Eelco Holwerda named new hotel manager at Teaching Hotel Château Bethlehem | 03 September 2019

Hotel Management School Maastricht has named Eelco Holwerda (1983) as the new hotel manager of Teaching Hotel Chateau Bethlehem in Maastricht, taking over from Harpert van Seggelen, who is retiring. Holwerda’s background is managing in the international hotel industry in China.

Ad Smits, Dean of Hotel Management Smit says, “I am very grateful to Harpert for all his efforts over the past nine years to make the Teaching Hotel the organization it now is. He will be happy in the knowledge that his inheritance is safe. With an eye to his background and experience in several high-end international hotel chains, Eelco will be able to boost the continuing development of Teaching Hotel Chateau Bethlehem.”

“I believe it is an exciting challenge to combine the hotel’s operations and its educational side,” Holwerda says. In fact, he has also felt very enthusiastic about combining these elements. He wrote a training manual for the Holiday Inn training school in Beijing, mentored management trainees and delivered guest lectures at Hospitality at Tourism schools.

Holwerda is a Stenden hotel management school graduate, and worked for thirteen years in China. In these years, working for various brands, he observed how the Chinese hotel industry developed at breakneck speed. From 4-star Holiday Inns to one of the most luxurious hotels in the country: the renowned Pudong Shangri-La in Shanghai’s Central Business District. Over the past two years, Holwerda was Director of Projects at Paxton Vacances Hotel Management Group in Chengdu. Here, he was responsible for supporting all hotel pre-opening projects and developing potential hotel projects. His efforts included managing the opening of a 250-room five-star hotel in China’s only tropical seaside resort, Sanya, and a small boutique hotel in Chiangmai, Thailand. After having worked abroad for thirteen years, Holwerda and his family decided to return to The Netherlands.

Harpert van Seggelen managed the Teaching Hotel with passion and great pleasure. Now, in the autumn of his career, he wishes to share his experience and expertise in international hotel management with students by joining the teaching staff.

Teaching Hotel Château Bethlehem

Chateau Bethlehem, centuries old, was turned into a magnificent design hotel in cooperation with twelve Dutch designers in 2010. The hotel offers 26 uniquely surprising rooms, a restaurant, a bar and a number of meetingspaces. The hotel is a unique learning concept for students, who learn to create customer value for their guests. Lunch, dinner and a good night’s sleep: the package is complete and all are welcome.

Photo: Harpert van Seggelen (left) symbolically hands on the baton to Eelco Holwerda by presenting him with a paperweight showing Teaching Hotel Chateau Bethlehem.

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