Discover Benelux | Top Dutch Cultural Locations & Event Planning | An Exceptional Experience Every Time
Where memories are made TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | PHOTOS: ETIENNE VAN SLOUN
Do you wish to sleep in a monastery, dine in a marl cave or hold a conference in a castle’s salon? At the four authentic estates of Oostwegel Collection, a royal welcome in a unique setting awaits you. In their three hotels, eight restaurants and three bars, inspiration, hospitality and craftsmanship go hand in hand. “Although all our properties are located in the region of South Limburg, the Netherlands, they tell very different stories,” says Camille Oostwegel jr., the young hospitality prodigy who is succeeding his father in the family business. “Winselerhof is a picturesque, rustic manor farm while Château Neercanne is an elegant castle with a breath-taking garden and an adjoining marl cave.” The latest addition to the Oostwegel Collection, the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht, on the other hand, is a five-star hotel and restaurant in the remains of a gothic monastery in the city centre.
Although the level of quality and hospitality has remained constant throughout its 40-year history, Oostwegel Collection does not fear improvement and innovation. By placing the experiences of both guests and staff at the heart, they manage to constantly improve and expand their facilities. At their biggest location, Château St. Gerlach, they have recently constructed the St. Gerlach Pavilion: a state-of-the-art congress centre with three multifunctional meeting rooms, that can be used separately and combined for up to 750 guests.. Businesses who organise their event or meeting in this complex can
combine it with experiences at other Oostwegel Collection locations as well. After a day of work in the castle’s shadow, a gala dinner in the caves might be an unforgettable twist. “Our biggest aim is to create valuable memories for our guests. Whether you come for a business event or for a romantic weekend away, your time at Oostwegel Collection will surely leave a lasting impression.”
St. Gerlach Pavilion.
The bunker of art TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | PHOTO: MAARTEN NAUW/KUNSTFORT BIJ VIJFHUIZEN
In the late-19th century, the Dutch government constructed a defence line around Amsterdam to protect the city from their enemies. The introduction of the aeroplane would, however, make the belt redundant before it was even completed. Today, one of the bunkers, Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen, has become a vibrant sanctuary for contemporary art. “Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen is a unique and inspiring place,” says artistic director Zippora Elders. “Internationally relevant artists come here to immerse themselves in the setting and its history and translate it into art.” Although they use a myriad of art forms, their work is united by a common theme: science fiction. Within the building’s thick walls, alternate realities and worlds get created. “The artists who come here reflect on our present and future with the past as their guideline. The results are always surprising 44 | Issue 65 | May 2019
and manage to hold a mirror to the world.” Until 26 June, Nicola Arthen’s work takes over the fort and its storage warehouse. His fascination for drones and their moot usefulness inspired an installation with propellers and characterful small planes galore. By giving these mechanic surveillants personality, the otherwise-scary planes almost become personalities. Alongside Arthen, Russian artist Timur Akhmetov exhibits his work about the urge to run away in the fort as well. In dark, low halls, video projections give you a glance inside his unsettled mind. His narratives may not be
easy to grasp, but alternately, his work is visually fascinating enough to keep you watching for a long time. “Besides our exhibitions, we also feature other distinct artworks here. Now, a mystique oracle owl from the Scandinavian Ann Lislegaard is our centrepiece. As a public institution, we try to be a place for everyone: for the art aficionado and for the cyclist who takes a break at our centre.”
Timur Akhmetov - KIDS OF CHAOS: Scene of Evacuation
From Haarlem or Hoofddorp: bus 300 (15 min). Ruin of a retractable gun turret.