The grand dame of The Hague is a jewel of a hotel that after 140 years still has its allure intact, though along the way as we found out, with some important points needing improvement.
Arriving on a grey Monday, my mood needed a little lift and the Christmas spirit I saw on their website was promising. As we parked out front and walked in, the feeling that no one was manning the store was there again, same feeling I had when we had afternoon tea some months before, but the Yuletide feeling was there as marketed. The Christmas tree in the lounge was unmissable.
We found the reception desk hidden around the corner and found the check-in staff to be quick and efficient. They, however, gave no acknowledgement or a reply to two different online messages I sent the day before – a sign things aren’t going as good as it should on the personnel side. We lucked out with an early check-in and went straight to our room filled with anticipation. The room proved striking on first impression.
The space was generous and characteristic of the colonial theme the hotel was designed around. The imposing bed and grand canopy looked inviting but as we found out later in the evening and which seems to be the case with almost all hotels, the pillows, too soft for comfort, were a disaster. I barely slept at all.
Looking forward to one of the main reasons we were there, I couldn’t wait to get out of the room and grab something to eat in the restaurant downstairs. Even with the lack of festive decoration we got lucky for the second time by being the only customers for lunch, with the added surprise of having a lively and friendly Filipino woman, who happened to have the same name as my own mother, as our waitress. Despite a lackluster plating, the house burger was unfailingly satisfying and the Anna Pavlova dessert afterwards as delicious as it was beautiful to look at. Lunch ended up being the best part of our stay.
It was a few hours into the start of our staycation when the government announced stronger health regulation covering the entire country. All except essential businesses (banks, drugstores, groceries) were now closed, which meant we’re almost at the same level of lockdown as last Spring. Hotels could remain open but can no longer serve food to guests, and this meant our main motivation for staycationing had just been made moot. So while our stay in Hotel Des Indes marks our finale for the year, it was a great experience to end with, a last hurrah that hopefully becomes a harbinger of good, dare I say even better, things to come in 2021.