Looking for special meeting venues? Check Holland’s 10 finest industrial venues

Over the past hundred years or so, Holland has developed from a manufacturing society into a service society. Literally hundreds of beautiful buildings are left as a reminder of a once thriving industrial economy. This rich heritage has now been given a second life, as many of these architectural marvels are converted into meeting and event spaces. Immediately upon entering, you will feel privileged to be a part of this rich history, even if it is only for a little while.

Of course I recognize that each meetings’ preferences are different, and therefore I share my fine and out-of-the-ordinary selection of industrial venues in Holland.

10. De overkant – Amsterdam

Opposite Amsterdam Central Station, across the IJ river, a new event venue is one of the city’s new creative hotspots. De Overkant (‘The Other Side’) is a former Stork machine factory. In a central location of  this complex lies the Kromhout Hall, a raw, light, grand, impressive, authentic, industrial, versatile event venue on the bank of the IJ in Amsterdam North. With a 20-meter-high glass ceiling, steel structures, cranes and total length of 150 meters, the hall gives a unique look and feel to each event, small or large, modern or authentic.

9. Veerensmederij – Amersfoort

The Veerensmederij dates back to 1904, when the Dutch Iron Railway company opened its central workshop in Amersfoort. The springs of the bogeys for the train wagons were forged here. During an extensive renovation process, many characteristic parts were restored, creating a spectacular setting for meeting and events.

8. Nieuwe energie – Leiden

New Energy is located in the monumental spinning mill of the former textile factory Clos & Leembruggen. The characteristic building boasts a large production hall with long facades and large windows, surrounded by several side rooms and a monumental entrance. After being used by an energy provider for the past years, the building was recently transformed into an inspiring conference venue. The three state-of-the-art meeting rooms have retained their authentic character and can accommodate up to 150 people.

7. Ruim Utrecht

Located in Utrecht’s former inner harbor, servicing the fruit and vegetable auction, these three former sand and gravel hoppers were completely refurbished. An inspirational and creative setting for small meetings.

6. Tollensfabriek – Rotterdam

The Tollensfabriek is an old Dutch paint factory, built in 1933. The architectural style is known as ‘New Dutch Realism’. The great open space with its high ceilings and raw industrial look was a great canvas to transform 250m² of this building. It can now be rented for inspiring meetings for up to 60 people. The open space is an example of the flexible new realistic way of working. Within one large industrially designed space, there are five areas for traditional or informal meetings and workshops.

5. DeFabrique – Maarssen

Shortly after WWI, the Ulbe Twijnstra oil mill was built in centrally located Maarssen, to supply linseed oil for the manufacturing of paint, soap and margarine. In 1996 the plant was closed and a local couple rejuvenated it as an event location under the name of DeFabrique. They took great pride in maintaining the historical and industrial character of the building as much as possible. DeFabrique is now a successful, well-equipped venue for meetings and events from 50 to 3,500 people.

4. Museum Shipyard ‘t Kromhout – Amsterdam

The historic ‘t Kromhout shipyard is robust and industrial, surrounded by old ships. The venue exudes the maritime history of Amsterdam, and was fortunately saved from demolition in 1975. It currently is a unique meeting and event venue, taking you back to the old days of traditional craftsmanship.

3. Van Nelle Ontwerpfabriek – Rotterdam

The former Van Nelle coffee, tea and tobacco factory is considered the most prominent building in the architectural ‘New Dutch Realism’ movement.
The building is European Cultural Heritage, and now houses companies engaged in communication, design, architecture and media. Twelve small and large rooms are available for corporate events, fairs, meetings and conferences. The spectacular views from the tearoom will impress visitor.

2. The Industrials (Fokker terminal, Norfolk, Remise, Ketelhuis, RAC Hallen), The Hague

Five beautiful and unique venues in The Hague joined forces, making it easy for bookers to get information and make reservations. The Fokker Terminal, the former Anthony Fokker school, is most suitable for meetings as it offers fifteen break outs (former classrooms), situated around the former aircraft terminal. In De Remise, a former tram depot, now home to the Hague Public Transport Museum, your groups can meet in de historical trams and buses or the hall itself. The Caballero Factory is a former cigarette factory, and a business center for innovative, creative and cultural enterprises, with its  meeting areas, business rooms, and a living room and lounge are.

1.Radio Kootwijk- Apeldoorn

Only recently a true gem has become available to the meeting market. Radio Kootwijk is the former radio telegraph transmitter, which connected Holland by phone to the Dutch East Indies since 1923, and other parts of the world later on. The silence and space around the station was necessary for undisturbed connections, but also resulted in free development of nature.
After the transmitter finally went off the air in 1998, the dromedary-shaped building stood empty for many years. In recent years, it was restored to its former glory and now it is an exceptionally beautiful and inspiring venue for exclusive meetings and conferences in a stunning environment.

5 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.

Harbour View Penthouse – The Hague

Literally a prime location with stunning views. Once you exit the elevator you enter an incredible space, overlooking the harbour, the city, dunes and sea. The glass outer walls create an overwhelming world of space and light! Harbour View Penthouse will make you and your guests feel pampered at the best spot in the fishing port of The Hague.

Suitable for all types of meetings and smaller events, the venue has all the facilities and amenities you require. In addition to the ‘living room’, board room for 20, and two break-out rooms, there is the rooftop terrace with sea views. A place so spectacular that your guests will regret that the meeting has ended.


Science Centre Delft

A meeting in the Faculty Room of the Science Centre Delft, part of the Delft University of Technology, is definitely an exclusive one. The room is located in the characteristic building of the faculty of Mining Engineering that dates back to 1911.

The Science Centre Delft offers an inspiring technical and scientific environment for meetings and
brainstorming sessions. The Faculty Room, the old lab, is one of the most surprisingly designed rooms at Delft University of Technology, and the Executive Board uses it for its meetings. The boardroom table in the form of a beautiful airplane, which seats a maximum of 24, has a particularly inspiring effect on the delegates, just as the wall of LED-lighted algorithms. And if you turn around for a look outside, you are drawn by the beautiful views of the Botanical Gardens of the Delft University of Technology. The venue has three additional workshop/break-out rooms for fifteen to 40 people. As an added bonus a visit the to the Science Centre Delft is included when using this meeting space.


Het Glazen Huis – Apeldoorn Area

Het Glazen Huis (The Glass House) is much more than just a pleasant meeting place in a beautiful location. With its focus as a centre for leadership and organization, the venue supports trainings, events, and meetings in whatever way they can to help the meetings reach their full potential. Het Glazen Huis wants everyone to feel at home as soon as they enter. Have you ever met in a living room that leads into a greenhouse? Part of this exclusive venue was built in a former greenhouse.

In addition to the characteristic rooms and enthusiastic support, the location has a special extra. During the ‘Span of Control’ programme, meeting participants learn to handle horses, in return for which these noble animals help increase participants’ self-knowledge and skills. The programme is not only very educational, it is also a relaxing way to enhance mutual contacts and realise a meaningful meeting for participants.


De Koperen Hoogte – Meeting in a former water tower in Zwolle

The ‘De Lichtmis’ (The Purification) former water tower has been a striking landmark in the Zwolle area since 1932. The building was saved from imminent demolition in 1993 and transformed into a unique hotel and meeting location.

De Koperen Hoogte (The Copper Height) literally offers top-level meetings in the luxury meeting rooms at the top of the water tower. Closer to the ground, the beautiful conservatory accommodates gatherings of up to 200 people, and the Herenzaal (Gentlemen’s Room) accommodates 170 for a meeting.

The many facilities include a 4-star hotel with sixteen rooms, two suites, and a private golf course. The combination of spectacular views and gastronomy provides a special touch when dining in the unique revolving La Tour restaurant. It is located at 50-plus meters high, and in just over three hours you will experience a 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape.


La Caverne de Geulhem – The most stunning no-view-at-all

When looking for great views, this venue is the complete opposite of what you expect your search to unveil. Yet, your guests will never forget a meeting, dinner or event held at the Caverne de Geulhem (the Geulhem Caves,) in one of the southernmost parts of Holland.

The authentic quarry, 30 feet underground, boasts all the modern facilities for a memorable meeting. The three caves can each accommodate up to 50 people U-shape, or more than 100 people theatre-style. Combined, they offer a spectacular backdrop for sit-down dinners. And you do not have to worry about cold feet as the entire venue is equipped with under-floor heating.


At which of these ‘hidden secrets’ would you like to organize a meeting? And why do you prefer this one? Let me know in the comments!

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


5 most beautiful meeting rooms in Holland

A while ago I asked my Twitter followers to tell me which Dutch meeting rooms are the most beautiful, according to them. I have had lots of responses and selected the five most special or origional. Here they are!

1. De Verzameling, Westervoort

De Verzameling De Verzameling in Westervoort, is actually an old church. It has 2 separate meeting rooms. One for 10-12 persons and the other for 36-40 persons.
Check for more info: http://www.deverzameling.nl

De Verzameling

2.  Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam

Beurs van BerlageWith its 21 rooms and 5.500 m2 the Beurs van Berlage Conference Centre Amsterdam offers you unique opportunities to organise your meeting, conference or business event. Modern facilities go hand-in-hand with a special, inspiring atmosphere.
Check for more info: http://www.beursvanberlage.nl

Beurs van Berlage

3. Koos & Co’s, Ottersum

Something unique you will find nowhere else in the Netherlands. In a small village, in the middle of the countryside. It offers several different meetingrooms and workshopspaces for small groups.
Check for more info: www.koosbv.nl.

Koos & Co's 4. The Playing Circle “Studio”, Amsterdam

The Playing CircleThe studio can accomodate groups between 2 and 40 people. There is a lot of daylight coming in through the large windows. This makes the place very suitable for creative workshops and brainstorm sessions.
Check for more info: http://www.theplayingcircle.nl

The Playing Circle

5. Het Koninklijke Instituut voor de Tropen (KIT), Amsterdam

KIT AmsterdamKIT was founded in 1910 as the ‘Colonial Institute’ to study the tropics and to promote trade and industry in the (at that time) colonial territories of the Netherlands.Since 1926, KIT has been housed in a historic building at the edge of the Oosterpark. The building is richly adorned with decorative features and symbols referring to different cultures of the world and the colonial history of the Netherlands. KIT offers A large and small conference room and auditorium, eight meeting rooms of varying sizes, an impressive reception area.

Kit Amsterdam

6 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.

Landgoed Te Werve, Rijswijk

Situated on a 6-acre-large estate, the Te Werve Mansion dates back many centuries. Earlier excavations discovered remains dating back to around 1000 AC, but the oldest parts of the present building originate in the 15th century.

The venue will complete a major refurbishment this month, offering a majestic and stylish setting for meetings of up to 50. The historic building offers all modern facilities for meetings and first-rate service. On sunny days, the terrace offers a spectacular view of the pond and the estate.


Lijm & Cultuur, Delft

Built in 1885, the Glue and Gelatine Factory at one time offered jobs to some 1,000 people and was a major exponent of the industrial revolution in Delft. After the collapse of the US market in 2002 the factory closed its doors permanently after 117 years.

After a thorough renovation, the former factory is now an extremely versatile and characteristic venue for a broad range of events, with both an outdoor and indoor facility. If you prefer high ceilings and an industrial setting, Lijm & Cultuur is a gem to be discovered.


Het Nut, Beesd

An 18th-century building, rich in history, can be exclusively yours if you book your meeting at ‘Het Nut’ (‘The Purpose’). Het Nut is interested in the welfare of individuals and the community. Schools and banks were founded and in 1862 the building first became a bank. The vault is still there. Later on it housed  a kindergarten/school.

Renovated with respect for the historical elements, the trendy design is a wonderful combination of luxury and contemporary facilities in a relaxed setting. An inspiring and creative environment for almost any type of meeting.


Loft, Boksum

Loft, in the Friesian village of Boksum, is a former church, converted into a beautiful and inspiring venue for your next meeting. Surprising and tasteful, Loft excites the senses with fragrance, colour and taste. Image a meeting room with fresh green grass carpeting.

There is hardly anything that reminds you of a typical meeting set-up. This creative space is an invite for a ‘different’ approach to your meeting. Or how about the creative dream space in the church’s attic with rainbow tables and soft dream pillows. A setting that guarantees out-of-the-box thinking!


Palace Hotel, Noordwijk – Winner Dutch Hotel Award 2012

Sometimes even Mr Holland needs a trigger to be reminded of all the beautiful venues his country has to offer. Just recently the stunning luxury 4-star Palace Hotel Noordwijk was announced the winner of the 2012 Dutch Hotel Award (DHA).

A dedicated team that demonstrates its enthusiasm and passion for hospitality, 120 exclusive rooms and suites and eleven meeting rooms are the ingredients for a successful meeting.


Landgoed De Holtweijde, Lattrop – Winner Innovation Award

Another venue – De Holtweijde Estate in the eastern part of Holland – was presented with an innovation award for its biomass heating system. The system operates on woodchips and  provides heating for the hotel, pool and hot tap water. The system saves 75% on fossil fuel and guarantees a comfortable temperature in your meeting rooms for up to 200.

Another innovation is that you can start your meeting in a special, fully-equipped meeting coach that makes the commute from the airport to the venue easy, convenient, green and effective!


At which of these ‘hidden secrets’ would you like to organize a meeting? And why do you prefer this one? Let me know in the comments!

Best modern places to visit in Holland

Previously I covered all the ‘Best traditional places to visit in Holland’ but now I want to show you a more modern side of the Netherlands. This way you can decide for yourself how you want to shape your partner programme or aftermeeting activities.

Madame Tussauds
This museum located on the Dam in Amsterdam is probably a well known concept for most of you, as the wax statues are tob e admired in museum all around the world. The one in Amsterdam doesn’t just let you take your picture with international celebtities, but also with Dutch VIPs. And what;smore fun than coming home with photo’s of you and the Dutch queen? Take a look here at all the celebrities you can take your picture with, and book your group arrangements.

Beeld en Geluid
The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (‘Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid’) collects, preserves and opens the audiovisual heritage for as many users as possible: media professionals, education, science and the general public. Sound and Vision (‘Beeld en Geluid’) has one of the largest audiovisual archives in Europe.

The Experience shows the wonderful world of television. Temporary exhibitions also take place here. Visitors can read the news, be a real star on stage or act in a soap opera. Dutch radio and television personalities virtually show the visitors around in the world of radio and TV. They get a glimpse behind the scenes and learn about life in the spotlights. Fun and getting to know the country you visit go perfectly together here.

Heineken Experience
Discover the world of the world famous, Dutch beer company, Heineken! Why they aren’t the Heineken Museum but Heineken Experience? Because four levels of interactive experiences in the former brewery will plunge you chin deep into the fascinating world of Heineken! See it, hear it, smell it, taste it and enjoy it. It is really fun to go to, I already went there 5 times.

The Euromast really offers everything you need for your meeting. You can sleep 12 meters high, have drinks or dinner with a stunning view of Rotterdam and for those looking for some excitement after their meeting……abseiling of robe sliding all the way down from the Euromast! Enjoy both view and ultimate kick of Rotterdam at the same time.

Nothing better than goofing around in the snow! You can go skiing or snowboarding all year round in the Netherlands. We have Snowworld locations throughout the Netherlands where you can take skiing or snowboarding lessons, or just rent your gear and take on the white slopes by yourself. Perfect for team building and relaxation.