Located just 5 miles from the Maastricht rail station, the Hotel Chateau St Gerlach is a unique estate set in the Ingendael Wildlife Reserve. This former monastery was founded in 1201 and burned down in 1581. The baroque castle that you see today dates from 1713. Hotelier Camille Oostwegel bought the ruins of Château St. Gerlach for 1 Dutch Gulden and then proceeded to spend 26 million Guilders restoring the property. Today this beautiful chateau-hotel provides two fine dining restaurants, spas, a wellness center and a Roman-style indoor swimming pool. The extensive rose gardens and fruit trees make this a picturesque and tranquil retreat for a relaxing vacation.
There are 58 rooms and suites located in the farmhouse. Additionally there are 39 apartments (1-2 bedrooms) for families and longer stays that are located in the convent. I heartily recommend this hotel, but it is important to choose your room carefully. Some of the rooms in the Chateau are dark and not as large. Make sure to ask for the deluxe rooms with the floor to ceiling windows that face the gardens.
The apartments are very spacious and overlook the orchards. The hotel will also arrange babysitting services if requested. If you are staying in summer, make sure you ask for the rooms with air conditioning; not all rooms have it.
Also on the grounds is St Gerlachus Church which boasts stunning wall and ceiling paintings. The Château St. Gerlach Hotel restaurant offers French cuisine in a very elegant, formal, old world setting. Bistrot de Liège , a more informal choice, offers regular French fare for lunch.
The area of Maastricht lies among the hills of the Geuldal valley. There are many hiking paths and outdoor activities nearby such as golf, skiing, hot air balloon rides, boat trips, and horseback riding. The hotel offers bike rentals and picnic baskets for day trips as well.
The nearby towns of Maastricht, Aachen, and Liège, have many museums, shops and a host of interesting sights. They are easily accessible (10-15 minutes away) and the TGV goes to Liège from the main cities of Amsterdam and Paris. And from Liège you have easy access to the Maastricht Central Station. The museums of Maastricht offer fine collections from the old masters and the city has hosted International European Art Fairs. Note: most stores close Saturday evening at 6pm and don’t open until Monday afternoon — plan accordingly.
For a beautiful getaway without breaking the bank (rooms run about $250-$300 per night) consider the Chateau St Gerlach Valkenburg aan de Geul in Maastricht, Netherlands.
Written by Carla Scott for EuropeUpClose.com