3 amazing Christmas Events in Holland

Just a few nights until Christmas Eve and I really feel the anticipation everywhere. During the last days I saw many beautifully decorated Christmas trees, delicious treats and cool gift ideas from all over the world. Since Dutch people always do things a little different than the rest of the world, we also have a different Christmas tradition.

The Christmas Man
Unlike in the US for instance, Christmas in Holland is not about Santa Claus and reindeer. In fact, we already celebrated ‘Sinterklaas’ (St. Nicholas Day) on December 5. This is the day where Dutch children get most excited about and where they receive the big presents. However, Santa Claus has found a way to edge into Dutch Christmas as Kerstman (The Christmas Man). Of course, kids are only too happy to accept two gift-giving old men.

Cosy atmosphere
Most of all, Christmas in Holland is about the ambiance. People buy Christmas trees and decorate them with Christmas wreath cookies, glass balls and white candles. The main square of every city has its own brightly lit Christmas tree and in the bigger cities there are lots of cool activities. Here some examples:

Blog Holland Christmas

Maastricht is a great place to enjoy ‘the good life’ at any time of the year but it’s even more magical during the holiday season. During this period, several Christmas markets themed “Magical Maastricht” are held throughout the city.

Blog Holland Amsterdam Light

During the Amsterdam Light Festival in December, the best light artists from Holland and abroad light up the city’s canals with their work. Every night you can see the beautiful works along the Amstel river or the old canals in the city centre.

Blog Holland Zwolle Ice

This winter will see Zwolle’s city centre dominated by the Grimm brothers and their famous fairytales. Dozens of Dutch and international ice artists will be creating ice sculptures on the Rodetorenplein square, showing off their personal interpretation of the Grimm tales.

What will you do on Christmas?
Will you celebrate it traditionally with friends and family? Or do you have an alternative way to spend the holidays? I’d love to hear about it.

See you at #IMEX12? Make an appointment at booth 212!

The excitement of going to Las Vegas is really all over me right now. Only one week to go!

If you really want to make the most of IMEX America, you shouldn’t miss Booth 212. Time and money well spent. That’s what my country has to offer you. Holland, in North-West Europe, is small. That’s great!

Holland has its famous capital Amsterdam. But there is more. Cities such as Rotterdam or Maastricht are totally different. So all around Amsterdam, Holland looks like a kaleidoscope. Compact equals impact!

In Booth 212 you can meet eye to eye with representatives of the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC). Let’s talk about impact, efficiency, and planning truly original events!

Plus you can talk to representatives of the following Dutch organisations. Click on the links to access their exhibitor profiles and book an appointment:

Accor Hotels The Netherlands
Accor, the world’s leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, is present in 92 countries with more than 4,400 hotels and 530,000 rooms.

Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre
With more than 110 years of experience, Amsterdam RAI is the main convention center in The Netherlands.

Apollo Hotels Amsterdam
Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre Guestrooms: 446 Number of Meeting Rooms: 8 (2,395 square feet) Largest Meeting room: 200 people.

Hotel Okura Amsterdam
Hotel Okura Amsterdam is the most complete five-star luxury hotel that you will find in The Netherlands and exclusive member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the world’.

HOTELS VAN ORANJE, The Beach of Amsterdam
The Hotels van Oranje a combination of a 4 and 5 star hotel located at the Beach of Amsterdam 20 minutes from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre
The Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre is located in the Eastern Docklands in between the Muziekgebouw and the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam.

And of course I will be there to be your host! I would love to take a picture with you or have a drink and one of the many nice meetups that are organized. So see you at #IMEX12!

Holland’s Top 10 finest design hotels: a fine and out-of-the-ordinary selection

When you travel, where you stay is as important as where you go and what the purpose of the meeting is. A comfortable environment, the quality of the facilities and amenities that are important to you, and friendly and service-oriented staff, and an inspiring and relaxing atmosphere. I understand that each meeting delegate’s preferences are different. Therefore I have a wealth of interesting picks for your next stay in many categories.

In this post I share my fine and out-of-the-ordinary selection of design hotels in Holland.

10. Hotel Arena

Hotel Arena in Amsterdam is anything but standard. This is where hip, business, creative talent, young and old meet. From early morning until late at night, from breakfast to club. In an informal, intimate setting in which Dutch Design and history merge.

www.hotelarena.nl

9. Mozaic

Located in two monumental buildings dating back to 1880, Mozaic combines first-class service with modern design. Hotel Mozaic in The Hague provides stylish accommodation with all modern conveniences, including 25 luxury rooms, two meeting rooms and a pleasant lounge.

www.mozaic.nl

8. The Exchange

At Hotel The Exchange fashion meets architecture in the most unexpected and inspiring way. All 61 rooms,  ranging from one to five stars, allowing for every budget, are ‘dressed’ like models, allowing visitors to sleep in fashion and wake up in style.

www.exchangeamsterdam.com

7. Hotel Badhu

Badhu is a small eight-room hotel and restaurant, located in a former bathhouse. Inspired by Moroccan hammams, this beautiful building is situated in one of the nicest spots of Utrecht. Each room has its own look and feel through different colours and decoration, all in Arabic design.

www.badhu.nl

6. Hotel Stroom

Stroom Rotterdam is situated in the former electricity plant in the new Lloyd Quarter. The hotel offers 21 studios that are equipped with all the comfort and mod cons you might need. In most studios, you can lay back and admire the starlit sky while having a bath – and even while lying in bed, in some of the rooms.

www.stroomrotterdam.nl

5. Villa Ruimzicht

Villa Ruimzicht Hotel & Restaurant is located in a monumental building dating back from 1853 in a city park near the city centre of Doetinchem. The beautifully restored building offers two restaurants, meeting rooms, provocative Dutch art and a cooking studio. Sleeping at Hotel Villa Ruimzicht is an experience for all your senses. You have a choice of four Dutch design styles, themed Romantic, B2B, Lifestyle and Water Fun.

www.hotelvillaruimzicht.nl

4. Zenden Design Hotel

If white is your colour and sports is your thing, be sure to put Design Hotel Zenden in Maastricht on top of your list! Situated in one of the oldest and most romantic parts of the city, three monumental buildings together form this small hotel and nearby studios. Zenden also offers a sports centre and ‘Swim Club’, located in a Romanesque arched pool.

www.zenden.nl

3. Kruisherenhotel Maastricht

The former Kruisheren (Crutched Friar) cloister dates from the fifteenth century. Situated in the heart of Maastricht, the cloister and monumental gothic church have been transformed into a very special design hotel. It is a unique property, in which antiques and modern design are interwoven, while, at the same time, architectural contrasts between the past and the present are very clear.

www.chateauhotels.nl

2. Manna

In the city of Nijmegen and beyond, Manna is known for its personalized accommodation, top service and intimate and luxurious experience. The hotel has been honoured with many hospitality and ‘best hotel’ awards over the years. Hotel Manna is situated in a beautiful historical building in the centre of Nijmegen. Guests will be pampered, as the hotel offers only six spacious and luxurious suites, each with its own design and atmosphere.

www.manna-nijmegen.nl

1. Dutch Design Hotel Artemis

Dutch Design Hotel Artemis is a deluxe 4-star modern design hotel, situated between Amsterdam city centre and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The hotel offers 256 comfortable design rooms, and eleven multi-functional meeting rooms. Distinguishing architecture, surprising and inspiring Dutch design and art collections are coupled with a warm welcome and personal service.

www.artemisamsterdam.com

Top 10 activities after a meeting in Holland

Last week I’ve shared some tips and ideas with you on Twitter about activities to undertake after a meeting in Holland. As you may know, Holland is one of the most diverse places in the world, so there is a lot fun stuff to do in our little country. Here’s some ideas:



Flower Fields

Flower park de Keukenhof is very beautiful. What you should definitely do is taking a bike tour around it. This way you can discover the Netherlands differently then just walking by the flowers in the park. And above all: it’s so much more beautiful to see those grand fields of tulips! Impressive really.

Canals of Utrecht

Want to experience a typically Dutch trip? Take a boat tour on the Utrecht canals! The Utrecht canals are even more special than the ones in Amsterdam. You can moor to the restaurants next to the canals. The floor and water levels areeven, so you can easily hop out when you see one you like. It’s really special!  And don’t forget: Utrecht is one of the ‘bizarrely under-visited’ towns according to Lonely Planet.  If you want to make it really special after a meeting you can plan a BBQ boat.

Visit the Amsterdam Brewery

Taste an exclusively Amsterdam made beer at Brewery ‘t IJ. This brewery is beautiful spot to bond with your colleagues. On the Amstel waterside terrace you can enjoy a homemade beer. Trust me: this is what most Dutchies also love to do! I love to hang out there for a Friday afternoon drink

Ice Bar Cocktails

Make your own cocktail in the one and only Ice Bar in the Netherlands, located in Amsterdam. It’s fun to do with your colleagues and good for bonding as well. Drink the cocktail you made yourself. Brilliant and a unique activity!

GPS Quest

How to discover the Dutch town where your meeting takes place? A GPS quest is a different, quirky way to do this! You get a lot of questions to discover the history and modern facts about the town you’re visiting.

The Dutch beaches

The whole West coast of Holland is covered in nice beaches. It’s an absolute delight to watch the sunset on the beach with a Heineken beer. Look at the best beach clubs around Noordwijk.

Ballooning

The Netherlands is a small country. Imagine you can see the Netherlands from above! Ballooning has become very popular in Groningen.

Dinner high and above at Euromast

Ever eaten at a height of 96 meters? This is an experience you’ll have once in a lifetime! Have dinner with a spectacular view of Rotterdam. Take a look at our city of blinding lights!

Visit a cinema

Most English movies aren’t dubbed in the Dutch movie theaters. It’s an excellent trip for after your meeting. Amsterdam cinemas.

Restaurants in Maastricht

In Maastricht you have a lot of restaurants with tasty local food. When I’m in a bit of a run, I like to dine in Maastricht, as it’s easy to find out where I can dine in 90 minutes!

Want to read more about Dutch traditional activities? Read our blog: Best traditional places to visit in Holland