Queen’s Day in Holland: let me introduce you to the Dutch royalties

In my last blogpost I invited you to celebrate Queen’s Day, our Queen’s birthday with me. Certainly, before you visit a birthday party you would like to know who’s celebrating. In this and my upcoming posts I will introduce you to our royal family.

House of Orange: a young monarchy

Compared to other monarchies, the history of Dutch royalties is fairly short. Holland has been a constitutional monarchy since 1813. The first Dutch King, Willem I, was delivered by the House Oranje-Nassau. His family’s name is the reason why Dutch people are crazy about the colour orange.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Willem I King of the Netherlands

The ladies rule

When the third king Willem died in 1890, there were no male heirs left to receive the crown. From this moment, the royal ladies took the reigns. Queen Emma, the wife of Willem III reigned until her daughter Wilhelmina was old enough to become Queen of The Netherlands. She was succeeded by her daughter Juliana and her granddaughter Beatrix. So this year, after 120 years of female power, Holland will have a king again.

But enough about the history. Let’s have a look at our living royalties.

Let me introduce you

Her majesty, Queen Beatrix, succeeded her mother Juliana in 1980. Concerning legislative issues, she has limited power but as head of the state council she can advise the parliament in difficult decisions. Her main task is to represent the nation and support the Dutch society in charitable functions.

Blog Holland Queen's Day Beatrix

The Queen is the proud mother of three sons, Princes Willem-Alexander, Friso and Constantijn. The oldest, Willem-Alexander will become King of The Netherlands on April 30. His future queen will be Princess Maxima. Together, the royal couple supports various Dutch charity funds and maintains our international trade agreements.

Loving the tradition (…and the party)

While Dutch people are usually pretty down-to-earth, many of us feel strongly connected to the royal family. When our politicians abdicate, we are not particularly moved. But the whole country celebrated the wedding of Willem-Alexander and Maxima (watch it in the video below), the birth of their daughter Amalia and grieved about the death of former Queen Juliana.

Despite our democratic attitude, we love the magical charsima of a traditional monarchy. And last but not least: we love to celebrate and a royal event is always a good reason for festivities.

What is your royal touch?

Does your country have a monarchy? How do you feel about royalties? Remember, even if you are not Dutch and don’t have a queen you are more than welcome to celebrate Queen’s Day with us (you have helped me picking my Queen’s Day outfit yet?)

New in Holland: Utrecht converts office building into hotel

The Papendorp business district in Utrecht is one of the most sought-after and most expensive office locations in Holland, as it the most centrally located spot in the country. Companies such as CapGemini, Mercedes-Benz, Siemens and KPN have offices here.

The former Maximus office building was converted into the recently opened 118-room-large Holiday Inn Express Hotel Utrecht, with a lounge, bar, breakfast room and meeting rooms. The hotel is located within walking distance of top meeting location Domus Medica.

Check for more info: www.hiexpress.com

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

New in Holland: Paviljoen Puur – Fort Diemerdam

A coastal battery in the Defence Line of Amsterdam, Diemerdam once kept the ‘enemy’ outside of the city. The ultramodern Paviljoen Puur blends in with its surroundings, and offers a unique venue for extraordinary encounters between people, history, culture and nature.

The exceptional architecture, modern amenities and historic location make this an inspiring venue for any meeting or event. Close to the city of Amsterdam, yet in the heart of nature. Inside, yet outside, this is the inspirational power of Paviljoen Puur.

Check for more info: www.paviljoenpuur.nl

4 new ‘hidden secrets’ of Holland: venues and meeting spaces you will not easily find by yourself

Not all venues make the guides. You need to be told about these exclusive gems by insiders who know their way around Holland. Read about my latest discoveries.

Brabant top venue no longer a ‘secret’: Groenendael

Earlier this month, Groenendael Hotel & Conference Center in Hilvarenbeek, one of the finest training and conference venues in Holland, reopened its doors. The original castle and estate date from the 14th century. In the 1950s Philips became the exclusive tenant, and added a state-of-the-art training centre with 120 rooms, two high-tech auditoriums and over 30 meeting rooms, all located on a beautiful ten-acre-large estate. On 1 October 2012, operations were taken over by meeting venue specialist Regardz and exclusive caterer Hutten, finally making this location available for all meeting planners.

The location is dedicated to developing skills and sharing knowledge, and provides all the facilities required for an uninterrupted and successful training or meeting. All technology required is available, and the food and beverage is tailored to the meeting. There are many breakout and seating areas for secluded discussions or just to relax, plenty of sports facilities and comfortable rooms. And no matter what window you look out from, the impeccable lawns and beautiful nature are all around you.

www.groenendael.nl

A whole island for yourself: Fort Island IJmuiden

Fort Island IJmuiden is only accessible by boat. The short crossing is the surprising start of a unique meeting experience! The crossing, the vast fortress, historic rooms and complete equipment for business meetings, make for an inspiring and surprising combination.

This ten-acre-large versatile island lies at the mouth of the North Sea, and is a part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. Imagine yourself in an ambience of history, adventure, relaxation and excitement, just 25 minutes from Amsterdam. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers five unique rooms for 10 to 400 guests, and can be rented exclusively.

In keeping with the unique character of the location, special meeting breaks are offered, such as exploring the fort with short, original and invigorating team activities and individual activities.

www.forteiland.nl

In the largest painting in Holland: Panorama Mesdag

Panorama Mesdag is a unique location for an unforgettable evening with your guests. Upon entering, you step right into the largest painting in Holland, and imagine yourself 120 years ago in the atmosphere of the old fishing village and developing seaside resort of Scheveningen. Panorama Mesdag is a cylindrical painting, more than fourteen meters high and 120 meters in circumference. The vista of the sea, the dunes and Scheveningen village was painted by one of the most famous painters of the Hague School, Hendrik Willem Mesdag. It is the oldest 19th-century panorama in the world in its original site, and of great cultural heritage.

The red and green museum rooms are available for receptions and dinners. Part of this experience is a tour of the museum, which allows your guests a glimpse behind the scenes, where the secret of the Panorama is unveiled. Vincent Van Gogh once reflected that “Panorama Mesdag is the most beautiful sensation of my life. It has just one tiny flaw and that is its flawlessness.

http://panorama-mesdag.com

The farmers’ way at Hayema Heerd

An experience that your attendees will long remember and guaranteed to make for an inspiring meeting. This is what the authentic and beautifully located conference and recreational farm Hayema Heerd offers. The impressive farmhouse with its huge trusses, beams and thatched roof is the perfect backdrop for meeting, learning, reflection and innovation.

Your guests may even sleep in the hayloft in a bed of straw, while local agricultural entrepreneurs offer a unique and inspiring break. During a tour they tell you how they manage their businesses and what choices they have made. They give you an interesting peek into their rural lives.

www.hayemaheerd.nl

And there are more…

Check my previous blogposts on Holland’s ‘hidden secrets’ via this link: https://meetmrholland.wordpress.com/tag/hidden-secrets

Holland’s 10 finest boardrooms (part 2): the best is only good enough to ensure a success

When organizing meetings, the venue you choose has great impact on how your delegates perceive the entire meeting. Traditionally the exclusive domain of the board for their meetings, now more and more people discover the advantages of meeting in the comfort and luxury of a well-designed and equipped boardroom. Every meeting planner must have a shortlist with the best, most unique and authentic facilities throughout Holland. State-of-the art technology, excellent food and beverages and top-class service are a given.

I hereby share my fine and out-of-the ordinary selection of boardrooms in Holland. Last week you have read about the first 5, this week I post about the top 5.

5. FiftyTwoDegrees – Nijmegen

Twenty-two comfortable leather CEO seats await your delegates when they reach the 17th floor of the FiftyTwoDegrees building in Nijmegen. This high-tech business centre combines technology, business and lifestyle, and is a podium for knowledge and inspiration. Located at 52 degrees latitude and with award-winning architecture, this highly energy-efficient venue offers a business lounge and private lounge area in combination with the boardroom.

 www.fiftytwodegrees.com

4. Huize Frankendael

Built in the Golden Age – the era of the Dutch East India Company, Rembrandt and Vermeer – the beautiful manor Huize Frankendael was home to several private occupants before it became a tea and pleasure garden (playground) in 1849. Since that time the rooms were for hire for parties and dinners. These days, Huize Frankendael provides bespoke services to all its guests. The 18th-century salons and 19th-century rooms in the main building and coach house provide a stately backdrop for a private dinner, a training session or meeting.
The contemporary boardroom is located on the second floor. It looks out over the classical formal garden on one side, and the city on the other side.

www.huizefrankendael.nl

3. The Grand Boardroom – Princenhof Meeting Centre

Amsterdam’s finest conference facilities are provided in the completely revamped Princenhof Meeting Centre, part of the luxury 5-star Hotel The Grand. The hotel offers the InspiredMeetings concept, which combines the latest conference technology with a passion for excellence. State-of-the-art boardrooms are available in a 16th-century historical monument. The Grand Boardroom offers French luxury, contemporary comfort and full technical equipment, including video-conferencing.

www.sofitel-legend-thegrand.com

2. Rembrandt Tower Boardroom

This beautiful and unparalleled venue offers exclusive meetings at the top of Amsterdam. Located on the 32nd floor of Amsterdam’s tallest building, your guests can enjoy the high-tech and high-touch meeting environment. The boardrooms, lounge and superb meeting room accommodate up to 100 persons. Your guests will long remember the meetings because of the breathtaking panoramic views.

www.rtboardroom.nl

1. SkySuites at the Haagse Toren

The six SkySuites are located on the 40th floor, and each has a unique ambiance, ranging from clean via playful to tantalising. A meeting, a party, a dinner, a brainstorm session or a network event can be held at top level now. The SkySuites are situated high enough to see the sun set three minutes after all the other people in The Hague. In addition to the boardrooms, the top floor boasts The Penthouse, Holland’s highest restaurant. It has spectacular views, a balcony and a very impressive window projection setting, creating a 27-window video screen that combines images with the real-time view of the city.

www.haagsetoren.nl

And many more…

It goes without saying that there are many more excellent boardrooms available throughout the country that could have easily made this list as well. I had the luxury to pick from a wide array of beautiful venues and extraordinary facilities, yet the difficult task to narrow it down to only ten.

Which exclusive venue is missing from this list according to you? Share your tips!