Good Group combines premium hospitality with a good cause

Posted in News on 20 February, 2019

Good Group

Taking inspiration from Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Good Group aims to showcases a different approach to doing business, they call it social business. Everything they do is oriented towards creating human value, for the long term. Financial value is simply a means to that goal. What is important to them is that people are at the heart of all they do, every day.

Good Hotels

The Good Group’s portfolio of Good Hotels is the current manifestation of Founder and CEO Marten Dresen’s social business vision. Good Hotels are today a successful global lifestyle brand located in the world’s most exciting tourist destinations, creating a unique and premium hospitality experience with a cause. Good Hotel offers its customers beautiful service and stunning settings, alongside an inspiring story and exciting mission. Combining doing business with doing good, Good Hotel are not just another hotel chain – Good Hotel reinvests its profits to support its charity partners and to further its bespoke in-house Good Training, which breaks the cycle of unemployment and provides new opportunities for locals in need.

Good Hotel currently has permanent hotels in London and Antigua de Guatemala with Rotterdam, Guatemala City, and Amsterdam all on track for opening by 2020.

Good Hotel London

After ‘popping up’ for a year in Amsterdam, their  unique floating Good Hotel crossed the North Sea and now happily lives at the Royal Albert Docks in East London. Boasting 148 rooms including 4 suites, panoramic waterside views, open plan ‘Living Room’, quirky and cosy but minimalist design, and a beautiful rooftop bar – the hotel is full of personality.

The concept

Good Hotel London stands for premium hospitality, with a cause. They offer their customers beautiful service and stunning settings, alongside an inspiring story and exciting mission. Each and every Good Hotel works very closely with their local community, partnering with charitable causes and offering the unique Good Training programme to afford local people new opportunities. Community is at the heart of all they do.

As well as this, their guests should expect premium hospitality – but not in a complicated or traditional sense. You can count on creative design, clean lines, and spaces that foster fun experiences, teamed with honest service and authenticity.

The design

Two young Dutch designers took on the challenge of designing the floating Good Hotel: Remko Verhaagen, Art Director and Sikko Valk, Lead Designer. Pure is premium to Good Hotel Group. Good Hotel didn’t select golden taps or use marble table tops to create a premium look and feel. Instead, Good Hotel found luxury in simplicity and originality. Much like you would see in a Dutch home, they’ve mixed design classics by Lensvelt and Moooi with everyday design from Hema and the items they designed themselves for Good Hotel. This natural mix gives the interior its unique personal character. They used no non-sense materials, colours and textures such as steel, concrete and wood and took their inspiration from the conceptual approach of Dutch design. They were looking for the right blend of the industrial and the natural. Showing the construction and sturdiness of the building and combining it with elements, materials and textures that make you feel right at home. With touches of humour, and sign posts to its charitable story with pictures of people Good Hotel has helped so far, they think they have created a comfortable space for people to come have fun and feel inspired. There are no T.V.s in the rooms (conversation is better!) and the open plan Living Room downstairs allows for lots of room and seating to encourage openness and sharing.

Key features

• 148-room floating hotel including waterside view rooms
• 4 XL suites
• 4 star ****
• Great location with easy underground, DLR and cable car access
• Unique water views over River Thames and London with beautiful rooftop bar
• £5 is donated to our NGO charity partner per booking per night each time you book direct with Good Hotel                                                                       • Free WiFi

Good Training

Good Training is an innovative training programme developed by the Good Group. In the areas around their hotels, they work with local authorities to identify individuals who have been in long-term unemployment and offer these people, regardless of background, a fresh start. All they ask is that they are motivated and willing to make a change.

Once they have been recruited into the programme, alongside being giving the opportunity to learn the ins- and-outs of the hospitality trade, with experience across various departments in the hotel, the focus is on self- development and giving Good Trainees the confidence they need to continue into the working-world long after the programme ends.

They’re doing good

Since opening, Good Hotel has donated over $100,000, and are now structurally working towards being able to donate $500,000 per year to our Guatemalan NGO partner Which is building schools, directly facilitating the education of 500+ students in poor rural Guatemalan communities and fostering brighter futures.

Their 3-month paid hospitality program for unemployed locals gets results and changes lives. In their first year in London, they have had 43 trainees taking part in the Good Training programme, with 72.2% going on into further employment. Our ‘pop-up’ Amsterdam hotel trained around 100 people annually, with 70% structural employment output.

About the founder: Marten Dresen

Marten Dresen was born in the Netherlands to a family of teachers, psychologists and public service workers. Service and taking care of others were cornerstones of his upbringing. Business was not part of the equation. Traveling as a student, when the Euro had just launched; he realised the importance of international trade and open markets, to connect people and develop areas left behind. Therefore, he decided to work in international trade. Before starting his career, Marten travelled to Guatemala to learn Spanish.

When in Guatemala, he befriended Mirna, a little girl with no shoes. He decided to give her a pair of shoes and soon realised the only really way to change her current fate, was through education. He founded the NGO Niños de Guatemala in 2006, on the belief that education could provide another – better – future for Mirna, her family, her community, and future generations. Marten built a self-sufficient NGO business by stimulating entrepreneurship and focussing on long-term change and creating independency.

After graduating, and while growing the NGO Niños de Guatemala, Marten started working in an international shipping company. In 2009, at the age of 26, the company asked him to head up the South America business in Rio de Janeiro. While based in Brazil, Marten continued to manage part-time the growing NDG team in Guatemala. Through the learning’s gained at Niños de Guatemala, and with the Olympics being awarded to Rio de Janeiro, Marten saw an opportunity to link education, job creation and entrepreneurship to tourism demand. And the potential this could bring to under-developed communities. In 2012, he decided to found the Good Group, and handed over the management of the NGO to a board of directors. In 2013, he quit his job in shipping to dedicate himself full-time to the Good Group. Three years later, the first Good Hotel started welcoming guests and continues to donate and support Niños de Guatemala every day.

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