Dutch royal palace to be converted into hotel

Soestdijk Palace
Soestdijk Palace. Photo: Michele Ahin / Wikimedia Commons

The Soestdijk Palace was sold to Made by Holland and will partly be converted into a hotel, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced. The consortium paid the Dutch state 1.7 million euros for the palace, NOS reports.

The plans for the palace include about 14 hotel rooms on the top floor. There will also be room for exhibitions showing what the Netherlands has to offer in terms of architecture, agriculture, the environment, food and water. The palace and the gardens themselves will not change in any significant way, but elsewhere on the estate room will be made for event halls, restaurants and accommodation. A large part of the forest area wil be made accessible to the public. And 65 houses will be built in the area of the former Marechaussee barracks. 

These plans will take 10 to 15 years to complete.

The Palace has been empty for 13 years. In 2015 the government called on the public to submit ideas on what the future of the palace should hold, according to NOS. A total of 120 ideas were received, which were evaluated and discarded until only three plans were left. At the end of April the three parties who submitted those plans were allowed to bid on the palace. Made by Holland won. 

The Soestdijk Palace was built in 1650 for an Amsterdam mayor and has been used by the Royal Family since 1815, according to the broadcaster. Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard moved into the palace after their marriage in 1937. During the Second World War they moved abroad and the palace was used by German officers. When Juliana became queen in 1948, the palace became the royal residence. It lost that title when Beatrix became queen in 1989. Juliana and Bernhard lived in the palace until their deaths in 2004. Since then the palace has been empty.

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