC.

CIRE: Hello Bart! We’re happy to have you here! Please say hello and introduce yourself and the Lore Group.

BART: Hi there! My name is Bart van de Brug, Regional General Manager at Lore Group responsible for luxury hotels Pulitzer Amsterdam and Kimpton De Witt, both set right in the heart of the Dutch capital.

Lore Group is still a young yet ambitious hospitality company with big dreams. With two properties in London; Sea Containers and One Hundred Shoreditch, two in Washington D.C.; Riggs DC (pictured below) and Lyle, and Pulitzer and Kimpton De Witt here in Amsterdam, we are a team of people who are truly passionate to deliver exceptional guest experiences across our hotels, restaurants and bars.

CIRE: Where does the name “Lore Group” come from?

BART: Lore Group actually comes from the word, no surprise there, folklore. Story-telling – the handing down of folklore from generation to generation – enriches our sense of wonder and informs the different personalities of our hotels. Our dedication is to create hotels with stories that last, designed to be a part of their communities for the long haul. We see our hotels not just as places to stay but as living, breathing pieces of their neighborhoods, where the difference lies in the details of it all. It’s all about creating spaces, restaurants, and bars that are not only beautiful but also rich in history and local flavor, making sure guests feel that emotional connection.

CIRE: So much of our job planning travel is about storytelling…love that!  And we love Amsterdam!  Tell us more about the famed Pulitzer!

BART: Pulitzer Amsterdam is truly one of a kind – and I am not just saying that because I work there. Located on two of the most well-known canals, a stay transports you back to the Golden Age as Pulitzer is set in twenty-five restored 17th and 18th century canal houses that were once the scene for prosperous trade deals between merchants and played home to many notable Dutch aristocrats.

The latest reinvention from 2016 combines the historical elements and classic beauty with contemporary style, resulting in a unique blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern design – where the quirkiness lies in losing your way and perhaps discovering an old apothecary entrance, a park-like inner garden that is beautifully tranquil or a wall full of Dutch bicycles. Jacu Strauss, Creative Director of Lore Group, found inspiration for the restoration from all around the city, whether it would be a masters painting in the Rijksmuseum, a detail on a canal house or a boat trip through the canals.

CIRE: What do you love most about your job?

BART: That fact that no two days are alike. Every day is filled with a variety of opportunities and challenges – keeping things exciting and dynamic. You get to work with a great and interesting group of people. Especially the latter gets me out of bed each day.

We’ve got an inspiring diverse team at Lore Group and I’m extremely proud of their creativity and perseverance! It is incredible to see what we’re able to achieve for our guests each day. This sense of accomplishment and the vibrant energy of our team is what drives me the most.

Those great collaborations continue outside of the hotel; we are also part of the neighborhood. I am a board member of the Prinsengrachtconcert foundation, a group that organises an annual classical music concert on the canal, right in front of Pulitzer. The concert is free of charge and aims to bring classical music to the city of Amsterdam in a unique way.

CIRE: Your passion for your job and your team is evident! Did you always want to work in the hotel industry?

BART: My career in hospitality has always been a dream from a young age, intrigued by the impressive buildings, personal service, and unique locations, there was just something magical about it. I have had the experience working for both the bigger hotel chains and independent hotels, which has been an interesting ride along the way.

CIRE: Speaking of unique locations, do you have a favorite vacation destination?

BART: I would have to pick two. First, Italy – I mean what’s not to love. Pasta, wine, weather. We have this tradition with a group of friends to visit Tuscany every other year with our families. Last year we went to Saline di Volterra – imagine sunset, long table dinners, overlooking the beautiful Tuscany hills with the walled mountaintop city of Volterra at the horizon. Can’t wait to go back.

Another travel tradition is a bi-annual trip with friends from high school, the 7 of us go back 25 years. In previous years we’ve visited Scotland, which was amazing, but last year we decided to head to Iceland which was just breathtaking. I would highly recommend visiting and intend to go back one day. The nature and the landscape are just incredible. The beauty of the mountains, canyons and waterfalls are hard to describe, also pictures don’t do justice….it is a must see.

CIRE: Our clients love Italy and Iceland! Any off the beaten path places you recommend?

BART: Don’t tell anyone but it is a small B&B in heart of Burgundy…. Maison Deveney Mars. You’re welcomed with the warmth and generosity you experience when staying with a family member. It is what we strive for at our hotels, just at a bit larger scale.

Another would be Tromsø, above the pole circle in Norway. Great destination for one of those bucket list travel experiences – the Northern Lights. Made that trip with colleagues from 20 years ago, we’ve always stayed in touch.

CIRE: Anything new on the horizon for your hotels this year?

BART: Absolutely! This upcoming year promises to be an ever exciting one for Pulitzer Amsterdam, as we have four openings on the horizon. We are set to complete our highly anticipated Collector’s Suite series, where guests now have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the charm of the Flower Collector’s Suite, inspired by a 19th-century tulip-trader’s home, and soon the elegance of the Porcelain Collector’s Suite.

Adding to the openings will be the grand arrival of the Merchant Suite, offering guests an unforgettable stay steeped in the sophistication of this three-bedroom grand suite overlooking the Keizersgracht canal.

This spring, we will also make our way into the world of micro-wellness with the debut of The Beauty House – an intimate sanctuary right in popular Nine Streets, dedicated to beautifying and relaxation.

It’s truly an exciting time ahead for us, and we look forward to sharing these newest additions with the inspired travelers.

CIRE: Wow!  So much to look forward to, Bart!  Thank you for sharing all of this exciting news with us.  See you next time we’re in Amsterdam…soon!

CIRE Travel is a full-service travel agency headquartered in New York, NY.  Our expert corporate travel planners, honeymoon travel agents, and luxury travel planners support clients across the country and around the world.

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