About Van Valk Cantharel, Veluwe castle farm
It is 1973 when Gerrit van der Valk buys a charming, small guesthouse from the 1920s for his cousin Martin Zeeuw van der Laan and his wife Angela. A country house, built in colonial style, situated against the edge of the Veluwe forest, close to the stretch where the A1 motorway is being extended eastwards at the time. The young couple, both in their early twenties, will live upstairs with their baby. They set up the first floor as a restaurant. Hard work, good food and genuine hospitality are the pillars of their entrepreneurship. And that pays off. Guests know how to find the Cantharel. In 1976 they built a hotel with 47 rooms on the same spot. They stayed in the hotel for a few years with their family, which by then had expanded, until they moved into their own house next door.
The current owner Bob Zeeuw van der Laan remembers his young childhood in the hotel with pleasure: "As small children, we played tag in the hotel corridor. That was fun. Although my parents worked long hours in the business, they were always around. We ate together and could tell our stories when we came home from school. When we were a little older ourselves, we all worked together. We saw how important it is to do more than guests expect, so that guests really feel welcome and like coming back. That became our second nature, to the extent that it wasn't already in our genes."
When his parents wanted to take it a little easier, eldest son Bob took over the business, just when a major renovation and expansion was in the pipeline. During his many travels he has gained work experience and ideas in the field of facilities, organization and guest experience that he can now put into practice. There will be a conference center, stables, a vegetable garden, a beauty & wellness center and a green key gold rating for the hotel. The beautiful natural surroundings will be exploited even more by organizing weekly carriage rides across the Veluwe, training employees to become IVN ambassadors and a menu with healthy dishes made from local ingredients.
In recent years Bob and his team also continue to develop: restaurant Huisje James, hidden in the green behind the hotel, outdoor dinners, the in-house information point 't Buitenhuisje and the Valk Vers food label. A wellness garden with swimming pool will follow in 2019. This makes De Cantharel more than just a place to stay, it is a Veluwe hotel farm where guest experience is central, a place where business dynamics and luxury and relaxation go hand in hand.