Rotterdam is a modern and vibrant city that shouldn’t be missed when you travel to the Netherlands. If you travel to the city by train you will most likely arrive at Rotterdam Central Station. When you walk out of the train station in the direction of the city center you will be welcomed by a modern and architectural city.
Sadly this beauty came with a great price! During World War II, the city center was bombed heavily by the Nazi-Germans. As a result, most of the old buildings were destroyed and thousands of people died. Only some of the old buildings survived the war like City Hall and St. Lawrence Church (Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk). After the war the city had to be built up again and today you can enjoy a modern-futuristic architecture spread all over the city centre.
As the second biggest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam also plays an important role in the business and economic sectors. For example, the port of Rotterdam is the biggest and busiest harbor of Europe and is often nicknamed “the gateway to Europe”. Many international companies have an office and well-known international hotel chains are well-represented too in this city.
Hotel van Walsum
But if you want to experience staying in an authentic and homely Dutch atmosphere in the middle of this modern-vibrant city with a long and interesting history then three-star Hotel van Walsum is definitely your place to stay over. The hotel is located on the edge of the city center on the long and glamourous Mathenesserlaan 199-203. Within a 10-minute walk you will find yourself in the heart of the city center and with only four stops by tram you will reach the Central Station of Rotterdam.
The hotel offers 28 rooms which each room having their own identity and atmosphere. There are Single Rooms, Standard Double/Twin Rooms, Comfort Airco Rooms, one Triple Room and one Quadruple Room. All rooms are well decorated and equipped with modern facilities. Besides rooms, Hotel van Walsum also offers three modern furnished city apartments in case you need to stay longer in the city for business or pleasure.
During my visit I stayed in the Comfort Airco Room and it was definitely more than just comfortable. The room is 24 m2 wide with a pretty balcony overlooking the main road. The bed is soft and comfortable at 180-210 cm wide. It’s perfect, even if you are as tall as the Dutch. The ceiling is decorated in classical style with beautiful decorations. I absolutely loved the ceiling decoration and the crystal lamp makes the room look elegant and classy. The fireplace decoration in the middle of the room is also an added point for the room atmosphere and it adds to the classical and homey feeling.
In the morning after breakfast, don’t miss out on sitting in the pleasant lounge next to the beautiful city garden of the hotel with a cup of delicious Dutch hot chocolate! The peaceful atmosphere will make you feel relaxed just as if you were sitting in your own living room, watching a chubby cat of the neighbors transplanting the garden, birds singing in the tree, or simply gazing at colourful flowers in bloom. You will be surprised that right next to the busy city center of Rotterdam, you really can find a peaceful and tranquil place to stay.
The (His)Story of the Three Generations of Van Dam
Hotel van Walsum is a family hotel in the true sense of the word. The current owners are the third generation of owners of this wonderful hotel. The owners and staff of the hotel do their best to give their guests a feeling of being in a home away from home.
On October 1st 1955, Teun van Dam bought the ‘Hotel van Walsum’ and started doing major renovations. In 1958 he created 18 rooms, two of them with a shower (at that time a shower was seen as a great luxury). In 1964 his son, Frans van Dam who was 24 years old at the time, together with his wife Ria Kaptein took over the hotel from Teun. Soon after they took over the hotel Ria and Frans bought the adjacent building at Mathenesserlaan 201 A and B and added it to the main existing building. The third generation van Dam in their turn took over the hotel from their parents in 1998. The two brothers Anton (28 years old at the time) and Jos (23 years old at the time) are continuing the family hotel business and brought the hotel into the 21st century. Another tradition that was passed on is extending the hotel. In 2001 Anton and Jos bought Mathenesserlaan 203 A and B and created 3 modern city apartments for short and long term stay.
The land where Hotel van Walsum was built has an interesting and longstanding history. Even the name of the hotel has a reference to history. Originally, the building in which Hotel van Walsum is situated, was used as a lodging house. In 1936 the widow A.E. van Walsum had taken over the lodging house from another widow and named the pension after herself. At that time, it was quite common for a widow to rent out rooms in their house to maintain her living standard and provide a pension.
In conclusion, the hotel’s homey atmosphere, its location to the city centre as well as both the family’s and hotel’s rich history makes it worth your stay! You can feel as safe and relaxed as at home and at the same time stay in the middle of one of the busiest cities in Europe. And when you’re there you will probably bump into the owners, Anton and Jos, and have an interesting conversation with them.
What You Need to Know
Address: Mathenesserlaan 199-203, 3014 HC Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Telephone: +31 10 4363275
During her visit, Nimas Norma was a guest of Hotel van Walsum.