By Dianna Stampfler
Just in time for Holland’s annual Tulip Time Festival, May 6-14, 6PM Hospitality Partners unveils the rebranding of its downtown boutique hotel – Tulyp, Tapestry Collection by Hilton – paying homage to the lakeshore community’s vibrant Dutch heritage.
Holland’s Hospitality History
Rev. Albertus van Raalte was one of the first to settle in present day Holland – along the shores of Lake Macatawa (then known as Black Lake) and Lake Michigan – in 1847, after emigrating from the Netherlands. Twenty years later, the city was formally incorporated and Isaac Cappon was named its first mayor.
By the mid-1880s, grand hotels began popping up along the shoreline to accommodate tourists from Chicago and St. Louis drawn to the area’s sandy beaches, cooler summer temperatures and thriving Dutch hospitality.
Hollanders discovered that the sandy, loamy soil was ideal for growing their beloved tulips and in 1929, the first Tulip Time Festival was held to celebrate these spring blossoms. Over the years, the event has grown into nine days of festivities – parades, concerts, cultural events and more than six million blooming tulips – attracting tens of thousands of visitors from around the world.
Nelis Tulip Farm was one of the first local growers, expanding in the late 1950s to include traditional retail and food shops as well as family-friendly attractions still found along US-31 as Nelis’ Dutch Village. In 1965, the 36-acre Windmill Island Gardens was opened near downtown to showcase the 125-foot-tall DeZwaan – the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the United States (built in the Netherlands in 1761).
Boutique Business Blooms
CityFlats was the brainchild of Charles “Chuck” Reid, opening in May 2008 as a showplace for the design expertise of his Zeeland-based Charter House Innovations. It was the first hotel in the Midwest and only the second globally to achieve Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, meaning it met requirements in six categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design.
Local hotelier Peter Beukema and his family-owned Suburban Inns (founded in 1979) added the 56-room CityFlats Holland to its Michigan hotel inventory in December in 2019. By March 2021, CityFlats joined the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, an upscale portfolio of more than 70 international hotels hand-selected for their unique style, vibrant character and authentic connection to their community. It is the only Michigan hotel on the exclusive list.
In November 2021, Beukema stepped down as CEO of Suburban Inns (although he remains one of the owners) and launched the Zeeland-based 6PM Hospitality Partners. He transitioned the boutique hotel to this new corporate umbrella, retaining its ties to the Tapestry Collection. Since that time, the property has undergone a series of renovations in preparation for its rebranding as the Tulyp. The former CityZen Lounge is now the 1867 Lounge (named for the year Holland was incorporated), CityBru Coffee is now Koffie Café (utilizing the Dutch spelling for coffee) and the 2581-square-foot, 150-person CityVue event space is now Piek Events (Dutch for “top”).
“Tulyp, formerly CityFlats, has been the cornerstone of hospitality in downtown Holland. We have hosted dignitaries from around the world who have traveled to Holland to experience our historic Dutch culture and diverse community,” Beukema notes. “At 6PM Hospitality Partners, we are always seeking out unique opportunities to delight and wow our guests and Tulyp Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton fits right in with our portfolio.”
In addition to Tulyp, 6PM Hospitality Partners is working to open two additional West Michigan properties in the coming year including the beachfront Hampton Inn and Suites on Lake Michigan in Manistee (opening June 2023) and the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Battle Creek (opening Summer 2024). Suburban Inns owns seven hotels throughout Holland, Grand Rapids and Midland.
Beukema has a long-standing involvement in the hospitality industry. He serves on the Holland SmartZone Board, which works to spur technology development and business creation in the greater Holland area; serves on the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) Board of Directors as well as numerous MRLA committees; and is a Board Member of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority, Human Resources and Finance Committees. Nationally, he is a member of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Owners Association (IHGOA), IHG One Rewards Committee and is a former Board Member and committee member of IHGOA.
In October 2018, Beukema was named one of Grand Rapids Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and was listed as one of its “Grand Rapids 200 Powerful Business Leaders” in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Dianna Stampfler has been writing professionally since high school. She is the president of Promote Michigan and the author of Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses and Death & Lighthouses on the Great Lakes, both from The History Press.