History of Hotek Hospitality Group

Comfort, security & innovation

About Hotek

Hotek Hospitality Group was founded in 1999 by Dolf Mulder with the vision 'we do our business differently and uniquely! Why do we do it differently? Because from 1994, during an internship at a Spanish supplier of hotel locks, he was able to experience how beautiful the hospitality market is. At that time, a magnetic card system was completely new and there were no mobile phones yet. A completely different approach in a traditional market, that still gives Dolf energy. Being unique with 24h service, continuous innovation and a good response to the wishes of the hotel market. With Hotek, Dolf has developed a brand that has become an integral part of the hotel world. With its team of 32 employees, Hotek literally opens doors and provides innovation in the market. After more than 20 years Dolf is still 100% active on the work floor, a hands-on mentality is the strength of the company. Why make it difficult when you can do it together?

The timeline of Hotek

1999: Establishment of Hotek
Founded as a one-man business and started representing the TimeLox brand. Unfortunately, a few years later this company was taken over by a Swedish glutton of security products and the brand disappeared from the scene. As a result, Dolf decided to do it itself and develop and produce everything under its own label.

2003: 1st self-developed keycard slot
In 2003 Hotek launched the Classic, the first in-house developed RFID lock. A traditional hotel lock, but with the technology of the future. This immediately became a success outside the Netherlands and is still the most widely used hotel lock among our customers. By now more than 1 million locks have been installed. And this lock can last for many years to come because all new techniques such as a mobile key can always be added. With every own Hotek product we guarantee at least 15 years delivery of products and service.

2006: Development of RFID upgrade kits
The arrival of the smartphones caused the problem that the magnetic card was demagnetised and did not work and this caused a lot of complaints at the reception desk. A hotel chain asked whether Hotek could also equip locks of other brands with new RFID electronics. As a result, the RFID upgrade was developed. Of course also for Hotek's own locks, but also for all other brands. In addition to being an inexpensive solution, it was also durable, as the complete locks did not need to be replaced. At Hotek, we not only develop for ourselves but also what the customer asks, why only focus on your own product when you can broaden your market by offering a universal solution?

2009: Development of online keycard system
After a number of years, Hotek has become an established name in the market with its Classic lock. Time for innovation and renewal, because developments do not stand still and Hotek wants to be and remain at the forefront. Six years after the launch of its own RFID lock, the first Classic online lock was developed and launched on the market in 2009.

2012: New techniques: NFC and BLE
In addition to RFID technology, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth (BLE) also became possible. The door can be opened with an electronic chip in the keycard or even via a mobile phone in combination with a dedicated app. In 2020 it is good to know that what was 8 years hip & happening is now really outdated in terms of security.

2013: QR hotel lock
The Classic hotel lock continues to conquer the market with the new techniques that have been added to it. Hotek continues to innovate and will come in 2013 with its own QR lock, the most innovative way of opening locks so far, not with a keycard but with the use of a QR code on a print or mobile phone. The QR lock has been developed due to the increased demand from customers. They wanted a simpler and more trendy alternative to the keycard.

2014: Relocation of head office to Etten-Leur
In 2014 the head office of Hotek Hospitality Group moved from Roosendaal to Etten-Leur. This was necessary to ensure the growth of the company and to be able to keep stock itself. Today, Etten-Leur still runs all the business, with an additional warehouse and showroom with a total surface area of almost 6,000m2 being built in 2016.

2015 Establishment of the 'Be Dutch' brand
All hotel supplies and in-room products of Hotek will be housed in the new label of Hotek Hospitality Group in 2015, as well as our very own brand called 'Be Dutch'. This will enable Hotek Hospitality Group to continue to offer a specialism for each brand, with each brand focusing on its own product line. Hotek focuses on keycard systems, Be Dutch on hotel and bathroom products and GuestKey (2020) is a mobile key and cloud access control. Due to the growth of the company, this division was important in order to be able to continue to grow in a more stable way.

2018: TIOT: Cloud Low Energy
Through the acceptance of the Internet and The Internet of Things, we have learned that a lock no longer has to be a lock. With the arrival of more and more generation Z travellers, we see that mobile telephony is more important than ever. CLE, Cloud Low Energy, was launched in 2018 to respond to this. With CLE, a start has been made to be able to open the doors via an app on the smartphone. We are proud that we are still the only manufacturer that no longer uses Bluetooth but the Cloud. As Dolf always says: "the only thing that is certain in the future is the internet" and "bluetooth is a medium to stream music in your car... not to open doors".

2020: Development of the biggest innovation since the Classic slot: GuestKey
It seemed as if Dolf felt that the world was going to change in 2020, not only because of COVID-19, but the market felt that downloading and installing an app for a few nights is out of date. Immediately after the launch of CLE he started the development of the successor without app installation: GuestKey, the key to doors but also to the guestjourney. GuestKey PWA (Progressive Web App) is not only an online hotel folder but also the virtual key on the guest's phone to open the doors in the hotel. In this way, every hotel, as well as the office, student residence and cruise ship, is future-oriented and ready for the future. Opening doors from the smartphone, viewing information such as the hotel folder and making a reservation in the restaurant or meeting room without downloading an app.

Old-fashioned workmanship and top service, that's what we won't lose sight of with this digitisation, that's what we will continue to stand for with Hotek. Even if substantial investments are made in digitisation, we will continue to answer the phone in person.

2021: The future?
After all the misery caused by COVID-19, it is clear that the travel behaviour of guests will change permanently, with the focus on even more online contact. We expect (and surreptitiously hope) that a recovery will set in mid 2021. It will certainly take until 2022 before the hospitality market will have recovered. We at Hotek are ready to continue to support you.

Hotek more than just hotel locks

In addition to the hospitality market, Hotek will also focus on other markets with GuestKey, the cloud mobile key. The first installations for StudentKey, CoworkerKey, OfficeKey but also BungalowKey and CruiseKey will follow. Dolf is convinced that a physical product is becoming less and less important but that digitization is the future in combination with existing products. Experience becomes even more important, guests and users demand more and want more freedom and safety at the same time. Personal digital communication will play a very important role in this.

Would you like to talk to us about this? Then please contact us. Hotek Hospitality Group's success depends on market demand, which is increasingly influenced by news and social media. Based on past experience, it is no longer enough to look into the future, that is a lesson we have all learned this year.... Stay safe and use your common sense.

Keep following us to stay up to date with all new developments!