For my birthday my boyfriend arranged a weekend away to the nearby Dutch City of Eindhoven. Instead of a city centre hotel he booked a stay in hotel located in the woods a bit outside of the centre. The hotel Kappelerput was actually built in the 1950’s by the Catholic Church as a seminar run by monks. Over the years it de-secularised and became an independent run hotel with a focus on conferences and team-buildings for companies during the week while opening up for normal people during the year. The hotel thus has major conferences facilities and teambuilding equipment scattered around the terrain.
The legend goes that in the Middle Ages a robber baron called Narob terrorised the region and looted towns and churches. He only spared one chapel in the woods, though once he discovered his wife and daughter went to church there he changed his mind and decided to loot the chapel as well. AS soon as he entered the chapel it sank into the ground and swallowed him along with him, creating the lake located next to the hotel.
That’s where the lake got its name Kappelerput from (meaning Chapel hole in English) to which the hotel was named.
Upon arrival we were first impressed by the recently renovated lobby with a beautiful high ceiling. Here they also had a central table on which you could help complete a puzzle or pour a complimentary glass of infusion water. However as soon as we walked into the room we were a bit underwhelmed as it was much smaller than what we expected judging by the photos. The room barely fit a double bed on one side, with two hard chairs and a table in front of it.
Next to the bed where 2 plugs, but the one on my side was already used to charge the tablet containing all room and hotel information. The window could be opened and offered both an anti-bug screen and a blackout screen.
At the other side of the room was an open bathroom, with a big rain shower cubicle on the left-hand side, a wash-basin in the middle and a toilet cubicle on the right hand side. Both cubicles where closed off with glass doors. Even though the toilet one was milk-glass it still let all noises and smells pass as well the all the sunlight coming into the room form the window located in the toilet cubicle. This is a design flaw as as soon as the sun comes up the room is flooded with light as that window does not have a black-out screen.
There also was no proper place to hang any towels and the products used where only mediocre, with a combined shower gel and shampoo in the shower. While they were eco-friendly and Fairtrade, which fits the eco image the hotel wants to portray I felt like that they could provide much better products to lift up the entire experience.
In between the bed and the toilet cubicle was open closet which also contained the safe and coffee and tea making facilities.
The room was actually quite small and underwhelming, especially as it is considered their high category ‘Dutch Design’ room. The biggest plus compared to other rooms was that these rooms where equipped with an air-conditioning system, while the other rooms aren’t. Otherwise they didn’t feel really premium.
In both the evening and the morning food was served in the on-site restaurant Cambium. This was a big space with even a second mezzanine floor on one side of the room. Here you could clearly see the hotel was built to cater for big corporate outings as in the weekend we were there only a small portion was in use.
In the evening there was a three-course menu with a choice of two appetizers, three mains and two desserts. Luckily this changed every night so you weren’t forced to eat the same for two days.
While the service was quite slow, especially for Dutch standards, the food itself was superb. All dishes where nicely balanced, delicious and original.
In the morning the breakfast was served in a buffet. While they sell it as a luxury breakfast it didn’t feel that way. It was a rather basic buffet breakfast, especially for a 4-star hotel. While you had most basic things you would want for breakfast, there were no made to order items. Also the bread was mostly the soft Dutch variety and not the crispier Belgian-French option.
In the end we had an okay stay at the hotel. There was nothing wrong and the staff performed their job with care and passion. The entire stay just felt a bit underwhelming as they presented the hotel to create a higher expectation than what they actually delivered. I probably wouldn’t stay here again a next time as there are city-centre hotels that would offer a better price-quality ratio.