Historic Vollenhove is perhaps one of the best kept secrets of the eastern Netherlands. For centuries, fishermen set sail from the harbour on what was once the open sea, but today is an inland waterway – the little town has been enveloped by reclaimed land. In the 17th century, Vollenhove had no fewer than 17 stately manor houses, which earned it the name ‘City of Palaces’.
Stadspaleis Hotel Old Ruitenborgh is one of the last remaining ‘city palaces’, and dates from the 14th century.
The palace is set in beautiful English landscape gardens, and the interior of the restaurant and guestrooms is in appropriate style: grand chandeliers, marble fireplaces and wooden floors, combined with antique furniture and paintings that remind you of the rich history of the estate.
There are 14 stylish guestrooms and various reception and meeting rooms. The restaurant offers an atmospherically historical setting to get together with family, friends or colleagues.
This historic building with its antique furnishings is one of the most famous in the old town centre. As you dine in the Zeekamer (‘sea room’) or the Raadzaal (‘council chamber’) you are reminded that until 1948 the building had a double role as inn and town hall. Vollenhove might have been surrounded by new land, but fish is still unmissable on the menu. Enjoy the local smoked eel, or a spectacular smoked fish platter. The menu also includes French classics such as escargots and chateaubriand steak.
Restaurant Seidel is open 6 days a week from 17.30- 22.00, and is closed on Wednesdays.
The bar is open daily from 16.00-23.00.
If you’re ready for a pleasant walk, you won’t have far to go: the hotel is set in a restored 19th-century English landscape garden, ideal for a stroll. The park also contains the ruins of the medieval Toutenburg Castle. Of course, you can also enjoy the gardens as you relax on the hotel terrace.
On request, Stadspaleis Old Ruitenborgh will provide you with a well-filled picnic basket and a boat so you can explore the area at your leisure. From Vollenhove, the waterways lead in every direction. You can head for the open spaces of the lakes around the IJsselmeer, or make your way along little waterways lined with reeds to the Weerribben-Wieden National Park and the famously picturesque village of Giethoorn. The trip will take you past the Royal Huisman shipyard to catch a glimpse of the luxury yachts under construction.
In Vollenhove itself there are more than 40 nationally listed buildings, and a stroll through the town centre is a must for lovers of historic architecture. From Vollenhove there is a wide choice of cycling and walking routes. The historic Hanseatic cities of Kampen and Zwolle are with in easy reach by car.