Having spent the greater part of their working life in the restaurant business, working in renowned restaurants such as Tollius and Perron 4/5 in Amersfoort, Peter and Caroline felt it was time to take things easier. Quality time together and a home in beautiful surroundings were to be their new goals in life. They found the Achterhoek, a rural area in the eastern part of the Netherlands, particularly appealing and, together with some close friends, explored it extensively…..until they found a deserted hotel in Barchem: hotel “De Lochemse Berg” (or “The Lochem Mountain”). Such a great house in a unique place, but such an outdated interior! However, blood was thicker than water…”well, we must have something to do”- said Caroline and Peter –who quickly altered their plans and, at the end of 2013, bought both the house ánd the hotel.

In several months’ time, –  the hotel opened  1st October 2014 – they managed to transform the old-fashioned hotel into a beautiful and contemporary Hideaway….with ten rooms and an apartment/family-room. The six rooms on the first floor were redecorated entirely, and are now spacious, light and modern, complete with designer bath or rain shower. The four rooms on the second floor were restyled and given a fresh layer of paint and comfortable new beds, but their bathrooms were left intact and are therefore still ‘retro’….consequently, they are considerably cheaper. I would advise you to spend a bit more and book a room on the first floor, for it will definitely  be worth it. Various beautiful paintings cover the smooth walls throughout the hotel; Peter and Caroline are keen art collectors. The old wood floors that they discovered under the pink carpet (which was beyond old-fashioned…) were sanded, as was the beautiful staircase. Gorgeous old Kilim rugs complete the design.

And how lovely it is to relax in the common room downstairs, where you can settle down in one of the pleasant nooks and corners with a book and a nice glass of wine. Peter is a wine expert and has a wide selection of wonderful wines. When I was here, in the middle of winter, the crackling fires definitely added to the cosy atmosphere! But the ancient bar, heirloom of the old hotel, is also great and the many cookbooks in the large bookcase will be a great source of inspiration to you. However, I prefer to learn things by experience, so I joined in at dinner. Peter cooks a different menu every day, using as many ingredients from his own vegetable garden (high up on his wish list when they were looking for a place) as possible. You will be able to choose from several courses. This is cooking at the highest level! The cheese wagon presented at the end of dinner (rarely seen these days!) with its wide selection of cheeses is a real treat. Naturally,  everything is accompanied by the most exquisite wines. Now don’t think it is posh here, on the contrary, Peter and Caroline will encourage you to make yourself at home as much as possible and to go your own way! This is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the wonderful surroundings. It is nice here throughout the year and you will have one of Holland’s most beautiful parts of nature right on your doorstep. So be sure to bring some proper hiking boots!

With an enormous eye for detail, Peter and Caroline succeeded in creating a dream place here, serving delicious food and drinks. This also becomes apparent when you sit down for breakfast in the morning: a perfectly boiled egg, warm and freshly baked bread, some lovely ham from the local butchery and the jam wagon, their own invention: how lovely it is to be able to taste all the various homemade jams!

Mrs. Local Hideaways was already fond of this region, but has now found an extra reason for returning here: Hotel the Lochemse Berg! Caroline and Peter were able to breathe new life into this old hotel, and I can’t wait to return here to see what it looks like on a warm summer’s day!

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