There are probably hundreds of castle-hotels all over Europe, but the idea of staying in one is always a treat. Having grown up in Asia where there aren’t such things, and despite having stayed in many castles and palaces over the years, the notion that one could stay in a building that used to house royalty still feels unusual and a novelty, especially for a a middle-class creature like myself.
Not all castles or palaces are the same though – some are glitteringly over the top and others disappointingly ramshackle, and quality can go anywhere from very poor to mind-blowing. For purposes of escaping the renovation detritus currently inhabiting our home in Elburg, Kasteel Kerckebosch was comfortably in the middle.
Driving to the hotel was a bit of a downer, as it was completely out of place situated in an area full of apartment buildings. The neighborhood was quite lush though and once we found our parking spot and walked in, there was no doubt the place was special – It was character at first sight.
The service overall was on the satisfactory side peppered with short moments of brilliance. The room we stayed in had a steel folding bathroom door that defied logic, and a request to have a very late checkout was instantly greeted by a ’I don’t think that’s possible’ rather than ‘let me find out what I can do’. But then there’s no beating a €20 charge for checking out by 5, and to be greeted by a staff member with one of the most genuine smiles I’ve seen in these parts is a rarity. Breakfast in the former orangerie was elaborate and substantial, and the dramatic lounge with its four live fireplaces was this short of being perfect. Only the Christmas tree was missing. While short, my one night stay in de Kasteel was enough to make me realize that unique pleasures are rare, but when they do happen the gratitude from it is hard to forget.