“ Grote Mark 30/36/38, Bergen Op Zoom 4611 NT, Netherlands. This Hotel is the oldest hotel in the Netherlands, dating from before 1397. It has beeen restored in 14th century style. The hotel is located downtown, all tourist points within 100 mtrs. Tel: 1642 „
Bergen Op Zoom is a small town not far from Rotterdam. I visited it recently whilst doing business in the nearby petrochemical area. The town is quaintly Dutch with lots of nice bars and restaurants.
I stopped at The Hotel de Draak operated under the Mercure name. Like the town the hotel is old and it occupies a good position in the corner of the main square the Grote Markt. Parking is available either outside the hotel in the square of for Nfl 14.50 a night they have a private secure parking area nearby. The hotel has only 34 rooms but they are spread on 6 floors. There is a lift which is also very old but seemed up to the job each time I used it. The building itself is a typical town centre town house much loved and seen in the Netherlands. It all seemed quaintly untouched by time with old beams and doors and chandeliers. Sadly some of the furniture was old not in the sense of keeping with the ambience of the place but looked like the remnants of a 1970s makeover. I did get the sense that this was a hotel with a phenomenal amount of potential which was nowhere near achieving it.
The rooms were a little disappointing being dark and not decorated for some time. They were a good size though and had a minibar (no tea making though) and a TV with about 15 channels including the good old BBC. The bed was comfortable too.
The bar area is pleasant but too small. As I met up with some other people we ended up sitting it was little better than a corridor which took a draught from the main square. Not good enough. Most of the bar area is given over to Hemingways restaurant which served a good range of local fish dishes. The food was very good and well presented. Prices were pretty good too. There is a good range of beers at the bar including Wickse Wiete which is like Hoegaarden White Beer and also they served de Koninck which was a reasonable biere brun type beer.
Breakfast was the usual Dutch range of cold meat, yoghurt and breads. It was all very fresh but everything including the tea and coffee was self service. The overriding impression was there is the breakfast, just get it and go. There was some bacon, eggs and sausage but it looked as appealing as congealed left overs. The Europeans have a lot to learn about the English breakfast.
The reception staff spoke good English as you expect in the Netherlands but could not be said to be particularly friendly or helpful. Like with the service at breakfast and even the service in the bar and restaurant there was no feeling of any great effort on the part of the staff. I think they need to try a little harder.
Overall it cost about £50 for a single room including the breakfast. This on balance was just about good value.