A tribute to our founder

QL Portrait2024-06-27

Hein van Beek, founder of Quality Lodgings, transformed his childhood passion for gastronomy into a thriving collection of Europe’s finest boutique hotels, championing authentic hospitality and culinary excellence. 


Interview with Hein van Beek 

Where did I grow up? In Zwolle, the capital city of the province of Overijssel in the Netherlands.On a street with those old, large 19th-century doctor’s houses. Our garden bordered the grounds of two then-famous hotels: the classic Grand Hotel Wientjes, one of the leading hotels in the Netherlands at the time, and Hotel Van Gijtenbeek, slightly less upscale but still very popular. Both had excellent restaurants. Delightfully old-fashioned, where the soup was served from a tureen at the table. So, I was introduced to gastronomy by our neighbors. 


I chose to study Law to build a solid foundation before pursuing a career in business. After earning my Master’s degree in Dutch Law, I gradually moved into the hospitality world through various legal and marketing communication roles. As a child, I occasionally stayed in a hotel, like Auberge de Campveerse Toren, beautifully located on the island of Walcheren. I still have a special bond with Hendrina van Cranenburgh. I also knew her parents well.  The QL concept, which I developed at the beginning of this century, is still going strong. If you wanted to join the club, you had to be a small family business with an excellent kitchen and a special and interesting location. And, of course, comfortable guest rooms. At the end of 2019, I sold QL to Q Hospitality Group (formerly EHM Group) due to a lack of succession. 


Do I miss QL? Luckily, I have interesting work as a marketing and communication advisor, I am a publisher, I organize high-quality classical concerts, and I am currently making two podcast series with a well-known Dutch author/comedian. So, I don’t really have time to miss anything. But I still enjoy visiting QL Hotels to eat and sometimes to stay. Over the years, I have formed close friendships with several international QL hoteliers. And who would want to miss that? 


Hein van Beek - founder of QL