Kruisherenhotel Maastricht is one of the most noteworthy hotels in which I have stayed in the Netherlands. Perhaps it’s one of the most memorable hotels I have ever visited anywhere. It’s a unique marriage of 15th century architecture and ultra-modern design. It truly is a matter of taste, but Kruisherenhotel was, for me, heavenly in so many ways.
Building started on the Kruisheren cloister in 1440, with the church we see today being completed around 1520. The Order of the Holy Cross (also known as the Crutched Friars) remained at the Kruisheren until 1797 when the buildings were turned into a military barracks and arms storage during the French Revolution. It was at the end of the 19th century that restoration began, and over the course of the 20th century the buildings had various civic and cultural functions.
In late 2000 the Kruisheren was purchased by Camille Oostwegel ChateâuHotels and Restaurants, with Kruisherenhotel Maastricht opening its doors in 2005 as the striking luxury hotel we see today. It is a member of Design Hotels™ and was the recipient of the Dutch Hotel Award 2017. Even the entrance is impressive. One first marvels at the ancient façade and then is welcomed into the stunning reception area via a copper tunnel. Yes, thoroughly contemporary, yet the metallic glow is warm and inviting and offers an indication of the style of Kruisherenhotel Maastricht.
Many original features remain to remind the guest that this was indeed once a 15th century religious building. The lofty ceiling and stained glass give impact, but the walls are hung with the works of energetic 21st century artists, although vestiges of the building’s former life still remain with a sprinkling of altars and saints in niches. Soft furnishings present an air of a far-from-sombre hotel with its own individual charm.
It boasts 60 guestrooms in varying shapes and sizes, and all are individually designed, well appointed and with characterful art. One might find a room with a gorgeous glass vase or even a bathroom with its own gnome! There is the expected complement of sockets, tv, coffee station, etc., but also some eminently stealable bathroom toiletries.
A spiritual experience
The impressive Kruisheren Restaurant is suspended on a mezzanine floor between the roof of the nave and the ground floor. One can admire the original work of the master masons as well as the ceiling frescoes. It’s the venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although I only tried the early morning menu. One could order cooked dishes, but the buffet was excellent. There were breads aplenty, juices, tea, coffee, the usual eggs and bacon, but the cheeses and cold meats were my choice. A slice of Dutch cheese with some cured ham on fresh bread, a bowl of fruit and some salmon spread on a local crispbread, and I grazed in contentment in surroundings that made my too-ample repast something of a spiritual experience.
Kruisherenhotel Maastricht is conveniently located in the heart of the historic city centre. It is on the attractive Kommelplein Square and just a short walk from the famous Vrijthof Square which is known for its outdoor cafés. The streets around are lined with shops selling speciality foods, fashion and high-end household goods. It’s something of a discerning shopper’s paradise.
This was my first visit to Maastricht and it won’t be the last. It is the perfect town for a short break and will surprise those who have only visited Amsterdam. I would encourage any tourist to stay on the train from the airport and discover the real Netherlands. Maastricht must surely be a gem in its crown, and Kruisherenhotel is a pearl.
6211 NW MAASTRICHT
Phone: +31 43 329 20 20