List: New venues that opened in 2014

In 2014 a lot of venues, hotels and conference centres opened their doors. I’ve made a complete list for you. You’re welcome!

opening venue

Amsterdam
Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport (read more)
Waldorf Astoria (read more)
Holiday Inn Amsterdam Arena Towers (read more)
Brooklyn Hotel Amsterdam (read more)
Max Brown Hotel (read more)
Volkshotel Amsterdam (read more)
ijVENUES (read more)

Rotterdam
Nhow Rotterdam (read more)
Ibis hotel Rotterdam (read more)

Noordwijk
Vesper beach hotel (read more)

Utrecht
TivoliVredenburg (read more)
Star Lodge Hotel Utrecht

Den Haag
Suite Novotel Den Haag City Centre (read more)

Leiden
Event & convention centre Leiden (Holiday inn) (read more)

A day in… Noordwijk

Noordwijk is a municipality in the province of Zuid-Holland and is beautifully located at the beach. Noordwijk may not be the biggest city, but Noordwijk is known as Holland’s second conference city. Whether you are planning your meeting here or just want to explore the city, spending the day in Noordwijk gives you a lot of business and leisure options.

Noordwijk

Facts
Noordwijk is also known as the beach of Amsterdam
13 km of coast line
Capacity largest auditorium: 1,100 pax
Population: 25,600

Getting there & getting around
Noordwijk is easy to reach by car, plane or public transportation. Big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague are close at hand. So too are Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (25 km) and Rotterdam The Hague Airport (40 km).

Noordwijk has all the congress facilities of a big city. But on a small scale. In Noordwijk, it doesn’t take your guests long to get from A to B. Unlike big cities, everything you need is within walking distance, which is ideal when your conference covers several locations or if your guests are staying in different hotels. Accommodating a citywide conference is no problem at all for Noordwijk.

Meeting and business venues 
Noordwijk offers a wide variety of meeting venues, hotels and inspirational conference rooms. Because Noordwijk is a friendly seaside resort with a warm atmosphere, your guests are sure to feel at home.

New
In the summer Vesper Hotel opened its doors in Noordwijk. This boutique hotel is all about mixing business with pleasure.

Classics
Staying in Noordwijk? You might want to consider the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin or Hotels van Oranje. They are both strategically located and well-known for their international guests like President Obama and Xi Jinping. If you are looking for a venue for a large group of people (up to 1,100 pax) you could have your meeting at Hotel NH Noordwijk Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst.

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

Restaurants
Casual or Michelin star restaurant? Beach vibe or intimate setting? Noordwijk has it all. Here are a few of my suggestions:

Beachclub O. – beach / music / relax
Chatillon – hotel / creative / organic
Latour – Michelin star / wines / classic
Villa de Duinen – French / classic / business meeting

Mermaid of Noordwijk

Sights
Noordwijk has beautiful beaches, magnificent sand dunes, a charming, historic centre and various attractions in the surrounding area – most of them internationally renowned.

A day in Noordwijk.. 
With all these tips I am almost sure you need a few extra days of stay in Noordwijk. Contact Noordwijk Marketing for all your detailed questions. Have fun at the beach!

Hotels van Oranje: a presidential stay at the beach of Amsterdam

Why hold meetings in a busy, noisy, and distracting city, when you can enjoy a creative and inspirational site? It is proven that people are feeling happier after a day at the coast. The unique location of the Hotels van Oranje allows you to combine your business meeting or event with various great outdoor activities on the beach, at sea, and through the dunes.

Mr. Holland_Hotels van Oranje

Facts

  • The hotel is very well accessible via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport or Rotterdam The Hague airport.
  • The hotel is located at walking distance from the beach, dunes and forest.
  • The Noordwijk area is popular for it’s atmospheric ambiance throughout the year.

Kings, Presidents & CEO’s
The presidential hospitality of Hotels van Oranje is certainly not unknown in the world. Many Kings, Presidents and CEO’s have stayed at Hotels van Oranje in the past and in the present.

Before the Nuclear Security Summit took off in March 2014, Hotels van Oranje hosted the Sino-Dutch Economic Forum. Special guests: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, but also Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. The Chinese delegation stayed at the Hotels van Oranje during the entire NSS. While Mr. Xi Jinping attended the summit, his wife visited the beautiful Keukenhof. They really appreciated that the hotel showed flexibility and were able to create 24 suites for their delegation. And that is one of the specialties of Hotels van Oranje, they have the capacity of a conference hotel, but they keep holding on to the charm of a boutique hotel.Hotels van Oranje

Endless possibilities
There is an infinite number of possibilities, which can be custom made for the purpose of your meeting or event. The team of Hotels van Oranje has a lot of experience with small to large conventions. Their event managers can help you create a very successful event that nobody will forget any time soon. Hotels van Oranje is located in a city that is the second-ranked international convention venue of the Netherlands. And due to recent renovations through the entire hotel, there is a unique mix of warm charm and modern interior in all the meeting and hotel rooms.

hotels van oranje hotelkamer

Renovations
During the last few years the Hotels van Oranje have invested tremendously in the modernization of all hotel facilities. Most recently all the hotel rooms in Hotel Oranje have been completely renewed. At the beginning of 2014 the Superior Deluxe rooms were delivered including completely renovated bathrooms.  The Hotels van Oranje have also created 4 new, contemporary Executive Suites! These suites have a staggering dimension of 60 m2 and are an oasis of pure luxury. Next to the hotel rooms also the stylish Imperial Bar, Aqua Sauna Oranje, Beauty Oranje, meeting rooms and the hotel lobby are renewed.

Activities
Plan some breaks during or after your meeting and combine it with great activities such as power kiting, coast rafting, beach golf or perhaps even tug of war with or against your management team! But how about designing and making your own sand sculpture, discover the flower bulb area with a balanced Segway tour or an unforgettable Vespa lifestyle experience! And at night you will be dancing it off in the Hotels van Oranje very own Beachclub O. How cool is that?

I bet I made you curious. Check out the Pinterest album I made with several shots from Hotels van Oranje.

An interview with.. Stephan Stokkermans – Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin

Last March, during the Nuclear Security Summit, President Obama chose to stay at Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk. How exciting for a hotel manager. I talked to commercial director Stephan Stokkermans about this very special guest. 

Stephan Stokkermans and  United States Secretary of State John Kerry

Stephan Stokkermans (left) and United States Secretary of State John Kerry (right)

The Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin was chosen to be the residence of the U.S. President during the NSS. How did this decision come about?
The organisation of the NSS was in the hands of the Dutch government in general and the ministry of foreign affairs in particular. They booked approximately 8,000 rooms for all delegations. The embassy of America explicitly picked the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin based on location, capacity and quality of the rooms and halls.

How much preparation time did it cost from the beginning to the actual visit?
During the first quarter of 2013 the ​​selection of hotels was made. From September on we drafted plans along with the embassy and the White House.

Did President Obama comment on his stay at Huis ter Duin?
Both President Obama and state secretary Kerry were very enthusiastic about the hotel. In particular, they found the facilities and location to be very impressive. In fact, the seaside setting reminded them of Cape Cod.

What are the differences between hosting a delegation and “any other group”?
The Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin has a rich history hosting international meetings of multinationals, the European Union and NATO. Those meetings are attended by several delegations and they come with an extensive conference program. In this situation, the focus is on the temporary residence of a head of state and his support services. Which was reassuring, but given the importance of the delegation we did feel a serious amount of pressure.

Beast at Grand hotel Huis ter Duin

What were the biggest changes you had to make for safety or comfort?
The greatest challenge was to create additional offices for support services for the White House. Next to that there were, of course, additional security measures taken by the Dutch government to ensure the safety of the American delegation.

What kind of food did you serve President Obama?
One of the fun parts was the initiative of our chef Marcel van Lier, awarded with a Michelin star, to serve some exciting amuses with a typically Dutch touch.

What have you learned from this experience?
Each and every event inspires us to continue to improve our services and facilities. One of the enduring improvements we have made was definitely the ICT structure of the hotel so we can better respond to requests from large numbers of users.

If you could choose one famous person you would like to welcome to your hotel in the future, who would that person be?
For sure, welcoming none other than the President of the United States is a highpoint for every hotelier. We feel even more connected with the United States through our membership of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. However, regardless of which guest we welcome or whatever their positions or nationalities may be, we’d be determined to exceed expectations.

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.

Amsterdam
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. 

Rotterdam
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.

Utrecht
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. 

Groningen
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.

Noordwijk
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!

A combo for all needs: meet in Amsterdam, sleep in Noordwijk

In the last weeks I have explored the best meeting destinations in Holland for you.  I showed you Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen, Utrecht and Noordwijk. To bring this series to an end, I would like to introduce you to one last option. Try the combination of meeting in Amsterdam and sleeping in Noordwijk.

I know that most meeting planners prefer keeping things a easy as possible by choosing a location close to the airport or train station and booking the meeting room and guest accommodations in the same hotel. However, sometimes a combination between two cities can have some advantages.

  1. Amsterdam has more attractions but crowded and noisy. Noordwijk has a beautiful landscape, but has not a lively nightlife as Amsterdam. When combining both cities, your guest can decide what they want to do after the meeting themselves: discover the city of Amsterdam and dance the night away or have a relaxed dinner at the beach.
  2. Amsterdam is way more expensive than the surrounding cities. Safe your budget by getting a better deal for the accommodations in Noordwijk.
  3. You are less dependent on the weather. On rainy days there are plenty of indoor activities in Amsterdam. When the sun is shining and the sky is blue you can enjoy the beautiful beaches of Noordwijk.

Blog Holland Combo

Quick transfers

It pays off that Holland is much more compact than other countries. Amsterdam and Noordwijk are both close to Schiphol Airport. You can use the public transport network, taxi services or shuttle busses to travel between both cities.

Venues

If you want some tips for conference hotels you can check my reports about Amsterdam and Noordwijk. Here are some tips for cosy meeting venues in Amsterdam.

De kleine Werf, a 400 year old former shipyard with bohemian surroundings for meetings up to 40 participants.

Dialogues House, a venue with the missions to create valuable and meaningful encounters to jointly reach new heights.

The Falck Studio, a beautiful modern loft for special and intimate meetings.

The Playing Circle, this venue has the goal to drag you out of your daily routine and bring your creative juices to flow.

De Nieuwe Liefde (New Love), a venue where artists, poets and all other creative minds find new inspiration.

Blog Holland Combo Noordwijk

After your meeting

It’s completely up to you. Are you tired after the long day? Get a cab back to Noordwijk and spent some lazy hours at the beach. If you can’t get enough of Amsterdam, head to the numerous clubs and pubs. If you love outdoor activities, Noordwijk has plenty activities to offer. Try yourself in surfing, cycle across the dunes or visit the famous flower fields. More interested in cultural activities? Visit the various museums of Amsterdam, take a tour across the canals or hang out the shopping queen before you get back to your hotel.

More questions?

Planning an event at two different locations might demand a little more organization. Fortunately, I have some friends, who can help you with this. The Amsterdam Convention Board can help you with all your questions about meeting facilities in the capital. For accommodation you can contact my friends from Noordwijk Marketing.