Nicky and Derk van Westenbrugge met as students at Hotelschool The Hague and then spent a few years living in Utrecht. Nine years ago, virtually from one day to the next, they found themselves the owners of Hotel Parkzicht.
Nicky remembers how suddenly it all happened. ‘The hotel was bankrupt and we were asked if we were interested. Within two days we had to make a decision and arrange all the finance and everything else. It was a yes, and two weeks later we were living in the hotel in room 102.’
Like so many places in Eindhoven, the history of Hotel Parkzicht is closely tied to Philips, the multinational with its home base in Eindhoven. ‘Philips had the place built in 1930, in the typical Amsterdam School architectural style, for its women employees, who in those days were all unmarried,’ Nicky explains. ‘Eindhoven wasn’t as big as it is today, and at the time it was pretty much all Philips. The company made a huge contribution to the growth of the city. Appropriately enough, Philips also had homes built for unmarried men just a stone’s throw away.’
Hotel Parkzicht makes a wonderful base to get to know Eindhoven, close to the city centre yet overlooking the leafy park. These days, the city and the province of Brabant are a focus for the Dutch and global knowledge economy, attracting international tech companies. What’s more, Eindhoven is known worldwide as a city of design. But to the Dutch, the people of Brabant are known as the bon vivants of the southern Netherlands, with a love of good food and drink. ‘What we’re renowned for is our genuine interest in and attention for our guests, and that has its origins in the nature of the people of Eindhoven,’ Nicky says. ‘We’ve been here for nine years now and we’re constantly working on innovations. Two years ago we renovated the entire restaurant and reopened as Thym by Parkzicht. In the past year, the hotel rooms have largely been redecorated again. Our guests from Eindhoven and beyond know us as an exuberant hotspot where you immediately feel at home.’