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This 17th-Century Party Palace Has Been Transformed Into the Netherlands’s Newest Luxury Hotel

Walking through the Baroque terraced gardens of Château Neercanne, Camille Oostwegel Sr. pauses in front of a medieval fountain.

“We are standing in the very heart of Europe,” he said of the Roman site where Julius Caesar and 6,500 soldiers battled. “There are many stories, so much history all around us, and still so much to be discovered.”

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Nestled along the southeast corner of the Netherlands near the Belgian border, the Oostwegel family, collectors of stories and historic houses, purchased Château Neercanne in 1984. They restored the home and opened Restaurant Château Neercanne, which earned a Michelin star just one year later.

The château dates back to 1698 and was built by the baron and military governor of Maastricht, Daniël Wolf van Dopff.

“To be a baron, you had to have a castle,” he added as we made our way out of the gardens and through a network of ancient marl caves that led to the wine cellar. “This was a place to celebrate life.”

The courtyard at Château Neercanne
Long one of the Netherlands’s best restaurants, the estate now offers crash-pads for those who have over indulged.

Over the centuries, the estate and caves have served as a gathering place for parties and royalty, from Peter the Great and Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to race-car driver Max Verstappen. Somewhere along the line, the château earned the nickname “party palace.”

The castle entered its next era on March 1, with the launch of seven newly created suites in the former gatekeepers’ quarters. Two of the suites, the Deluxe Garden and the Superior Garden, offer private courtyards.

“It’s long been a dream of our guests to be able to stay at the château overnight,” said Camille Oostwegel Jr., who became the owner and managing director of the Oostwegel Collection after his father, Ooswegal Sr., retired in 2020. The portfolio includes four historic luxury hotels in the region, including the 60-room, 15th-century monastery Kruisherenhotel Maastricht and Château St. Gerlach, a 114-key estate that’s hosted to everyone from Bruce Springsteen to the Rolling Stones over the years.

When the time came to repair the roofs of Château Neercanne, it presented an opportunity to expand the restaurant into a resort. “Now that dream has been realized,” Oostwegel Jr. said.

Eschewing dim interiors typical of Renaissance-style castles, Oostwegel Jr. hired interior designer Roelfien Vos to create a lighter, more modern atmosphere that would both “future-proof” the property while preserving the integrity of the original structures. Spread across two floors of the château, an original 16th-century turret discovered during the restoration provides a setting that is both innately cozy and superbly stylish.

A suite at Château Neercanne
History buffs all, the Oostwegel family preserved all of the period details.

“Most importantly, we wanted to showcase the beauty of the original construction and work around that,” Vos said. “The idea was to take the things we see all around us and bring the outside in while preserving the integrity of the original details as organically as possible.”

The project, which Vos describes as a “dream assignment,” achieved this through “layering” each space. Woven throughout the suites, everything from the upholstery to the wallpaper draws on inspiration from plants like Brandkruit found in the garden. “Julius Caesar print” throw pillows and sleek light fixtures sourced from across Europe add thoughtful touches, while reclaimed wood in a Versailles pattern flows throughout.

“My house is now your palace,” Camille Oostwegel Sr. said.

Rates range from roughly $438 euro to $1,312 per night.

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