Photographer:Fotograaf: Beeld: Sarafopoulos Architects
MAASTRICHT. Tuesday evening, the Maastricht city council said ‘yes’ to the plans for the establishment of The Student Hotel in the Eiffel building at the top of the Boschstraat.
The following morning, Gerdo van Grootheest, the alderman concerned, twittered that he was “very happy”. He had a tough time these past few weeks. The main criticism came from hotel owners, joined together in ‘Samenwerkende Hotels’ (Sahot), and from fractions of the Christian Democrats (CDA) as well as the Maastricht People’s Party (Maastrichtse Volkspartij). They fear unfair competition and feel that the city government is not sticking to the requirement of its Hotel Memorandum. Maastricht has a Hotel Memorandum because there is a surplus of hotel rooms. Only new hotels that ‘add something’ will be admitted. According to city government, The Student Hotel does in fact comply with this policy. “This is a unique concept for Maastricht.”
The Student Hotel, with branches in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, and soon also in Eindhoven and Groningen, has a special formula: students rent furnished accommodation for longer or shorter periods with full service: 24-hour surveillance, fitness, library, housekeeping, launderette and even their own bicycle. Maastricht will have 378 rooms, of which on average a maximum of 98 are allowed to be rented as hotel rooms each year.
The hotel owners, the CDA en the Maastrichtse Volkspartij failed to acquire sufficient support on Tuesday evening. A large part of the city council felt that it was a unique concept and important for the development of the Belvédère area.