Discover Benelux, Issue 30, June 2016

Page 56

Discovering Haarlem from what feels like your own home TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: CAROLA RIETDIJK

A most comfortable stay in a cosy home, that is what Shortstay Witte Heren in Haarlem offers its guests. Host Nicole van der Meulen understands what it takes to make anyone’s stay as pleasant as possible.

museums less than ten minutes away, the city is full of trendy restaurants, bars and it has wonderful shops. Did you know that Haarlem has been voted best shopping city in the Netherlands on several occasions?” If you were not excited yet to discover all the gems hidden in Haarlem, you will be after speaking to the owner of Shortstay Witte Heren. One conversation with her and you know that this is what she likes: helping guests to make the most out of their stay and experience Haarlem at its best.

Shortstay Witte Heren is named after the street it is situated in; a narrow, quiet one-way street in the middle of Haarlem. “Idyllic,” is how Van der Meulen describes it. That has to do with the two typical ‘Haarlemse hofjes’ (a group of cute, small houses around a well-kept communal garden) and the picturesque Lutheran church down the road.

At Shortstay Witte Heren, hospitality is key

“It feels like you are outside of the city, yet you are really right in the heart of it,” says Nicole. “The Grote Markt is a threeminute walk away, there are some great

Of course, all kinds of tourist information can be found inside the apartments, but the service does not end there. “Besides providing a unique atmosphere and privacy – each apartment has its own private

56 | Issue 30 | June 2016

entrance – we put in our best effort answering any practical question you may have, provide you with cycling routes to the beach, give you directions and share our inside secrets about Haarlem and all the nice places nearby,” says Van der Meulen.

A cosy home away from home Both apartments at 51 Witte Herenstraat – a studio for couples or business travellers and a two-bedroom apartment that sleeps four – emanate cosiness. Opening the front door of this neat house in its tranquil street feels like coming home. This welcoming mood is created by the carefully selected decor; white and wooden furniture, colourful comfy pillows on the sofa, feature walls and curtains in warm colours, framed pictures of Haarlem on the wall, a pot plant or some candles here and there. “I have travelled