There is a wide choice of accommodation that focuses on the main tourist destinations. These include regions that are popular with domestic tourism, such as the Veluwe and Zuid-Limburg.
Campsites are widely available in almost every corner of the country and near most major towns. Outside the main tourist season (July-September), there is usually still space available and most campsites can find a place for small touring tents at any time of year. For caravans, motorhomes or family tents, it is advisable to book in advance, especially during the summer holidays. In popular national and regional tourist areas, such as the coast, the West Frisian Islands, Zuid-Limburg and the Veluwe, it is easy to find quality campsites with a wide range of facilities and entertainment. In rural areas, small pitches next to farms are very popular (see Stichting Vrije Recreatie (SVR)). Pure natural landscapes can be experienced in a very lively way on the ‘natuurkampeerterreinen’ (nature campsites). As for shops, it is possible to buy products directly in the village.
Sanitary facilities depend on the type of campsite, but the quality is excellent at most campsites. At some campsites, the use of hot water is not included, but must be paid for at the showers. It is advisable to ask if this is the case when you check in. You can also enjoy a camping holiday without a tent. Many campsites offer cabins called trekkers’ hats.
Please note that camping in the wilderness is prohibited and strictly regulated.
Hotels in the Netherlands are numerous, especially in the Netherlands itself, and can be relatively cheap compared to other Western European countries. You may be able to find a decent international standard hotel for 50 euros or less per night. Because of good public transport, even if you live outside the city centre or even in another city, you can always visit a destination comfortably and stay within your budget.
Although there are independent properties throughout the country, the presence of international and local hotel chains is relatively significant. Some of the most popular are:
- NHHoteles. The Spanish hotel chain has inherited a large number of properties in the Netherlands through the acquisition of the former Krasnapolsky Hotels in Amsterdam and many old Gold Tulips. Therefore, most of the properties are older and even historic. NH hotels in large cities are generally what you would expect from the chain in any other country. In smaller towns, the properties usually date from the 1980s and have only been partially renovated since then. You can always count on a rich breakfast buffet, which is a trademark of NH Hoteles. NH Hoteles has the largest number of properties of any hotel chain in Amsterdam, which can be helpful or disappointing during busy periods when hotels tend to overbook (you can simply move to another NH Hotel in Amsterdam). Members of the Alitalia, Aeromexico, Aerolíneas Argentinas and Iberia loyalty programmes can earn award miles/kilometres for stays at NH Hotels in the Netherlands.
- Golden Tulip, Tulip Inn (same location as Golden Tulip) and Campanile – the other properties of the Dutch Tulip hotel chain are now part of the Louvre Group based in France, which also operates the Campanile hotels. The Golden Tulips are mainly located in city centres and are of a higher standard (usually four stars), the Campaniles are located at motorway junctions and are simpler (two stars), the Tulip Inns are somewhere in between. Some properties are quite old, but can offer attractive prices if you don’t mind that they don’t exactly match the international competition. For those visiting the Netherlands by car, Campaniles and Tulip Inns can help meet a tighter budget. The Louvre Group offers several frequent flyer programmes [www] and you can earn air miles with several airlines if you stay with them.
- Van derValkHotels. A local hotel chain run by the Van der Valk family, Van der Valk Hotels focuses on high-end accommodation and resort-style facilities. The hotels are therefore generally of a high standard and comfortable and often have swimming pools and other leisure facilities, but can also be quite far from the city centres. There is no loyalty programme for guests of Van der Valk hotels, but leisure themed packages are often offered which include stays and additional services or attractions.
- Hotels in Hampshire. With more than 80 properties, including 3 in Germany and 8 in Belgium, it is one of the largest hotel chains in the Netherlands. The standard of the hotels varies from basic three-star properties to more upmarket and often historic Hampshire Eden and Hampshire Classic hotels. The chain does not operate a loyalty programme and members of the most popular loyalty programmes cannot earn miles for stays at Hampshire hotels.
- Bastion Hotels. A hotel chain with limited and very uniform service for road warriors travelling by car on business across the Netherlands. Most of these hotels were built specifically in the 1990s or later and are reminiscent of other similar hotel chains found throughout Europe, such as the Ibis or Premier Inn hotels. They are usually located near motorways, sometimes with poor public transport connections. Although service is limited, most of them have an on-site restaurant open all day.
- Accor. Has a strong presence in the Netherlands, particularly with its Ibis and Novoteland Mercure brands. As in other countries, the Mercure brands are often independent three- or four-star properties that have recently joined the chain.
- The Intercontinental Hotels Group has recently strengthened its presence by opening brand new Holiday Inn Express properties in key locations across the country, with competitive rates including breakfast. There are also former Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza properties in major cities.
Other international hotel chains maintain some presence in the Netherlands, but this is mainly limited to Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport. There are also many Best Western properties in the Netherlands, but as in any country, they vary greatly in character, size, price and comfort.
Bed and breakfast
There is a wide choice of B&Bs in the big cities, but also many in small towns and villages. Prices are usually between 40 and 100 euros, depending on the number of people and the season. Bed & Breakfast rooms may not offer all the amenities of larger hotels, but the service is generally friendly and personal. In addition, many bed & breakfasts are located along popular hiking and cycling trails.
Even for budget facilities, prices are generally high. Cheap accommodation starts at around 20 euros per person and prices go up from there. Seasonal demand affects availability and can lead to higher prices, especially in Amsterdam.
The official Dutch youth hostels are called “Stay Okay“, but they are not as widespread as in the UK. Also, there is no kitchen available to guests, so you either eat what is on the menu or you eat in a restaurant. Besides the official Dutch hostels, there are many other hostels throughout the country.
In the nature areas, the local landscape can be discovered in the “Natuurvriendenhuizen”(nature friend houses). These facilities are, so to speak, between hostels and general hotels and are especially open to cyclists and walkers, including groups. They are run by volunteers and visitors and have a communal kitchen and contagious living quarters.
Short-term flat rentals are possible in cities, but may not be legal. Most flats have a minimum stay of 3 nights, but the booking and check-in procedure is generally the same as for a hotel stay, with the notable exception that most require a credit card deposit and the balance in cash on arrival.
If you are cycling or walking, there is a list of 3,600 addresses where you can stay in private accommodation with bed and breakfast for a maximum of €18.50 per person per night, but you also have to pay €8 to join this scheme. This is the scheme “Vrienden op de fiets”.
Renting holiday homes (bungalows)
Holiday rental houses (also called bungalows in Dutch) are very popular in the Netherlands, especially in rural areas. These small houses are very diverse: they can be simple or luxurious, individual squares or parts of large parks with many identical houses, and they are operated by both private owners and large chains. Traversia has the largest collection of holiday accommodation in the Netherlands from Dutch owners. The large chains of holiday home parks are Center Parks and Landal Greenparks. While privately owned options can sometimes offer a more authentic local experience (e.g. in old half-timbered houses in South Limburg), the parks offer additional services, restaurants and swimming pools. In most cases, you need to book at least a weekend. While they are usually not cheap, they have kitchens and therefore allow you to cook for yourself.