Who: Roel Ruijs
What: Director of Operations
What does your function entail?
I oversee the Food & Beverage, Reception and Housekeeping departments. This means doing a lot of planning and calculations. But next to that a lot of my work consists of coaching and quality control. I try to get the best out of Sam, Merlijn, Casper, Bernadetta Alexandra and Chantal. When I walk around I am constantly observing; are things how they should be? Not in a controlling manner, but more as a natural state of mind.
How long have you been working at The Dylan Amsterdam?
Ten years now, and there is a reason for that. There are only a few hotels that give you the creative freedom that I enjoy here. The Dylan Amsterdam has no head office, so we make a lot of the decisions ourselves. Of course, we consult with owners, but creatively they give us the freedom. For example, at OCCO: we pitched a plan for a new bar and brasserie, we got their approval quickly, and then the process was in our own hands. We picked the designers, had meetings, decided what we needed – everything.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I cycle, about 300-325 km per week in high season. At least. I love it when it’s steep, but I don’t get a lot of that in Holland. And I am completely into photography. So, I do most of the photography for The Dylan Amsterdam. How cool is that – that is what I mean with having creative freedom here. And then there is skiing. Off-piste. Yes, I get a little scared sometimes. You need to push past your own boundaries I think. And I love to travel. I just returned from a trip to Borneo, Malaysia, and Kuala Lumpur, where I did a lot of climbing, hiking and diving. I am not a big fan of lying on the beach – but I think you can say that for most of my colleagues.
How do you start your day?
I open my emails, do a little round and have a chat with everyone. At nine we have a morning meeting, where we discuss the day, which guests arrive, were there any incidents, a leak, a power shortage, etc. And then, at 11, I earned my very first coffee of the day. One naked doppio. I am not allowed to have one before. It’s my favorite moment and it is very important that I make it myself. Sam makes the coffee in the afternoon, but the morning is for me. That sounds a bit more neurotic than it is. I love the process you know, it’s like a ritual. And of course, I check if the machine is working properly. If not I spend half an hour tweaking it to get it right.
Imagine if you didn’t live here anymore, and you were just passing through. You have one day in Amsterdam. What do you do?
First, I go to Bakhuys, near Weesperplein. I drink an espresso and eat a Mueslibollen, they are brilliant. Then I take my city bike and cycle a little along the canals, there is nothing better to soothe the mind. And after I head to MENDO, the bookstore. Have a little chat, browse their books. For beer I go to Brouwerij ‘t IJ, I love that place. It is touristy, but the good kind of touristy. And I finish with dinner at the Scheepskameel, I love how roomy it is there. Or Wijncafe Worst. Or Cafe de Klepel. Will have to make up my mind…