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What can I expect at a Dutch castle hotel?

Twenty years ago there were just a few castle hotels in the entire country. Now, every year sees a few more opening in nearly every region of the country. You can from among castles, palaces, convents, grand estates, and even a youth hostel castle.

It’s almost impossible to generalize about the Dutch castle hotels. You find everything from family-run castles to hotel chains; expensive luxury to hostel simplicity; city palaces to rural castles; dozens of rooms to bed-and-breakfast inns with only two rooms. Your satisfaction level will depend on what you’re looking for.

The Dutch are super friendly and helpful. Most everybody speaks English, with some exceptions in more rural areas, but sometimes you’ll be up against a hotel restaurant menu that’s entirely in Dutch. Just ask what it all means.

Levels of service vary widely and may not be up to the art form you experience at some luxury resorts. You may end up carrying your own luggage or nobody’s around when you need them. On the whole, however, you’ll find clean, comfortable rooms in wonderful, historic surroundings.

What do I need to know about my room?

None of the Dutch castle hotels go for all out medieval atmosphere. Guest rooms tend to be more modern in decor than with over-the-top canopy beds, although castle architectural elements are used to an advantage. In a couple of hotels the concept of a double or queen bed is two singles pushed together. Bathrooms are modern also, although I’d say more of them are functional rather than room highlights.

You’ll find few hotels with elevators. If steps are a problem, you might ask for a room on the ground level—if one exists.

Do I need air-conditioning?

Air conditioning isn’t all that common. Not that you need it throughout the year, but there are a few days in summer where you’ll feel the heat. Some hotels do have air conditioning, though. Ask before you book if you’re traveling in the heat of summer. And there are a few hotels that have centrally controlled air-conditioning and you’re at the mercy of whoever deems it’s hot or not. That’s rare, but it does happen.

How about breakfast?

In just a couple of castle hotels is breakfast included with the room rate. If not, expect to pay an exorbitant amount for breakfast. This is pretty much true in every European hotel (and elsewhere too). For dinner you expect it, but 18 euros for some common breakfast items is ridiculous—in my opinion.