Willem & Too is born out of a genuine people leader’s conviction to define concepts at the business that speak of collaboration, collective success, and a ‘never quit’ attitude.
Willem van der Zee embodies innovative and personalized hospitality. He has helped numerous leading global hospitality, lifestyle, and travel companies streamline and optimize their vital business aspects like Operations Management, Asset Management, and People Management.
A pragmatic decision-maker, he puts passion and perseverance into the process to accomplish the set goals. He is a disruptive leader - driven by results, driven towards objectives, and driven with unflinching focus.
A true Dutchman, he appreciates straightforward intentions, happy people, candid conversations, and punctuality. A doting father, a loving husband, and a cheerful and fun friend that he is, his love for good food and wine is immense. A hotelier at the very core, Willem never misses an occasion to host or be hosted.
Effective leaders develop the capacity to “fly” their thinking at all three altitudes, not getting trapped at any one of them. They cultivate the seamless ability to mix forward-vision thinking, tactical execution and self-awareness – across the three altitudes of leadership.
50,000 feet, 50 feet and 5 feet: Understand Three Altitudes of Leadership
Leadership for a renewed world! With fact-based ideas and experience-backed solutions for hospitality, lifestyle, and travel sector – we style, scale and sustain high-performing operations.
Portfolio & Asset Management
2020 till date
IRET is a leading real estate project developer based in Antwerp with more than 30 years of experience, specialized in the development of and investment in large-scale complex inner-city real estate projects used for offices, retail, hotels and apartments. The IRET group has invested in and already developed more than 1,000,000 m² of real estate projects throughout Belgium, including Tour & Taxis (Brussels), Kievitplein (Antwerp), Rive Gauche (Charleroi) and the mixed project and office site Post X (Antwerp). Besides Belgium, IRET is also active in Luxembourg and France. We work with IRET on all aspects of asset and project management, business development, business analytics and building commercial and operational synergies across portfolio.
Lecturer on Hotel Management
2020 — 2021
Overall mentorship and guidance to students on supporting them in their learning journey and accomplishing their internships. Provide strategic support on industry-wide relationship with leading European hospitality companies.
Non-Executive Board of Director member
2019 till date
Coach and mentor the young but super-ambitious hotel leadership and operations team. Assist with strategic insights and adjustment on overall operations, commercial activities and food & beverage concept and operations optimization. Manage performance evaluation (back casting) and steer business development of new locations and pipeline.
Group Chief Operating Officer
2019 — 2020
Define and steer the strategic development and profitability delivery targets of 86 hotels across 16 different hotel brands in 10 different countries across Europe, representing an annual revenue of several hundred of millions.
2018 — 2019
Commercial due diligence of a portfolio of 20+ hotels (Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental brand) on sales effectiveness, tool adaption and revenue management protocols. Design a roadmap for the Commercial & Sales teams and help them embrace the shifting dynamics of the marketplace by adapting the organization and commercial spend, to drive profitable total revenue growth. Support the commercial strategy rollout with matching skillset and talent.
2015 — 2017
Owning & Operating company of 15 hotels in 4 European countries with a turnover MEUR 140 and 700 Employees. Our work involved the repositioning of hotels, capex deployment, and overall operations management to drive significant EBITDA improvement.
Non-Executive Board of Director member
2017 — 2018
No apps, No tablets, Code2Order is a digital travel companion providing effective ways of communicating with guests from the moment they start their journey, to stay and post stay. The program supports 1,900+ hotels in 26 countries. As a non-executive board member, we helped establish relationship with key decision makers of the industry.
Area Vice President, Central Europe
Also served as Regional Director, District Director and General Manager
1998 — 2014
Delight, Develop, Drive and Deliver a publicly listed company’s overarching strategy across Central Europe, maximize EBITDA contribution to the group’s profitability targets, manage a complex architecture of Leased, Managed and Franchised assets, and owners relations, with an obsessive attention to Every Moment Matters for Guests, Employees and Owners.
47 hotels (18 leased, 29 managed, 35 franchised), 11 Countries, and annual revenues of MEUR 380 EUR & over 3,000 Employees.
we run every year, and at possible every occasion, to try and help make our world a better place for our children.
We politely refuse gifts, but gladly accept all contributions for our support to -
A group of incredibly talented, super fun and highly accomplished
people, who rise to the occasion when it matters the most.
Together, we achieve more…
Brand identity, brand management and brand campaigns
Communication & Public Relations
Executive Branding & Personal Profiling
Crisis Communication & Guidelines
High-end culinary food & beverage
concepts and services
Interior Design & Architecture
Partnership & Supplier (3rd party) evaluations
Procurement strategy and framework
Project management of real estate
Revenue Management (commercial audits)
Safety & Security audits and compliance