The name says it all! Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin looks like a truly royal destination in a unique spot on the Dutch coast with views of the North Sea and the stunning dunes in front of it. Living in the Netherlands, we’ve seen this hotel many times on trips to the coast and have always wondered what it would be like to stay here. Many people have told us that they love to come here – as a matter of fact, they return every year for family gatherings.

 Beachview of Huis ter Duin

Beachview of Huis ter Duin

In fact, many well-known guestshave stayed here including Barack Obama. Members of the Dutch and Belgian Royal Family are also regular guests at Huis ter Duin. The Dutch national soccer team always stay at this hotel when preparing for their matches. Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin also hosts many conferences, both national and international, because of its central location between the biggest cities in the Netherlands and its proximity to Schiphol airport.

The 5-star hotel Huis ter Duin has a rich history. In 1880, the local population in the village of Noordwijk were dependent on fishing. The mayor believed that the village had much more to offer. He broke ground on the highest point of the dunes and a seaside hotel was built and opened in 1885. Today, the hotel consists of two parts: the Grand Hotel and the Nouvel Hotel. The Grand Hotel survived a big fire in 1990 and has five floors. The Nouvel Hotel was built after the fire and has eleven floors.

 Charming room

Charming room

We stayed at the Grand Hotel. The charming rooms have a classic interior in keeping with the hotel’s long history. The rooms are clean and well-appointed. The Deluxe rooms, the Suites and Penthouses have all been renovated to give a spacious feeling. After a long day at the beach, we can’t help but appreciate the very comfortable beds, and we all love the view.

We are spending this holiday with our youngest daughter and her friend Floris. They are magnetically drawn to the colourful paintings of Pierrots made by the artist George van Herwaarde. The owner of Huis ter Duin, Marion Noorlander, started buying these paintings after the birth of her first grandson. She fell in love with the colours and images of the paintings.  And this feeling is shared by many. The hotel often receives letters from onld and young who weretouched by the Pierrots.

Children and beaches are often a perfect combination and you will find plenty of sand for them to play in right in front of the hotel. You’ll also find some playground equipment and an enormous chess board in the garden. If the weather isn’t that warm, you can always use the indoor swimming pool. Furthermore, you can make use of the babysitting service if you want to have some quiet time alone.

 Close-up...

Close-up...

Don’t expect a kids club that is open all year round. Unfortunately, you won’t typically find much of this kind of kid’s entertainment in the Netherlands at all. However, Huis ter Duin does offer a kids club during the Christmas and Easter holidays. During these holidays, parents can enrol their children to watch videos, colour,  do craft and eat together.

Huis ter Duin has no less than three restaurants: the Michelin starred Latour Brasserie and La Terrasse both inside and, the beautiful Breakers Beach House outside. As we had the good fortune of having lots of sunshine at the time of our stay in October, we loved to spend much of our time there.  All restaurants offer a kid’s menu.  Breakfast is served in a huge room. Not exactly our idea of a cosy room, but it surely shows the hotel’s classic history.

 Rolling in front of Pierrot...

Rolling in front of Pierrot...

Since this is the Netherlands, there might be days when the weather won’t be that good. You can take that opportunity to visit other nearby cities, such as Leiden, Amsterdam, Haarlem, The Hague and Rotterdam. There are several great theme parks and family attractions, such as Madurodam, Duinrell, CORPUS (minimum age for admission is 6 years), Archeon and Space Expo.

If you have children with a cultural mindset, then try one of the many museums, climb the tower of a church and let yourself be charmed by the old villages. If you are in for politics, you may want to see The Hague’s Binnenhof, the seat of government. We went to Museon in The Hague; the museum for culture and science and a great place for children to explore.

WOW

# This beach is one of the best in the Netherlands. Great sand for children to play in and very relaxing and comfortable for parents as well.

# The rich history of the hotel gives your stay that little something extra, especially in the knowledge that many famous people stayed here before you. The whole atmosphere of the hotel is like being in an old movie where dramatic things happened.

# Given that the Netherlands is a small country, it’s the perfect base from which to combine beach and day trips all over the country.