What could be more special than a surprise birthday getaway to the most romantic hotel you can imagine? I think nothing! “Pack a bag and dress nice babe”! That’s what my love Elleon instructed me lovingly the day before my birthday. I had no idea where we were heading. I was blown away when I was taken to the most elegant boutique hotel Huys Van Leyden. It was so special that it took my breath away. If your time-restricted and can’t give your beloved Paris or Venice, give him or her the next best thing. A boutique hotel that models all of its rooms after real sites and places in far-away lands. That’s what this place made me feel like. Like I was in a different country. So let me tell you about it.
If you are into the Netflix series “The Crown” type of environments then Huys Van Leyden is the place for you. Let’s face it, the past two years dealing with Covid restrictions and lockdowns life hasn’t been easy for most of us. Sometimes we just want a little escapism to be able to deal with it all again. The feeling that life still has to offer something magical is all we need. This was one of those magical moments. When you step into Huys Van Leyden you’ll find yourself under the illusion of a bygone era. Proud owners Lorenzo and Gaston transformed this 17th-century residence into an intimate-style boutique hotel. Think 17th-century grandeur with 21st-century modern comfort. It’s all here.
Hotel Huys Van Leyden is a 400-year-old intimate boutique hotel within the historical city of Leiden. With just 13 rooms this exclusive establishment is the smallest 4-star hotel in The Netherlands. Luxurious canopy beds, historical artwork, chrystal chandeliers, and classic furniture exude a majestic ambiance. Located at the Oude Singel overlooking the Leidse canals this stately residence is a national monument that dates back to the 17th century. Our arrival was incredibly warm and welcoming. While I was waiting for Elleon to park our car in their designated private parking space – private parking space is very unusual in the city of Leiden- I was offered coffee, tea or wine in the grand foyer. While I was sipping a delicious cappuccino, I was admiring the luxurious interior of this magical place. Little did I know that the best was yet to come! When we were taking to our room, I expected a cute and cozy little room, and trust me that would have been amazing already, but when I stepped into the grand royal suite my mouth dropped in awe and stayed open for hours. How stunning was this room! The thought that my Elleon prepared all this made me tear up. He told me he had been searching extensively to find THE perfect spot for my birthday. To top it all there was a romantic birthday note written by him, and a beautiful red rose. More tears of joy and tons of hugs. It couldn’t get any more romantic right?
After unpacking our bags, we turned on fireplace jazz music to match the scenery, shot tons of photos, tasted the wine, relaxed and talked for hours. The Italian red house wine is the best I had tasted in a long time, so I highly recommend trying it if you ever plan to stay here. The suite provided a flatscreen smart TV for us to play our favorite music and watch movies, so that was fabulous! We thought of going for a stroll along the canals and doing some shopping, but the weather was cold and rainy, so we decided to stay in and get cozy. Visiting here made us feel like we stepped into another time and place and we didn’t want to interrupt this amazing dreamworld by even leaving it for a minute. We noticed that the owners of the hotel thought of every little detail to make guests feel comfortable. A fully stocked mini-bar, Nespresso coffee, and tea, and snacks. A modern bathroom with a walk-in rain shower. Luxurious beauty products and travel kits. Earplugs were neatly placed on the nightstand in case of being a light sleeper. It’s those details that made us feel like very special guests. Another thing we noticed was the fact that the interior looked brand new. You can tell that the owners take special pride in their gorgeous rooms.
We were told by the staff that the building had been completely renovated in 2017. The owner Lorenzo has a passion for exploring local auctions hunting for the perfect chair, mirror, lamp, rugs, and even a wall paint color. You can feel the carefull attention that has been put into every room. The newly renovated hotel features a very grand restaurant area to enjoy breakfast and dinner. Again, it was all about the details. Think gold cutlery, crystal glassware, Victorian-Era oil paintings, Persian rugs, baroque side tables, and velvet armchair lounges.
Talking about dinner, Elleon booked dinner in advance, so we were expected in the dining area at 7 pm. We found ourselves having dinner with just a few more hotel guests at another table, so it felt very calm and intimate. White candles were lit everywhere and soft jazz tunes were playing in the background. It felt like we were in an Al Pacino movie. The staff served their amazing Italian house wine and before I knew it I was staring at a delicious plate of pasta topped with broiled salmon and a rich creamy sauce. For dessert, we had fresh fruit, a side of chocolate ice cream topped with whipped cream, and pink macarons. We finished with coffee and chocolates and talked and laughed till late in the night. Everything was right. The warm ambiance, the impeccable service, and the delicious foods. We could seriously do this every day!
After a great night’s rest in a comfy kingsize bed, we were woken up at 10 a.m. when the hotel staff served breakfast in our room. Breakfast contained fresh bread rolls, croissants, fruit, yogurt, and granola. A selection of cheese, jam and deli-meats, fresh juices and hot tea, and coffee. When we arrived the day before the staff requested us to choose a hot breakfast dish, so they could prepare it for us the next morning. I chose the salmon-eggs benedict, while Elleon picked French toast topped with banana and cinnamon. Both were so good! Before this, we had a little mix-up with our breakfast. Instead of the French toast, Elleon had ordered the previous day, the hotel made an error by preparing the eggs benedict for him too. We told them that he had been looking forward trying their French toast. The staff excused themselves and told us they needed a little time to prepare it. We said that it was totally fine and no problem at all. When they returned with the French toast for Elleon, the staff kindly mentioned they wanted to make up for the slight error by waving the room service fee. We thought that was incredibly thoughtful. It shows how this hotel goes out of it’s way to make sure guests leave happy.
After we were finished eating breakfast it was time to shoot some more photos, shower, and pack our bags. I can tell you, we did not want to leave! We headed downstairs for checkout and ordered coffee in the lobby and lounged around. We had an unforgettable time, I’m sure you can imagine!
For bookings: Huys Van Leyden
Oude Singel 212
2312 RJ Leiden
+31 71 2 600 700
Thanks for reading!
xo Tamara Chloé
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