History of Hotel Okura Amsterdam The dream of Baron Okura
It all started with a dream, back in the 1950s in Tokyo. Baron Kishichiro Okura wanted to create the ideal hotel for everyone coming to Japan. In 1958 the Tasei Kanko Co., Ltd. (currently Hotel Okura Co., Ltd.) was set up by the Baron and Iwajiro Noda, then President, assisted by Torao Aoki, then Vice President. Plans were laid for a hotel that would retain the essence of indigenous design and courtesy, while incorporating internationally understood procedures. Western and Eastern influences were perfectly blended to make international guests feel at home at Hotel Okura Tokyo, that was opened in 1962.
The stated objective of Hotel Okura Tokyo at the time of its opening was to become the best hotel in the world. The specific means to achieve this objective would be the Best ACS: Best Accommodation, Best Cuisine and Best Service. The first of these, best accommodation refer to the facilities of the hotel. Aoki’s contribution here was the idea of building facilities that 'age gracefully'. This makes maintenance and care in day-to-day use all the more important, but also the need to quickly adopt the latest equipment and systems. Best cuisine means absolutely maintain cuisine of the very highest quality. Third, best service, the best facilities and the best cuisine come into their own only with the very best service. The job of a hotel is to satisfy its guests and this can only be with the very best service. This was the basis philosophy of the chain Okura Hotels & Resorts.
Iwajiro Noda had numerous plans for expansion beyond Japan's borders. He was born in Nagasaki, home to Holland Village, where people are familiar with the ancient trade relations between Japan and Holland. The special relationship between Holland and Japan dates back to 1639, when only Dutch Traders were permitted to continue their trading affairs in Japan, on the island of Deshima. Therefore, Noda was convinced that Amsterdam had to be the location of the first Okura hotel of the European expansion.
On 24 September 1971 His Royal Highness Prince Claus of the Netherlands officially opened Hotel Okura Amsterdam. The growth of the hotel group continued with the opening of the Guam Hotel Okura in 1972 and the extension of Hotel Okura Tokyo with the South Wing, creating a total of 888 rooms. The Okura chain was founded. Even though Okura Hotels & Resorts has many hotels nowadays, its Amsterdam establishment is the only hotel in Europe, giving it a unique position within the chain.