When the borders reopened in june, my good friend Michel proposed to go on a weekend break together. After some googling around we found a nice property in the Dutch province of Limburg to provide us with a stay in a unique setting and a gastronomic dinner.
The Chateau St. Gerlach is one of the five 5 star hotels in The Netherlands and oneof the only ones located outside of the Randstad area in the picturesque village of Valkenburg. It was originally built as a Norbertine Abbey in the 12th century. In the 19th century it was rebuilt into a castle like mansion. In 1997 the entire complex was turned into the hotel it currently is.
The complex consists of several buildings. The main building attached to the church is used as the restaurant “Bistrot de liege”, while the red building opposite the road from it houses the reception area and most hotel rooms. Behind the main building is a separate building which is used for the pool and spa area and features a roman theme.
Due to the COVID pandemic rules, only 1 person was allowed to do the check in and everything had to be reserved. This was clearly communicated and arranged by the hotel. We had a reservation for the swimming pool at 16:00, the dinner at 19:30 and the breakfast at 10:00.
We received a real old-fashioned key with a huge keychain to open our door and a staff member accompanied us to the room across the courtyard of the red hotel building. The room itself was a bit dated, clearly still in the state it was built in 1997, but very clean (Michel who is very sensitive to dust didn’t have his nose blocked, which means the room was very well cleaned).
The bed was comfortable and provided us with a good night’s sleep. The 2 comfortable relaxing chairs not only fitted the design of the room well but also provided for a very comfortable option to sit and read something. The room also had a complimentary minibar filled with some water, coke and beer.
The tea and coffee making facilities where using a Nespresso machine. On the bed a nice bag contained bathrobes and slippers to wear when visiting the spa and swimming pool.
The bathroom clearly showed it’s age but was in perfect working condition and spotlessly clean. The separate shower cabin was tiny but the bath tub was huge.
There were also 2 sinks and both had a full supply of toiletries.
Throughout the park in between the buildings there were a number of modern art sculptures on display, including a turning egg in front of the restaurant. This added quite some character to the place.
In the evening we enjoyed a wonderful 4 course dinner in the “Bistrot de Liege” main restaurant in the beautiful chateau rooms.
Along with the meal we drank a bottle of local Limburg wine which was surprisingly complex, fruity and delicious.
In the morning breakfast was served in the garden pavilion to the back of the red hotel building. Here a traditional buffet was set up with a separate egg station to have your eggs made to order.
The only difference in these corona times was that the cold cuts and cheeses where pre-plated and covered using plastic foil. The rest of the buffet was still self-service and grab as much as you want. The spread was the standard and quality you would expect from a hotel of this level, but also nothing out of the extraordinary.
All in all we had a wonderful stay at the chateau St. Gerlach and if you are looking for a weekend break in the region we can highly recommend it.
Have you stayed in a “Chateau” before and what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!