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History

1600: Important events

Sick of the stench from the canals.
In the 17th century, when the Republic of the Netherlands experienced an enormous spurt of economic and cultural growth, many well-to-do inhabitants of Amsterdam fled the city. The main reason for this was that the canals were virtually sewers, and the stench was almost unbearable, particularly in the summer. Those who could afford to do so retired to a summer residence outside the city. The summer residences mostly had a number of fixed features, namely the country house with a decorative garden and/or kitchen garden, an orchard, a coach house and stables, sheds, an orangery and a nearby farm. There are many such mansions along the Vecht and Amstel rivers, as well as in the nearby hillier landscapes of the Gooi or Kennemerland regions. The area around Haarlem, Velsen, Zandvoort and Santpoort was particularly popular among affluent residents of Amsterdam, and Duin & Berg estate and the adjoining Kruidberg estate were also sought-after.

Gardens, too, follow fashion
In 1634, Hendrik Reijnst, merchant, alderman of the city of Amsterdam, VOC governor and banker of the Bank of Amsterdam (Amsterdamsche Wisselbank, literally Amsterdam Exchange Bank), purchased the homestead on the Duin & Berg estate for the sum of 11,700 guilders. In subsequent years, Reinst and owners after him extended the homestead and embellished it – with a formal garden, for instance, which was modelled on the VersaillesPalace gardens. Unfortunately, there is no trace left of this early garden because gardens, too, are subject to fashion.

Summer residence of a Highness 
In the mid-17th century, Balthasar Coymans, councillor and sheriff of Haarlem, Lord of Streefkerk and Nieuw Lekkerland, had De Kruidberg built on the site of an older homestead. The country house that arose there was one of the largest of its day in the vicinity of Velsen. In 1677, Duin & Berg Estate was bought by Sophia Trip, a member of a prominent Amsterdam merchant family. Sadly, she had little time to enjoy her new residence because she died a mere two years after purchasing it. Her heirs sold the estate to His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, better known as William III, who was Stadtholder and later King of England, for 30,000 guilders. The Estate was soon given the name Princenbosch – literally, Prince's Forest. William III mainly used De Kruidberg estate as a hunting lodge, but it was sometimes also used for secret meetings. The estate was a smaller version of his palace and estate Het Loo in Apeldoorn. De Kruidberg estate fell into disrepair after William’s death in 1702.

 

 

1895: Important event

Thank you so much, Jacob and Annie.

In the mid-19th century, Floris Adriaan Baron Van Hall, a well-known politician and minister of the time, took ownership of the Duin & Berg and De Kruidberg estates. He combined the two estates, which initially retained their separate names. Van Hall had a new villa built a stone’s throw from the current mansion at Duin & Berg. At the same time, an English architect designed the English landscape garden. In subsequent years, Van Hall and the next owner, Guillaume Louis Jacques van der Hucht, bought up several plots of land around the estate, expanding it further and further towards the coast. In 1895, Jacob Theodoor Cremer and his wife Annie Hermine Hogan bought the state from the heirs of Van der Hucht for 164,400 guilders. Jacob and Annie are the founders of the current estate of Duin & Kruidberg.

1907: Important event

Prince Hendrik had the honour

The Cremers were increasingly dissatisfied with the house that Van Hall had commissioned, and had various alterations and extensions made. Due a lack of space in particular, the Cremers decided to have the ‘old’ house demolished and an entirely new one built instead. For this, they enlisted the architects Van Nieukerken and Sons of The Hague. 

Apart from Jacob, Annie also had a considerable influence on the set of requirements the architects had to meet. Originally from England, she imbued the mansion with the atmosphere of an English country house where all the children and their families could regularly come to visit while the couple retained their privacy. The first brick was laid in July 1907, and before the building and garden were even finished, Mr Cremer decided that the first guests should be received on 2 June 1909. Participants in the International Colonial Convention (Internationaal Koloniaal Congres), an initiative of Cremer’s, enjoyed a handsome reception thanks to a great deal of hard work. The first person to be given a tour was Prince Hendrik, chair of the Dutch division, and husband of Queen Wilhelmina. After the convention, the finishing touches were made to the mansion, and the Cremer family moved in on 28 June 1909. The old building was then demolished and the new building officially completed on 17 October of the same year.

1948: Important event

Officially a hotel since 1948 

Following Jacob Theodoor Cremer’s death in August 1923, the mansion was occupied until 1940 by his son Herbert. During the war and in the post-war years, Duin & Kruidberg Country Estate served various purposes. It was used as a Catholic church and presbytery for the village of Driehuis, and then as accommodation for German officers, it was reclaimed by Canadian forces, nurses of the Red Cross trained there, and it housed a reception centre for returnees from the Dutch East Indies. In 1948, the mansion first officially became a hotel when Cremer’s son Herbert, and later his grandson Theo, leased it to an hotelier. 

 

In 1961, Cremer’s heirs sold the estate to the Dutch Trading Company (Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij), who set the estate up as a holiday resort for its employees. This was common practice among large organizations and banks in the years following the Second World War. They bought up estates and resorts to strengthen ties with existing employees and attract new ones by offering perks in the form of recreation at a time when workers were in very short supply. In those days, the resort had 92 beds, and employees were initially very enthusiastic about Duin & Kruidberg Country Estate. However, this form of holiday became less popular towards the late eighties, partly because of the considerable increase in other holiday options. Duin & Kruidberg Country Estate would next serve as a conference venue for ABN AMRO bank, which had a conference centre built in 1996 with five conference rooms, four smaller rooms and a Business Centre. In 2000, a hotel wing was added, and in 2002, Duin & Kruidberg Country Estate officially opened its doors as a five-star hotel for the public at large.

2018

More than a hundred years on … 
In 2018, Duin & Kruidberg Estate has:

-          75 luxury hotel rooms. 31 of the rooms are located in the original country house and 44 are in the new hotel wing. Both the classic and the modern rooms still have an English touch, and they are all furnished with great attention to detail using exclusively high-quality materials;

-          Five authentic period rooms. These beautifully decorated rooms are the ideal setting for a delicious lunch, a traditional High Tea, a stylish reception or a classical dinner.

-          Ten multifunctional rooms. These rooms, located in the basement, are perfect for meetings, conferences, product presentations and dinners for up to 350 guests.

-          A Michelin-star restaurant. The restaurant De Vrienden van Jacob is situated on the ground floor and offers a fantastic view of the park. Here, the most refined dishes and select wines are served.

-          A Brasserie. In the open-plan kitchen of Brasserie DenK, our chefs use the freshest ingredients to create delicious dishes using mainly locally sourced and seasonal produce.

-          A coffee corner. The Nespresso coffee corner, which is situated adjacent to the Brasserie, is an ideal place to relax and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee with a sweet treat. 

-          A Lounge Bar. Lounge Bar DenK is located in the basement. Nowhere will you find better-tasting cocktails, champagnes, luxury spirits and select wines.

-          A spa & wellness. we'll open this summer our own Spa & Wellness.

-          Most importantly, we are passionate about continuing the tradition, started by Jacob Theodoor Cremer and his wife Annie, of treating guests to a lavish welcome.

The past decade has been very eventful for the Estate and its surroundings:

-          2008 Major renovations on the estate between January and May. 

-          2009 Opening of DenK in de Tuin (DenK in the Garden). The first Whitsun annual fair takes place, drawing around 10,000 visitors.

-          2010 As from February, Duin & Kruidberg Country Estate continues as a 4-star hotel.

-          2012 Major renovation of the conference centre.

-          2013 Rebuilding starts of adjacent wing for offices, canteen, changing rooms, technical rooms and storage.

-          2014 Renovation of Brasserie & Loungebar DenK and soft renovation of the Patio rooms and mansion rooms.

-          2015 Renovation of Nova Zembla coach house. 

Take a look at our

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to get a good impression of the
Duin & Kruidberg Country Estate