An interview with ... Influencer, Mark Severs

Creative partner of  SEVERS+JANSEN, The Hospitality Studio, Mark Severs, creates bespoke guest experiences and inspiring design. He gives us an insight in to his Amsterdam …

Photo by: Neeltje de Vries.

Mark, tell us a bit about you and what you do for a living … you live and breathe hospitality, what excites you about hotels and restaurants right now?

What excites me most is that today more and more hotels and restaurants understand the quality of a true and genuine interest in people. Staff are trained more and more to surprise guests with a daily wow-experience, and exceeding their expectations with memorable moments which are hard to forget…

Favourite place(s) to go for a night out on the town?

This night-owl would recommend having great fun during Museum Night Amsterdam (Museumnacht), when all museums in town as well as some other cultural institutions, turn into one big festival. Every first Saturday in November, there’s a lot of music, dancing, singing, and eating at the participating institutions.

Amsterdam’s best kept secret?

I love taking good walks around town, especially on a Sunday…. When doing so a little while ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the Nicholas Basilica opposite Central Station. It’s here, tugged away in the Prins Hendrikkade where every Sunday, Gregorian Vespers are sung (at 5 pm). A true moment to escape the bustle of the city…Another best kept secret? Vuurtoren eiland is a unique piece of nature in Amsterdam. In a rugged landscape you will find wild animals, rare flora, a derelict fort and Amsterdam's only lighthouse. Located in the Markermeer near Durgerdam, Vuurtoren eiland can only be reached by ship.

What makes Amsterdam hospitality truly world class?

Believe it or not, but behind Amsterdam’s no-nonsense mentality, there is a passion to make your stay a wonderful and memorable one. The city’s hospitality shows a genuine interest in people, an open-minded and liberal way of living. The multilingualism of the population contributes to making people feel at home quickly.

Best place if you want to escape the bustle of the city?

To escape the city bustle, I love to take my bike, hub on the ferry to cross the IJ-river to go North of town that will lead me to the vast polder landscape of Durgerdam, and other small villages like Ransdorp, Zunderdorp and Zuiderwoude.  It’s a stone’s throw from the Amsterdam city centre where I will feel the wind, hear singing birds and see sailing boats on the IJsselmeer.

Favourite neighbourhood?

That we’ll be the buzzing little street in-between Gerard Douplein and Albert Cuyp Market, where you’ll find me at De Wasserette, my favourite in the De Pijp for a great breakfast or lunch, with it’s ambiance and friendly service. It’s here where I enjoy having a coffee prior to my early morning visit to the fresh market, and butcher Zagora opposite De Wasserette..

If you had 24 hours in Amsterdam, what would make your must-do list?

24-hours in town, and still aiming for the full local-experience? Hop-on the backseat of my bike and here we go. Rise and shine at 7.30 am to see the stand owners setting up the plant- and flower market on the Amstelveld. Before, we take a coffee at the Koffiesalon on the nearby Utrechtsestraat. Next we go to FOAM museum for its latest photography exhibition, and pay a visit to the former ABN AMRO bank building, currently the cities archive with its magnificent Art-deco architecture. After these cultural highlights, it’s time to have a real nomadic Algerian lunch at Raïnaraï on the Prinsengracht and to enjoy an afternoon movie break at Filmtheater De Uitkijk afterwards. Before freshening up at Canal House, we’ll have a Kingsize stroopwafel at the Lanskroon on Singel to end our lovely afternoon. For diner we head east, to have a cocktail at Badhuys, a lovely dinner at Wilde Zwijnen and finish of the ‘early’ evening at one the area’s great wine bars. An UBER will bring us back into town, to enjoy one of the parties at Museum Nacht, and to go down under at The Shelter in Amsterdam North afterwards. After leaving this underground nightlife and heading ‘home’ for your lovely hotel pillow at the luxurious Canal House, we’ll pass the Noordermarkt to have an early coffee at Winkel, to see the stand workers setting up their market place for the early local rise and shine.