Hotelvrijmibo | About the founders
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The founders

The people behind Hotelvrijmibo? We would like to introduce them to you!

Jacob de Graaff, founder and owner

The so called ‘brain’ behind Hotelvrijmibo is Jacob de Graaff (1975). Jacob graduated from the Hotelschool The Hague in 2000 and followed a successful career path at various hotels, like the InterContinental in Miami, the Eden Hotel Group and the Radisson SAS in Amsterdam. In 2007 he decided to lift his career to a  next level and became an entrepreneur. Next to being the founder and owner of the Hotelvrijmibo concept, he started, the leading jobsite for those people who work in a hotel or have the ambition to do so. In 2013 he founded the Hotel Leaders Network, a platform exclusively aimed at leaders in the hotel industry: general managers, hotel managers, CEO’s and regional directors.


Jacob: “Besides the networking element, Hotelvrijmibo is a perfect occasion to relax after a long week of hard working, while having an informal drink, bite and chat with colleagues. People who work in a hotel, at every level, are always under high pressure. This is a demanding industry, the days are usually long. It’s great to unwind with like-minded spirits, people who understand this dynamic business well. What’s really special about it, are the locations. Because let’s be honest, how often do you have friday night drinks in a hotel? Most people go to a pub. Hotelvrijmibo is organised in the most beautiful, vibrating venues in town. That, combined with the excellent finger food, drinks and music, makes each Hotelvrijmibo unforgettable.”

Jacob de Graaff | Oprichter en eigenaar Hotelvrijmibo
Melle Pegman | Mede-eigenaar Hotelvrijmibo

Melle Pegman, co-owner

In 2010 Melle Pegman (1985) joined the organisation of Hotelvrijmibo. Like Jacob, Melle studied at the Hotelschool The Hague from which he graduated in 2009. During his successful career in the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel he became one of the ambassadors for Hotelvrijmibo. His enthusiasm about the concept made him decide to launch a similar concept in London, together with Jacob: HotelFridays, a two-monthly network event. Not long after that Melle quit his job at the Hilton to become the co-owner of Hotelvrijmibo. Melle is also the co-owner of Hotelprofessionals, the leading recruitment site for the hotel industry. He is also one of the creators of the Hotel Leaders Network platform.


Melle: “De strenght of Hotelvrijmibo, to my opinion, is the combination of an informal, excellent atmosphere and the huge networking possibilities. Each time, people from all over the country – not just Amsterdam – join us to catch up with fellow hotel professionals and colleagues. Every edition, the number of attendees grows. That alone should be an indication of its ongoing success.”