Marten Dresen, the founder of the Good Hotel, was travelling through Guatemala when he met Mirna, a girl with no shoes. He bought her a pair of Converse trainers, kicking off a charitable chain reaction.
Soon after meeting Mirna, Marten founded Niños de Guatemala, a foundation that builds and operates schools in rural Guatemalan communities.Learn more about Mirna and her flamed Converse
Niños de Guatemala
Marten, together with his good friend Sander, former Spanish teacher Carmen, and sister Annemiek, started a Foundation that would open a first elementary school, Nuestro Futuro, in 2009 the village of Ciudad Vieja. In 2012, they opened a second elementary school, called El Porvenir, in San Lorenzo el Cubo. Then in 2015, a secondary school was inaugurated.Learn more about Niños de Guatemala
Once the first schools were up and running, Marten began to wonder how to generate a sustainable income for the charity and create quality jobs for the children that graduate from the schools. What if he could harness the potential of tourism?
The idea for the Good Hotel was created in 2012. From the start, Marten set out to build the Good Hotel and the Good Group on the principles of "social business", as per Muhamad Yunus.Learn more about the hotel as a social business
The original Good Hotel
The first Good Hotel was conceived in Antigua.
The concept for the Good Hotel was launched to the public in a 2 Michelin star restaurant in Amsterdam. This is also when the customary Good Training program got piloted, training local residents out of unemployment and into a hospitality career.
The Good Hotel that floats
Marten spotted an old derelict accommodation platform, which was for sale in the port of Amsterdam. He had a flash of insight: what if it could be converted into a beautiful hotel? Which could then be transported to Brazil, where it could serve as legacy project for the Olympics of 2016?An Olympic legacy for Rio
In order to "practice" running the floating Good Hotel before moving it to Brazil, the city of Amsterdam offered up a temporary mooring location. This is where the floating Good Hotel Amsterdam was in 2015 and 2016, as a pop-up. Four months before the hotel opening date, the first full-fledged Good Training program kicked off.Kicking off the Good Training program
Across the North Sea
Well before the Olympics, Brazil entered into a deep recession. The floating Good Hotel had to change course. In October of 2016, it was towed on top of a submersible cargo barge, and started its voyage across the North Sea. Destination: London.
Check out the awesome timelapse!
Late 2016, the floating Good Hotel arrived at its mooring location in London. And though the shore connections took a while, both the hotel and the local training program successfully got going in 2017.Learn about the landing in London
Over the course of 2019 and 2020, the Good Hotel brand was refreshed under the 'sleep good, do good' campaign.
On the back of the first three Good Hotel openings, Good Group are looking to expand across the globe. Guatemala City is next up in 2020.