My journey to this brand new Local Hideaway on the Dutch coast was a struggle against the elements…..Wind force 9!! Even for Dutch standards this is extreme! The warm welcome I received was therefore all the more enjoyable. I was immediately taken in by the hotel restaurant/bar/lobby’s fantastic interior…wow, such an impressive area. Its centrepiece, a specially designed, 10-meter high steel and brass cabinet, spreading the width of the bar and reaching up to the roof, reflects the outside light and Vesper’s soul: the moment when the sun sets and day turns into night.
Owners and brothers Martijn and Michiel have the hospitality business in their blood. They learned the trade from their father, a well-known figure in Noordwijk’s entrepreneurial circles. For instance, they’ve been running Beach club ‘Bries’ (closed in winter) and seafront restaurant ‘het Zuiderbad’ very successfully for quite some time now. These adjacent establishments both draw their own clientele and are situated on a quiet stretch of Noordwijk beach. When, a mere stone’s throw away, a beautiful empty old building from 1910 came up for sale, it inspired them to embark on a new adventure. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could expand our activities by opening a hotel?” They wondered. “But not just any hotel. It will have to have international allure”. They enlisted the help of their childhood friend and well-known architect Bart Akkerhuis, asking him to re-design the derelict building. It was an enormously ambitious project, but, owing to their perseverance and ambition, the brothers successfully transformed it into the first boutique hotel on the Dutch coast within a mere few months.
There are 27 rooms in total, all of them in different colour schemes, reflecting a particular mood. They range from ‘no sea view’ to ‘front row’, where you can enjoy a view of the North Sea beach from your own private terrace. They chose to use Grohe products throughout the hotel, thus turning it into a showcase of everything new and innovative in the field of baths and showers……something that is unique in the world. Specially designed beds are so comfortable you will not even want to leave them and all rooms come with an Illy espresso machine and lovely bath/shower amenities. The rooms and restaurant/lobby/bar are furnished with hand-picked vintage (design) furniture, bought at the famous market in Amiens.
Nothing was left to chance here and great attention was paid to detail. The brothers let themselves be inspired by hotels all over the world, writing down every positive detail and integrating them in the Vesper hotel, going as far as to offer the possibility of supplying a yoga mat in your room. Guests have their every wish satisfied and nothing is too much…I can’t be anything but majorly impressed! And to think that the sympathetic and competent staff have only been working here for couple of months!
And then the time has come for me to enjoy Vesper. I’m staying in a beautiful room with stunning view of the North Sea….where a brave kite surfer attempts to tame the high waves. When night falls, I’m enchanted by the beautiful sunset that, if I wanted to do so, I would be able to enjoy from my bath. ….for the room is designed in such a way that it offers a view of the sea when lying in the bath.
Downstairs, things have become quite lively as locals mingle with the hotel guests to enjoy a lovely cocktail before sitting down to dinner in the restaurant. If it weren’t for the fact that people are speaking Dutch, I could look around and think I was abroad. I ask the chef to surprise me, and he does so with a lovely variety of wonderful dishes, what a feast! After a lovely evening, it is time to crawl into bed and fall asleep to the sounds of the storm and the sea. The next morning, things are already bustling, as a lovely breakfast is served with homemade vegetable- and fruit smoothies and a large array of other wonderful delicacies.
Thankfully, there is still time for me to stroll along the beach and, later in the day, enjoy a light lunch in seafront restaurant ‘het Zuiderbad’, but after that, the time has unfortunately come for me to go home. How I would have loved to stay longer, and I can’t wait for summer to arrive, for it must be especially lovely here in that time of year. But I can recommend a stay at the Vesper Hotel in any season, for the sea and the beach are always nice, no matter what the weather is like.
During the 24 hours I stayed at Vesper, I haven’t been able to discover one single point of improvement….what a great place this is….and the two brothers have really stuck out their necks (they weren’t voted the “Most Distinctive Hospitality Entrepreneur of the year 2015/2016” for no reason!- very well deserved!) The Vesper Hotel is tasteful and cosmopolitan – an un-Dutch hotel right on the beach, with Amsterdam, Leiden, The Hague and Haarlem on its doorstep…..!