Discover Benelux, Issue 29, May 2016

Page 72

Wonderful team makes you feel at home TEXT: CATHY VAN KLAVEREN | PHOTOS: PENSION EVEN BUITEN

They could never have imagined that their company would get such a flying start. Hanneke Vijfvinkel and Rob de Leeuw have run Pension Even Buiten close to Burgh-Haamstede since June of last year. Pension Even Buiten has eight rooms, all remodelled to a high standard. “Since last month, we have a very luxurious family apartment, decorated to make you feel comfortable. The shower boasts our special water system, which gives you a powerful, sensational bathroom experience,” says Vijfvinkel. Vijfvinkel has lifelong experience from the hospitality and recreational industry in Schouwen-Duiveland and her partner, Rob de Leeuw, travelled around the world for many years, hunting for the best foodie products for his company. As such, they are able to greet any in72 | Issue 29 | May 2016

ternational guests in their own language and with the customs they expect. Vijfvinkel, officially ‘Gastvrouw of Schouwen’ (meaning ‘hostess of the fireplace’), can help her guests experience the ultimate island feeling by taking them diving, walking, hiking, biking, and even on boat rides. “People from all over the place come here – sporty people, but also people who just want to relax. We offer our guests the Zeelandpas a card that gives them free unlimited access to the public transport system as well as discounts for certain activities,” Vijfvankel explains. “They appreciate it if you have something extra to offer. Most of them aren’t used to owners who go out of their way to help them. One of my guests told me she felt like she wasn’t just another hotel booker, like she usually does when she’s on holidays. That was a big compliment.”

After a busy day on the island, De Leeuw takes care of you with refreshing drinks and grilled meat and fish dishes, made using local ingredients. His kitchen also serves very special vegetarian dishes, such as pilaf-style rice dishes and the famous McRob veggie burger in addition to a large selection of desserts. De Leeuw’s own garden barbecue and wood-fired oven are scheduled to open this summer, allowing you to enjoy the richness of the centre garden and enjoy a wide range of wines. These are selected by the owners with the motto that life is too short to not enjoy it. Under their own brand name, Schouws Schorem, the couple offers a wide range of presents and gifts to take home to remember their fantastic stay at Pension Even Buiten.