Photos courtesy of Fletcher Hotel Paleis Stadhouderlijk Hof







This palace has its beginnings in the 16th century when the grand steward of the Spanish king, Philip II, had it built. In 1587 it became the residence of governor William Louis of Nassau-Dillenburg and his wife and niece Anna of Nassau. She died during her first pregnancy and he never remarried.

Another branch of the Nassau family (Nassau-Dietz) took over the palace. Over the years, gardens were laid out and additions were made. Eventually, William IV of Orange-Nassau and his British wife Anne of Hanover (the second child of Britain’s George II) took possession. It stayed in the Dutch royal family until Queen Juliana of the Netherlands sold it in 1971. It has been a hotel since 1996.

Pamela’s Perspective

It just might be better to forego a car while here. Parking is available on the premises, but it is extremely limited, and if space is available, it’s expensive. Fortunately the palace is located right in the middle of town, so you can easily walk to its restaurants and cafes.


Fletcher Hotel Paleis Stadhouderlijk Hof

A 16th-century palace


Hofplein 29
8911 HJ Leeuwarden
Tel: ++31 (0) 347 750 424
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

28 rooms

Double rooms: 100–125 euros

Open: all year

Getting there

Leeuwarden is the capital of Friesland and well connected by all means of transportation. The palace is in the center of town. Parking (fee) on site is limited.

What to do

Nearby: bicycling; town of Leeuwarden; Frisian Museum; Princessehof Museum; Aqua Zoo Friesland


Yes. Receptions. Inquire hotel for details.


It’s not often a royal palace opens its doors as a hotel. Although the Dutch royal family sold this property some years ago, touches of its regal past are still on display.

The public rooms in this monumental building are beautiful, with paneling, chandeliers, and fine art work. A grand staircase (there is an elevator as well) leads to the guest rooms.

Many of the large, high-ceilinged guest rooms feature wrought-iron, four-poster beds, and one suite has a huge step-up Jacuzzi. Welcome will be the day, however, when the furnishings are updated to match the elegance of the building. All is tidy and clean, but they could do so much more.

The friendly and thoughtful staff will give you suggestions on how best to enjoy your stay in Leeuwarden. There’s a lovely garden out back to take a stroll in.

Breakfast is served in the palace’s former ballroom, which has been extended with a garden lounge. When the weather is nice, meals and drinks can be served outside. The hotel restaurant features an a la carte menu.

Something special

curlicue The faded elegance of a former royal palace