What a challenge to take on a canal house from the 18th century with the intention to create a successful city hotel. Marijke Koks took it on, not only by buying the monumental building, totally restoring it, adding in her own ideas and dreams and doing so in an ecologically friendly way. In September 2011 Mary K hotel opened its doors on the beautiful Oudegracht canal in Utrecht. My first Dutch Hideaway is immediately one that ticks all the Local Hideaways boxes: authentic, small, unique and unusual! And it is situated at an A-location in one of my favourite cities, the place I went to university and above all lived life to its fullest: Utrecht!

Marijke’s enthusiasm and unconventional way of entrepreneurship makes this a unique and very successful hotel, where you find yourself feeling instantly at home. The beautiful old canal house is situated hidden behind a glorious big door not revealing it is a hotel. After ringing the doorbell, one of the welcoming co-workers allows you into this urban oasis. A majestic hallway with quirky mural decorations leads you further into the building where many beautiful authentic details have been restored. Beside a cosy lobby-, breakfast area with a gorgeous outlook on a city garden there are 9 rooms available, ranging from Cosy Small to Large Deluxe.

The rooms are all quite different and decorated by local artists: The Bedstead double – includes your own comfortable bedstead; The Greenhouse – offers you an actual contemporary greenhouse; The Workshop – invites you to be creative and The Study – is a place for work and relaxation. They all have good beds, a comfortable bathroom with Malin and Goetz products, a Nespresso coffeemaker and cooker, as well as a TV with DVD player that provides the ultimate ‘home sweet home’ experience when you borrow one of your favourite movies at the reception. I stayed in the Royal Rooftop Residence at the attic of the building under 18th century old beams and a spectacular view over the canal that can be enjoyed from the quaint big bathtub in the middle of the room!

When you stay here during the weekend I recommend you go for a drink in the newest hideout in the basement: Suzy B. Great wines and bites but also the most sumptuous deserts and coffees are served here.

Distinctive is the fact that Mary K Hotel has the highest ranking in the GreenKey certification. This means that Mary K does everything in their ability to take care of the environment and for a fairer world. With them, it is not joining the trend but something they truly believe in. This promptly hits the core of the Mary K Hotel in my opinion: their authenticity. You are genuinely welcomed here and treated as a respected guest.

The morning after my stay I had  a delicious organic breakfast after which it was time to leave my temporary artistic city residence to return to my own home… I miss the views over the canal already!