My most recent trip to The Netherlands resulted in my staying at the Van Der Valk Hotel Drachten It was only my second ever stay and I had reservations based on my prior visit.
Reservations about the Van Der Valk Hotel in Drachten
Previously I was disappointed to find that there wasn’t complimentary internet access. Pretty much the first thing I look for when assessing hotels now. On my prior visit you were allowed something like half an hour or an hour a day then you had to pay for usage. Pretty annoying if the connection is lousy.
Thankfully the Van Der Valk has caught up with the competition and now offers complimentary wi-fi. It is also pretty good too. I had no connection issues using Skype or browsing the internet.
Expensive charge for room service at the Van Der Valk
My other previous concern was not resolved satisfactorily. I’d previously stayed a year and a half ago and was subject to a service charge of €7 each time I ordered room service. It is now an astronomical €10!
Okay, I get the hint, you don’t like doing room service. But seriously, 10 Euro! I’ve never come across a hotel that charges so much for room service.
As a business traveller I often have to eat in hotels. When travelling alone eating in my room is favourable sometimes. After a day at work I might have things to do, time is limited or I just want to unwind in my own company. Going to a restaurant to eat can take literally hours as you are waited upon. Also waiters/waitresses seem keen to serve you yet never seem to be around when you want the bill!
I did try the restaurant and the food was pleasant. Service was okay however there was no one showing me to my table so I just sat down at one. I had to wait around 10 minutes before anyone took note and brought me a menu.
The selection was quite good with meat, fish and vegetable dish options. Prices were reflective of a hotel. Mains ranged from around €15 – €20.
Thankfully I couldn’t find any hidden charges so the pricing seemed transparent.
For some reason breakfast is served in the basement dining room as opposed to the main dining room. You had to descend some rather steep steps to get there.
The breakfast buffet was a reasonable selection. I did find the scrambled egg looked and tasted as though it was processed rather than freshly made. Shame really since there is nothing like freshly made scrambled egg.
The restaurant was also a little bit of a hike to get to. On each of my stays in the hotel my room was in a different block to the main reception and dining block. To gain access to the restaurant I had to cross a bridge between the two buildings.
This was further complicated by ongoing building works. Part of the bridge had window panes missing so there was a very cold breeze in mid-November. When I was here previously I remember building works going on and that was well over a year ago. How long does it take!
The hotel had quite a few signs in English and Dutch. Yet somehow I never found the sign in English which apologised for the ongoing building works.
Room service is also something I tried a few times. The menu however was very limited. I list the options below:-
Mixed salad with lukewarm goat cheese, tomato, cucumber, walnuts and crunch croutons, served with a honey dill dressing
Smoked salmon served on a mixed salad with tarragon mayonnaise and roasted capers
Carpaccio of veal roast beef with tuna cream; served on a salad of potatoes and dill
Pork tenderloin with mushroom-, pepper- or stroganoff sauce
Stir fried chicken with ratatouille and a Japanese sesame sauce
Organic veal escalope with roasted paprika and balsamico
Wild salmon from Alaska with sour lime sauce and coriander
Organic yogurt with red fruit and whipped cream
Fresh fruit salad with whipped cream
I tried most of the mains and whilst they are all nice, the stir fried chicken was the most enjoyable. Delivery time to the room was quite quick too, within half an hour or less each time I ordered.
Room at the Van Der Valk Hotel Drachten
Like the rest of the hotel, the room was very modern in appearance. The bed was typical European style, two single beds pushed together to make a double. Mind the crack!
There is a wide desk to work on so lots of space to spread out. There are complimentary tea and coffee making facilities plus hot chocolate. There is even 2 complimentary packets of mints. Each one used was replaced each day.
There is a mini balcony although the view isn’t too great.
The balcony is quite narrow so no room for a chair. On entering the balcony I began to feel it was maybe an emergency exit. It certainly wasn’t for my sole usage as it extended the full length of the building for all the other rooms to enter onto.
There was plenty of storage room for clothes and an in room safe. However my long running gripe with some hotels continues as the room lacked a standard iron and ironing board. If you needed this you had to order from reception and hope one is available.
The bathroom was nice and spacious. Not only did it have a great bath but also a proper walk in shower. The shower was easy to control with a variable pressure shower head.
Overall I’m warming to the Van Der Valk Hotel Drachten. The internet issue is thankfully resolved and there is no doubt the hotel is modern and comfortable. I couldn’t find any evidence of a pool or fitness room.
I would view it higher if more consideration was made over the building works. Whilst I am on work expenses I do begrudge the ridiculous €10 delivery charge. Blatant profiteering by the hotel against guests who either don’t have time or don’t want to lose 2 hours in the restaurant.
I’d give the hotel 7 out of 10. Very nice but scope for improvement.
As stated in the article I stayed in the Van Der Valk Hotel Drachten during a business trip. I received no incentive from Van Der Valk Hotel Drachten to write this review.
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