Four hotels in North Holland
Which hotels in North Holland are special? On our spring trip to the tulips, we got to know four very different hotels in North Holland. Each of them in itself promises a very special experience. They all had one thing in common. They offer an interesting story and an overnight stay that is worth the trip on its own. These four extraordinary hotels in the north of The Netherlands we present you here in more detail:
The Landgoed Duin and Kruidberg in Santpoort-Noord
Only a few kilometers from Keukenhof away is the Landgoed Duin en Kruidberg. It is located in a well-kept park area near Santpoort-Noord in the National Park Zuid Kennemerland. On our arrival we pass a large paddock on which noble thoroughbreds enjoy the fresh spring grass.
History in the estate
The Landgoed Duin & Kruidberg goes back centuries in its history. It was created when the Duin & Berg and Kruidberg estates were merged. In 1682, King-Governor Willem III bought the Kruidberg estate, which he mainly used as a hunting estate. In 1895 Jacob Theodor Cremer bought the estate. He built it into what was then the largest house of its time in the Netherlands. It was completed in 1909. His Irish wife had the house and park designed in the English style. She wanted to quench her homesickness for the green island. To this day it exudes - together with the surrounding park - the charm of an English country house.
In 1961 the Cremers sold the estate to the "Dutch trading company". They used it as a vacation spot for their employees. The Landgut Duin en Kruidberg has been owned by ABN Amro Bank since 1993, which it uses as a conference and training center. The building has also been open to the public since 2002. It is used as a hotel and event center. Gourmets get their money's worth in the De vrienden van Jacob restaurant (one Michelin star) as well as in the DenK brasserie and the trendy lounge bar.
We are accommodated in one of the individually and tastefully furnished rooms in the castle part of the hotel. From there we have a wonderful view of the park with its pond. On this we observe waterfowl watching a lonely morning athlete doing his Tai Chi exercises in the dewy grass in the morning silence.
Landgoed Duin & Kruidberg
Duin en Kruidbergerweg 60
2071 LE Santpoort
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Fort Resort Beemster in Zuidoostbeemster
Quite different is our next accommodation. This time we sleep in a 100 year old fort that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage of the Netherlands. In the chambers, where once the soldiers were accommodated on bunks, today enjoyable travelers and spa lovers sleep. The architect Osiris Hertman managed in this 2012 opened luxury and spa hotel an impressive balancing act, a depressing-looking military building from the First World War with a lot of flair to miss a feel-good atmosphere.
We approach from the village of Volendam, about ten kilometers away, via the Polder landscape of North Holland. We only recognize the fort when we stand directly in front of it, although we are already circling it on the approach. To this day it is well protected from view in a small forest in the middle of the drained moorland, which in these regions of Holland is always below sea level. The fortress is surrounded by a moat that gives the gray facade something light. The wide open green painted wooden entrance doors in the reception area and in front of the individual rooms, which all have access to the outside, contribute to this.
Spend the night in the bunker - one of the extraordinary hotels in North Holland
The rooms themselves are equipped with comfortable beds, but rather sparse. In one corner is a small sitting area, in the other a sofa. Our room is so big that the furniture almost gets lost in it. The bathroom is located behind a concrete wall with open access and offers with its modern bathroom facilities a pleasant wellness area in our room.
The entire basement of Fort Resort Beemster is equipped with a large spa area, which is apparently used by the people from the area, because when we wake up after our night in the bunker the next morning, the parking lot in front of the hotel, on The evening before was full to the last place, quite orphaned. Apparently, most of the guests we encountered when we arrived were day and restaurant guests.
Eat well in the bunker
Fort Resort Beemster offers its guests two restaurants: one in the upper hotel wing, which serves regional ingredients in international and regional cuisine. The second restaurant is located in the wellness area of the hotel, where small dishes as well as multi-course meals are offered.
The quiet location of Fort Resort Beemster amidst green lawns ensures a peaceful night's sleep, which is enhanced by the thick walls of the fort. No sound penetrates from the outside to us. As I wake up in the morning, I look out the little windows at the windblown deciduous trees in front of our room and watch a heron try to pull a fish out of the moat that surrounds the fort. A more peaceful use of a building once built for defense during the war was hard to find.
Fort Resort Beemster
1461 LC Zuidoostbeemster
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Excursion tips from Fort Resort Beemster
art Hotel Spaander in Volendam - one of the hotels in North Holland
In the third hotel, which we want to introduce to you, we did not spend the night, but (only) had lunch. The public spaces of the hotel, with its many paintings, the Delft tiles and the antiques that adorned every nook and cranny, made us curious, so we gladly accepted the landlady's invitation, which showed us some of the hotel's rooms. Incidentally, this was the only hotel on our trip from which we had an unobstructed view of the IJsselmeer. All others were either separated by dunes or a dike from the sea or - like Fort Resort Beemster - in the middle of the polder landscape of the region.
Dutch masters in the inn
The Art Hotel Spaander is located in the town of Volendam, which is one of the tourist centers of the region and attracts numerous visitors from all over the world. On the side facing the countryside, the hotel offers access to the pedestrian area that winds its way along the dike, where many visitors to the souvenir shops in the spring can already see what sells the clichés, the circulating over Holland, so have to offer: wooden shoes, blue and white porcelain or tiles and cheap painting copies of old Dutch masters. On the sea-facing side, however, you can look across the expanse of the IJsselmeer to the horizon, and for the first time on our journey, we really realize that we are here near the sea.
This is where you come from because of the design, not because of the food
After a lunch consisting of fish, chips and dry toast, in which we are more concerned with the pictures on the wall and the lavish and overwhelming decor of the bar than with the food on the plate in front of us, we climb the narrow staircase From the hostel up to the old part of the house, where Marjon Kooyman, the landlady, leads us to the oldest room in the hotel. You are looking for a TV in vain. But the guest sleeps here in one of the wooden bunks, which are more reminiscent of a ship's cabin than of a bedroom.
As we discover later in the Zuiderzee Museum, the people of the region have gone far into the 20. Slept in such bunks in the 19th century. Next to the bed, a cauldron hangs from a blue and white (how could it be otherwise) tiles on a metal scaffolding, where the guest could brew his morning tea if he wanted to. She is comfortable, this room - and she certainly offers the guest who sleeps in it a very special experience.
Not afraid of ghosts
"One shouldn't be afraid of ghosts," Marjon Kooyman nods to us with a wink and says: "There are actually guests who want to have seen them." So not for the faint of heart, I think to myself. The guest does not have to do without a shower in this room. If you want something a little more modern, you can have a room in one of the more modern hotel sections instead. There you sleep in comfortable beds in bright rooms, the windows of which overlook the sea. Away from the hustle and bustle in the pedestrian zone, you can only hear the sound of the almost constantly blowing wind or the waves hitting the shore. Certainly a pleasant way to spend the night.
A big advantage of the art Hotel Spaander is that you can quickly reach the prettiest villages in the region - Edam, Monnikendam and, of course, Volendam itself. The perfect location for those who want to explore this area of North Holland.
Art Hotel Spaander
1131 EP Volendam
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Sleep behind the dike in Restinn in Oosterleek
The last accommodation that we want to introduce to you is actually not a hotel. We spend the night in the Restinn in Oosterleek with a view of the dike that rises several meters above us. In front of it one of the canals runs right in front of the terrace of our house where we spend the night. A sandbank pushes out into this channel, on which the goats with their young, the chickens and a pony perform their capers.
What are restinns?
There are several restinns in North Holland. These are accommodations in the countryside, often on farms and in the countryside in Holland. Here we can - when we go up the dike - look out over the expanse of the Markermeer or, if we turn around, look over the fields and tulip growing areas inland. You won't find any restaurants, hustle and bustle or evening entertainment here. What you can find here is tranquility - and that in excess! As soon as the sun sinks behind the dike, the goats, chickens and the pony disappear into their shelter and only come out again when the sun rises over the dike in the morning. A life close to nature.
Here you go to bed with the chickens
Our house, which is lined with two terraces like an inverted V, contains everything we need for an overnight stay. Even if the mattresses could be a little more comfortable, we sleep the sleep of the righteous. Because we too go to bed here with the chickens. Somehow it doesn't seem to fit that we turn on the TV even though it is there. Wifi is also available, but so slow that it is not worth working. And so we enjoy a quiet night in our house until we are woken up in the morning by the rays of the sun, which slowly rises over the dike.
We have a bathroom with a shower and wash basin that is a bit reminiscent of RV bathrooms, except that it is larger than them. All facilities are available that we expect from an accommodation. These are simple but practical and functional.
Breakfast at the bed complacent?
Our breakfast the next morning is interesting. Our landlady brings it to us in the cool box - complete with eggs, toast, croissant, cheese, sausage and jams. We only have to brew the coffee ourselves in the coffee machine that is available in our little house.
If you are looking for peace and quiet and want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, an overnight stay in the Restinn is an alternative. By the way, Restinns are not intended for families with children, as each of the houses only contains two beds and offers no space for families. Our conclusion: it is an experience to stay so close to nature.
1609 MT Oosterleek
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On our trip through North Holland we tried accommodations that covered everything from a castle hotel to a bunker from the First World War, an art hotel (which we were allowed to sniff into) and accommodation in the countryside. Each of them offered experiences and impressions that showed us different sides of Holland and brought us closer. We don't want to miss any of them, each one had its charm and left us with a picture of North Holland that is very likeable and entices us to come back to discover more of it.
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Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline