Dutch meeting and hotel venues that will open in 2015

Holland is a popular destination for leisure and business reasons. With the increasing demand new venues start to open their doors. I’ve made a list of venues, hotels, conference destinations that are planned for this year.


Motel ONE
W Amsterdam
Element hotel
Steigenberger hotel
Hyatt Regency Amsterdam
Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
INK Hotel
Atlas ArenA Amsterdam
Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station
Corendon Vitality Hotel Amsterdam

Hotel WINGS Rotterdam Airport

Apollo hotel & resort

Intercity Hotel Eindhoven

Van der Valk Hotel Sassenheim Leiden

Site visit: time to explore the North of Holland!

Holland may be a small country in size, but we are big in what we can offer meeting planners. The northern part of Holland is for many visitors new territory. The area covers the beautiful Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen. About time I share all my knowledge, facts and tips about this great part of my country with you!


Some facts:

  • Two big conference cities: Groningen and Leeuwarden
  • Venue spaces up to 2,500 people
  • Extensive experience in organising big and small international conventions
  • Great diversity of venues for meetings, incentives, conferences and events
  • Great diversity of landscapes – in the city, in the woods, in the heath fields, by the lake or on an island.
  • Schiphol Airport Amsterdam at 90 minutes from Leeuwarden and 120 minutes from Groningen
  • Compared with the big conference cities in the West, the North is 30-35% cheaper
  • Both the Wadden Sea and the Woudagemaal are Unesco World Heritage sites

Groningen is the largest city in the northern part of the Netherlands. It fulfills a central function in the region and is easily accessible via Groningen Airport Eelde (10 minutes from Groningen and 40 minutes from Leeuwarden). The city of Groningen has had a rich history. Many architectural highlights from the past can still be seen in the centre, such as the old city walls and the ancient harbours surrounded by historic warehouses and authentic freight ships. These ancient facades stand in the city centre side by side with contemporary architecture and buildings. Because Groningen has never been shy about taking on daring projects. The Groninger Museum, designed by a group of different architects and designers, is a work of art in its own right. As the second-oldest university city in the Netherlands, Groningen is home to about 40,000 students, approximately 4,000 of which come from abroad.

You can find over 3,600 beds in and near Groningen. And there are many special venues. Whether you are looking for something modern and grand or small and full of history, Groningen has it. Check my hidden secret page for special venues in and around Groningen.

Leeuwarden was elected to be European Capital of Culture 2018. All the more reason to visit! Leeuwarden is the dynamic capital of the beautiful province of Friesland, and functions as the start and finish line for the world famous ‘Eleven cities’ ice-skating tour. The city is surrounded by countryside and water, with lakes and other leisure areas and amenities close at hand. The Frisian capital has a compact and clear city centre. Yet what it offers is as comprehensive as it is diverse. In the centre you can find numerous national monuments, a range of delightful and surprising shops and inviting café terraces. The city is one of modern paradoxes; a city that respects its past, whilst looking to the future by investing in research, development and ICT.


Almost all its conference accommodation, certainly its ‘happening’ nightlife and many of its hotels (around 1,500 beds in and near Leeuwarden) are located within an easy walking two kilometre radius of the city centre. This city will certainly host your conference or event with pride!

Doesn’t that sound great?
Yes, I thought so! MICE Holland North, the joint venture of the MICE organisations from the province of Groningen and Friesland, invite you to join them for a two-day tour in the north of Holland on 30 & 31 January 2015. An excellent idea for meeting planners to get to know the north and learn all about the area, venues, accommodations and activities. You can sign up for the site visit on the website of Holland North.

The programme of the two day site visit:

Thursday 29 January in Groningen
17.00                          Arrival in Groningen
17.30                          Welcome in the Schimmelpenninckhuys
19.00 – 22.00             Dinner in Groningen

Friday 30 January in Groningen & Friesland
09.00 -16.15                A city walk passing by new and inspiring meeting locations in
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  Groningen for instance: the Watertoren, the Infoversum, het
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  Kasteel, Groninger Museum, the Oosterpoort and MartinaPlaza
16.15                           Departure by bus to Friesland
17.15                           Arrival in Leeuwarden, check-in
17.40 – 18.30               Presentation of the European Capital of Culture 2018 in the
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  Cultural Quarter of Leeuwarden
18.30 – 19.30               Time to refresh
19.30 – 22.00               Dinner at Eleve (Michelin star restaurant)
22.15                           Drink at the hotelbar or in one of the pubs

Saturday 31 January
09.00 – 12.00               Site program “Meet Friesland”
12.00 – 13.30               Walking lunch at Landgoed Lauswolt
13.30 – 14.00               Sightseeing through the Frisian landscape to Sneek
14.00 – 15.00                Site program “Taste Friesland”
15.00 – 16.30               Bustour to Lemmer
15.30 – 16.30               Visit to the Woudagemaal, Unesco World Heritage
16.30                           Say goodbye

Subscribe for this site visit on the website of Holland North or call +31(0)50-3168876 or send a mail to info@micehollandnorth.nl.

A day in… Groningen

The city of Groningen is located in the province of Groningen in the Northern part of Holland. It is the sixth biggest city of the country and home to 30,000 of the 50,000 student that study here. Whether you are planning your meeting here or just want to explore the city, spending the day in Groningen gives you a lot of business and leisure options.

Station Groningen

Groningen is the sixth largest city of Holland
Groningen is of origin a hanseatic city
Groningen has the second oldest (1614) University of Holland
Population: 197,823

Getting there
Groningen is easy to reach by car, plane or public transportation. Groningen has a small airport (Groningen Airport Eelde) just 15 kilometres away from the city centre. From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol you can take the train (142 minutes) or go by car (2 hours).

Meeting and business venues 
The city offers a wide variety of meeting venues, hotels and inspirational conference rooms. With it’s characteristic architecture and mellow atmosphere it will be easy to find a venue that suits your business meeting or conference.

Groningen is host to venue spaces up to 2,500 people. They have extensive experience in organising big and small international conventions and can offer a great diversity of landscapes. Compared with the big conference cities in the West, the north is also 30-35% cheaper.

Staying in Groningen? You might want to consider NH Hotel de Ville or Mercure Groningen Martiniplaza. But there are many, many, many more options. How about Asgard Hotel Groningen or Hampshire Hotel Plaza Groningen?

Hidden secrets
How would you like a meeting in a Tipi or farmhouse? There are many more inspirational and special venues in Groningen. On our hidden secret page we collect all of them for you.

After your meeting
Groningen is a great place to spend a day or two. They have a broad range of museums, shopping areas, restaurants and sights.

Groninger museum – Even the building itself is spectacular! Don’t miss this one.
Het Nederlands Stripmuseum Groningen – Home of many Dutch talented cartoonists.
Noorderlijk Scheepvaartmuseum – The history of the North Dutch shipbuilding and shipping from the Middle Ages to the present day comes to life in this museum.

Shopping areas
City centre – The inner city of Groningen is a wonderful place for a shopping spree. You will find many fashion, vintage and shoe shops with something to offer for every budget. 
Grote Markt – From tuesday till saturday you will find flowers, clothing and food at the big market. 

Casual or haute cuisine? City vibe or intimate setting? A view at the lively, characteristic streets or going back to basics? Groningen has it all. Throughout Groningen you can find many restaurants. But these restaurants are very popular:

Houdt van eten – Biological / French / Italian
De Pauw – French / Modern
Eetcafé de Gans – Casual / Private Dining

Groningen in the winter

When you are in Groningen it is almost impossible not to notice the Martinitower. Walk the 323 steps and enjoy the beautiful view from the top of the six story high tower. From here you can enjoy a spectacular view over Groningen and its surroundings with its distinctive farms of the Ommeland.

A day in Groningen.. 
With all these tips I am almost sure you need a few extra days of stay in Groningen. Have fun and let me know your favourite part of the city!

Holland’s first King’s Day; what to do and where to go?

Queen’s Day, the day on which the Dutch used to celebrate Queen Beatrix’s birthday, was our favorite day of the year. Not only did we get the day off, but everyone celebrated it together! Queen Beatrix abdicated in 2013, in favour of her eldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander. Exit Queen’s Day, welcome King’s Day, the start of a new tradition. We will celebrate our first King’s Day on 26 April 2014.

King's day

Being in Holland during King’s Day will make your business meeting very special. The myriad festivities and the lovely spring weather will add creativity and pleasure to your sessions. There are a ton of things to do and see on the eve of King’s Day and on the day itself. We have a few great tips for you. I bet you will want to join next year!

Royal family walkabout
The royal family will visit Amstelveen and De Rijp, close to Amsterdam, on King’s Day 2014. During their visit, they will become acquainted with the various cultural and historical aspects of these two towns. The royals will also take part in music and sports festivities. The visits will be broadcast live on Dutch television.

Flea markets
Are you into vintage and budget treasures? On King’s Day there are flea markets in almost every city of the country. The right spot for your stall is conducive to selling all your second-hand items, therefore, many people claim their ideal spot a few days in advance.

A huge variety of goods is sold at the flea markets. Clothes, toys, furniture, games, and traditional foods. Join the Dutch on this special day and try the country’s favorite savory snack ‘bitter balls’,´ and the ever-popular stroopwafels (caramel waffles). This is the perfect day to taste all kinds of Dutch treats. Enjoy!

Party time
Pick your city and have some fun! It does not really matter which city you choose, as there are fun activities everywhere. Use our venue finder to easily find a place to stay.

The party atmosphere in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam is unlike anything you have ever experienced internationally. All along the crisscrossing bridges and canals, revelers take to the streets in hilarious orange outfits, in honour of our national colour. This year, Amsterdam boasts four large open-air dance festivals. We recommend the Kingsland Festival in Amsterdam RAI. National and international DJs perform on four stages from 12 noon to 8:00 p.m. 

It is hard to choose from all the great outdoor festivals and activities in Rotterdam. Pushed to pick one, we would opt for the spectacular fireworks at the river Maas. Close to the Erasmus bridge and the Euromast tower you can enjoy the end of your day with a bang! Are you spending the night? Enjoy beautiful views of the skyline in the recently opened Nhow Hotel on the opposite side of the river Maas.

If you stay in the center of Holland, in Utrecht, you will have a great time. Utrecht has lots of outdoor cafes adjacent to its canals. You can enjoy the scenery while having lunch or dinner. If you have your meeting on Friday 25 April, you can combine it with the King’s Day Eve party ’The revolution’ in the newly opened TivoliVredenburg venue.

The Hague
The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament, and famous for its King’s Day Eve festival. The ’Life I Live’ festival with its nine stages, is free of charge. The Hague is a city of rock music, so be prepared for some swinging rock ’n’ roll! Check our latest destination rapport The Hague for venues and restaurants. 

Enjoy the golden oldies in Groningen’s city centre during the open-air ’Like the 80s & 90s’ festival. The festival takes place on Friday and Saturday night, and is free of charge. Do you need a place to stay? We recommend a local style ‘borg’ just outside the city, De Piloersema. It dates back to 1633 and is the only remaining farmhouse of its kind. Here you can have a private dinner or meeting, from ten to 80 people. Nice detail, the owners previously ran a Michelin-star restaurant, and strive to offer a top culinary experience for their guests.

Why not enjoy the beach by day and dance by night at the royal dance party in Club Conversation? This club is located in the famous Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk. Yes, you are right, the very same venue in which President Obama stayed during the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit! 

Competition winner
Last week we announced the winner of our ‘Check your details and win a trip to King’s Day in Holland’ competition. The winner will be joining us in Amsterdam to celebrate this fantastic historic event. In an orange outfit, of course! 

Watch the fun video of me selecting the winner. 

If you want more information about King’s Day, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to seeing your King’s Day selfies on our Facebook page!

Let’s meet in Groningen: a site inspection in the capital of the North

Groningen is frequently called the ‘Capital of the North’ and has a central function in the Northern region of Holland. I have visited the city for you to check out the meeting facilities.

Holland’s city of sustainability and health

Groningen has hosted many international meetings thanks to the great reputation of the Groningen University and the University Medical Centre. EU research has shown that the inhabitants of Groningen appreciate their city more than anywhere else in Europe. Groningen is cherished for its safety, the pure air, a beautiful city centre and pleasant surroundings.

Blog Holland Groningen City

Groningen is Holland’s leading city in green energy. From 19-20 November Groningen hosts the annual Energy Convention, an international platform for senior energy experts to exchange knowledge about energy and sustainability research. Many power companies in Groningen are working together as the Energy Valley Top Club to promote green energy matters. Power companies and other corporates, that are involved into sustainability topics can get inspired by the green spirit that lives in Groningen.

Another prominent topic in Groningen is healthy aging. Since Dutch people are living longer, the universities and medical centre of Groningen have initiated numerous research projects to find out how lifestyle factors influence the aging process. The LifeLines project for example monitors lifestyle and health of three generations of Dutch residents. Corporates in health and geriatric care can clearly benefit from this knowledge.

Blog Holland Groningen Mills

Easy access with Airport Eelde

Groningen Aiport Eelde provides excellent accessibility for international guests. The favourable departure times and the quick check-ins make Airport Eelde an attractive airport for holiday and business travellers. There are frequent flights to many destinations in Southern Europe and the UK and flights to more destinations like Munich, Stockholm and Rome are planned. Compared to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Airport Eelde is less busy and crowded. You can also travel to Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht by train.

Blog Holland Groningen Airport


Groningen offers a wide range of historic and modern venues for big and small meetings. Biggest advantage for low-budgets: Groningen lies 30 percent below the price level in Amsterdam. Here are some recommendations by the Groningen Convention Bureau.

MartiniPlaza Convention Centre
Prinsenhof Hotel
The Wall House
The Aa-Church
Het Kasteel (The Castle)
The Oosterpoort & The Stadsschouwburg
Hanze Plaza
The Martini Church
The Remonstrantse Church

My personal hotel tips: Hampshire Hotel Plaza and NH Groningen

Hidden Secrets

Hayema Herd, a traditional farmhouse with facilities for meetings and conferences. Taste the rural life and sleep in the hayloft in a bed of straw.

Boven Jan, a brand-new restaurant in the heart of Groningen.

Hofjeswandeling, a walk through the city of Groningen along the various guesthouses. In the past these beautiful atria served as a temporary accommodation for the poor. Ask GCB for more information.

130914 Facebook Holland Puzzla Martini Tower

After your meeting

Recently, Groningen has been chosen as the city with the best city centre in Holland. That’s why Groningen is a real paradise for shopping queens. From large chain shops to small, charming stores you can find anything you want. If you prefer enjoying some art you should visit the Groningen Museum. The extraordinary building hosts fascinating exhibitions of paintings and photography. After the long hours of sitting in the meeting room you might also need some physical activity. From the Martini Church Tower you can enjoy an amazing view of Groningen and the surroundings, but first you must climb up 96.8 meters to the top of the 500-year old building. Thanks to the many students in Groningen, the city offers a vibrant nightlife. There is no fixed closing time for pubs and bars, so you are invited to party with the locals until the wee small hours.

More information

What is your impression of Groningen after this report? For more questions about meeting activities in and around Groningen you can contact my friends from the Groningen Convention Bureau.

New in Holland: First-class meeting in a soccer stadium

Today’s soccer stadiums are no longer restricted to football. A good example of this is the new Euroborg Stadium in Groningen. On non-soccer days it is the perfect place for meetings, conferences and events.

In addition to large rooms that can accommodate up to 1500 guests combined, it is a surprising experience to gather with a small group for a meeting in the vast stadium. The skyboxes are exclusive rooms for your meeting with a beautiful view of the turf! If you are looking for a meeting break, consider a tour of the FC Groningen stadium, a memorable behind the scenes experience.

Check for more info: www.euroborghoreca.nl