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“Avoid this truly awful hotel” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Den Halder

Hotel Den Halder
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Hotel Den Halder
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Emmalaan 12, 6301 Valkenburg, The Netherlands   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 53 Hotels in Valkenburg
UK
Level Contributor
56 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
“Avoid this truly awful hotel”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

We stayed here with our group of 12-20 year olds in July. We have been travelling with this group for 20 years, and have never had a moment’s conflict with any hotel proprietor until this trip. We were horrified as a catalogue of events contrived to make this an extremely concerning stay.

The most alarming incident was when the owner entered the room of four 16-year old boys in the middle of the night, with neither their consent nor the knowledge of a member of our staff, and proceeded to accuse one boy of smoking in the room. He then threw the boy outside the hotel and told him he’d be sleeping on the streets that night. Only when the frightened boy refused did the owner come to my room in the annexe and try to leave him in there!

Another member of staff and I attempted to take the boy back to his room in the main building but the owner refused to let us into the building. Interestingly he tried to do everything in his power to prevent me from going to the boy’s room to find evidence of the supposed smoking, but when I did manage to get in, it was clear he was mistaken. He didn’t want to listen to anything I had to say though, and still refused to let the boy back in. It was only when I offered to call the police for their assessment of the situation, that he very tellingly backed down immediately.

We also had concerns for the integrity of the staff – whilst we were all out for the day someone entered one of the children’s rooms and tampered with their valuables which had been shut away in a drawer – when we returned the valuables had been strewn around the room, and someone had attempted to gain access to an iPod, which had resorted to a 3-hour lock-out (placing the incident at a time when the whole group was 10 miles away giving a concert in Maastricht).

The hotel owner allows children to consume their own drinks on the premises, but only in the outside seating area (this is a few tables and chairs on the pavement outside the hotel’s door, next to the road) or in their rooms – not in the bar. We had no problem with this, and the children willingly complied, but he objected (to the point of snatching bottles off the children and throwing them in the bin) to anyone even being in possession of a bottle of water in the bar area – even if they weren’t drinking it and were consuming drinks bought from his bar instead, or were just standing inside the door sheltering from the sun whilst waiting for our coach to pick us up after breakfast!

We grew so weary of him ranting at our staff about his “profits from the bar being damaged” that after a couple of nights we avoided further misunderstandings by taking the children into town for the evening instead (where the drinks were cheaper and the atmosphere much more lively). Upon returning he threw a tantrum and removed the chairs and tables from outside the hotel, saying “No business, no tables!” For the remainder of the stay the chairs, tables and pool table were no longer available. Clearly paying for 4 nights’ accommodation is not sufficient to be allowed to use the hotel’s limited facilities!

The children in our group are by no means fussy eaters, but they struggled with the saltiness of the food and the poor quality of the breakfasts. They also struggled with the water arrangements – rather than putting water jugs on the tables, the hotel makes the children get water from a machine. However, they frequently refused to open up this machine until half way through the meal, and then objected to the children queuing at it, and on one evening when they failed to put out enough glasses and some of the children helped themselves to identical glasses from a neighbouring machine, the owner hurled abuse at them! I can only presume all this is to try to maximise profits from drinks bought in desperation from the bar……..

These are just a few of the problems we encountered, but serve to highlight the kind of experience we had. I am reluctant to get personal in my reviews, and usually try to make allowances for bad service, but can only conclude that the owner of this hotel is a bully. He frightened and upset the children, and alarmed and angered the staff, and as such I cannot stress strongly enough that this is a totally inappropriate environment for young people.

As for the hotel itself, the rooms are acceptable to poor (and that is bearing in mind that this is a 2 star hotel). We have stayed in many European hostels and 2 star hotels (a lot of them cheaper than this hotel) so we do have a frame of reference. The children’s rooms are extremely cramped, and although the adults are given the better rooms, I was not impressed by the cleanliness of mine. Furthermore, when I had to return to my room shortly after checking out, I was interested to see that although the bedding had been clean, the now stripped mattresses were dirty and stained. One of the children’s rooms even had bare wires protruding from the wall – a picture had been hung over it to attempt to hide it! The only positive thing I can say about this hotel is its proximity to the centre of Valkenburg.

It is with amusement that I have read the reactions of some reviewers to the comments that some of our group left here on Tripadvisor. I am always wary of reviews that personally attack previous contributors, as I feel it leaves the author/motive behind the review somewhat suspect……

In short, if you are a group leader and are offered this hotel by your tour company, I strongly advise you to request alternative accommodation. Given that the hotel owner has denied all these incidents to our tour company, I suspect that they will continue to use this establishment, which is why I have written this review in the hope of giving people a much-needed insight into the unsuitability of this hotel for groups of any kind.

I would be happy to provide further details – please contact me through Tripadvisor if you would like further information.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rico L, Eigenaar at Hotel Den Halder, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
This group we can not name them by name because tripadvisor will not publisch
but this was a music group 12 till 22 years, staff had no control off the children they where drunk and smoking
They send a lot off bad reviews, because as a hotel owner we tell them that this was not possible to behave like this..So the leader off the group is now giving bad reviews to give our hotel a bad name.
We are working for 25 years with groups, but we never had a group in, as this group who give the comment.




So we hope, you also will read the good reviews.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    26
    3
    3
    2
    11
See reviews for
4
7
Solo
0
10
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

Having returned from the hotel earlier this summer (my third visiit with groups of students), I have to say that the way our young people were catered for was very good. There was ample food with enough variety to suit all our youngsters. The rooms are spotlessly clean and all have a fan (superb in the very hot weather we had), an ensuite and a flat screen TV on the wall.
We found the hotel owners very pleasant and helpful and most certainly aware of the needs of student groups.
The hotel is near the centre of this small and charming Dutch town and there are many activities available within a short distance..
In short - I find it difficult to believe that the people who have entered such negative reviews stayed at the same place we did. (Perhaps you have to treat hotel owners and staff in the way you would wish to be treated yourself in order to get the best from any stay anywhere).

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

Whenever our orchestra has toured to Holland, this has always been the place that we stay. Situated just outside Valkenburg, it is an ideal place to stay to enjoy the local shopping and attractions. Over the many years that we have been returning, the hotel has always accommodated use superbly and made us feel very welcome. Whether we have been a group of 40 or a group of 12 the staff here have always looked after us well. I have always found the rooms comfortable and clean. Storage space is provided, along with a very effective fan and TV. The ensuite comprises everything you would need, with a particularly good shower. Having toured with an age range of 8 - 22 year olds, I would say that these rooms are more than ideal for school parties. The meals provided at the hotel have always been impressive. 3 course meals are proved each evening. If you are worried about trying Dutch food, you have nothing to worry about as the hotel are good at accommodating for the 'fussy' English eaters. I can never remember a meal time, where they weren't able to offer us more food if we had eaten all of our portion. Breakfast also provides a wide spread of food, again including the option for the 'fussy' eaters, or a wide selection of meat and cheeses. A packed lunch has always been provided for us, as we spend all our days out of the hotel. In the evenings the hotel staff have always been happy to provide entertainmet, whether this is in the form of a film, disco, gaming or pool. Drinks are sold much cheaper than you'll find in the centre of Valkenburg - with very generous helpings. The overall look of the hotel is very clean fresh. Both Rico and Madeleine are brilliant host and have always been helpful and friendly over the years that we have been visiting. Already looking forward to the next time we visit.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

Very first impressions of the hotel were average. The location is lovely, just off the center of Valkenburg, where the roads are deserted and pleasant. There is a park nearby, if you are intending on taking a large group of children, and the bar and restaurant are decorated ornately, with pottery, canvas and brass/copper work. There is also free Wi-Fi.
There is nothing else positive about this hotel.
Once we went down for our first meal, we began to realize that the food was poor. Our first dish (of 'soup') was salty water, stock, and vegetables, with an un-appetizing aroma and taste. The main, of which was the same for all four of our meals, consisted of: badly cooked meat, un-appetizing vegetables, and chips. Our meals were concluded with a sweet desert, which was not prepared by the restaurant (eg. from a pot, packet).
One member of our tour, whom had the worry of three allergies, was treated poorly and rudely by hotel staff, the manager claiming, and I quote,''We can't cook for you, you don't tell us what you can eat'' after being previously informed of the matter. Overall serving staff were rude and irritable.
Although I had one of the better rooms, it was still to a bad standard. The was no space for sitting and bed space was cramped. The washing facilities, also cramped were inadequately fitted. The door to the shower did not close properly and the shower itself was weak and temperature was hard to predict. The rest of the space had a Jacuzzi which was 'broken' and everything else was cramped and badly fitted.
Our view was of buldings although our aircon was effective and our TV was sizeable.
Overall an unpleasant stay I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND and rude staff.

Room Tip: Any rooms in the annex (room numbers 40 plus) are reasonable with the exception of 41.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Valkenburg hotels

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

I have just had a stay at the den halder and I have to disagree with the last few reviews. I am currently touring Europe and have to say that this hotel is very nice compared with other budget hotels I have stayed in.
Sure it's not a 5 star hotel, but you are not paying 5 star prices. What you get is a location close to all the action and a decent breakfast. It was a bit noisy, but the room was comfortable and the managers Rico and Madeleine were helpful and friendly.
Valkenburg is a lovely little town that I hadnt heard of until this year. Lots to do and lots of bars and restaurants.

I would definitely stay here again if in this area, so please look at some of the other reviews when deciding!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

This is an interesting hotel. It is just outside the center of Valkenburg on a quiet street surrounded by nice scenery.
From the outside, this is a nice looking building. The main entrance contains a pleasant bar/ Boot licking restaurant for teachers/ organizers/ Coach Drivers. Students/ band members/etc.. dine behind closed doors in a cramped mess hall. Although the conditions are lacking in any real taste or comfort, it’s not as though you have to sleep there. So we all decided to put up with it.
If I am honest, the mess hall seemed quite a nice place to rest compared to where we ended up sleeping. This was a tiny room meant to hold 4 people. There was barely enough storage space for half a person. There was no air conditioning. The bathroom was tiny, however, the shower was very nice. There was so little room between the two bunks on both the beds that whenever my friend would sneeze, you’d hear a huge ‘clang’ as he bashed his head on the top bunk!
The owners, Rico and Madeline were unhelpful and irritating. Accusing students of stealing items and breaking rules from day 1! Whenever Rico didn't get his own way in a dispute (which was every time), he would just get in to a strop and attempt to make us sorry by ‘taking’ our ‘privileges’ away, such as sitting outside on a chair and letting us put our bags in the hotel while they cleaned our rooms. Very pathetic.
I always like to leave on a positive note so here it is: one really good thing about the hotel was it helped the group to bond. If everyone has in common something which they hate, it creates a mutual friendship for all.

Room Tip: pretend you are trialing a trip an are planning on taking lots of kids with you. ( you might get the...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

Journeying to this our hotel with our youth band on a long awaited tour we were sadly disappointed.
Upon arriving the luggage had to be very hastily unloaded from our coach to the pavement, as the time which we could wait outside of the hotel was seriously restricted. The hotel is separated into two completely unconnected buildings (the main hotel and the annexe) at opposite ends of the block, and the electronic fob locks on the both the annexe and the rooms were so temperamental that it would often take several tries to enter the room.
The location of the hotel is ideal for the centre of Valkenburg and only two minutes walk from a wide variety of bars and pubs, all charging much lower costs for their drinks than the hotel's own bar.
The range of rooms is quite large, although the room pictured on the hotel's website is the only room which could be considered acceptable as a 2* room. The other rooms had facilities which only matched their descriptions on the hotel website in the loosest sense possible, 'air conditioning' often referring to an antiquated fan in the middle of the floor, and in the rare rooms which did feature air conditioning, its use would trip all of the electrics in the annexe of the hotel. Being in a group I had the privilege of being able to look into all of the rooms (our group was occupying every room of the hotel) and make comparisons between them. I am pleased to say that some of the rooms are very spacious with ample furnishing and tastefully fitted bathrooms. The whirlpool baths advertised were luxurious and large, however they deceitfully come at a significant extra cost, one not advertised when they are listed as included. In my own room I was shocked to find exposed mains wiring protruding from the wall, and an attempt made to conceal it by moving a picture over it. One of the other rooms I looked in was clearly a converted corridor, so narrow that their was not significant room to reach the bathroom without climbing over the bed.
The rooms are advertised as featuring showers, however I feel that a shower must be suitable for persons over three feet in height to use. One room featured a shower so low that one had to lie down and move the spray head over their body in order to get clean, as there was a very low ceiling in the room.
The pillows were extremely comfortable, and some of the best I have experienced in a hotel, however they did little to aid sleep with such hard beds. A room for four consisted of two bunk beds, pushed together in the middle of the room and leaving little space around the edge. Consequently we rearranged the room to leave much more space and changing the double bunk bed to two single bunk beds, much more suitable for a group of teenagers. Whilst this configuration was much more comfortable it did not change the fact that the bottom bunks had so little head room that one would regularly bang their head.
The toilets were basic facilities, and whilst not producing the most pleasant scent were by no means dreadful.
The best room in the hotel was given the the head staff member of our party, thus keeping them in the dark as the to the state of most of the rest of our rooms.
The food on the first night was a watery and extremely salty broth, which was eaten without too much complaint, followed by chicken and chips, both beginning to go cold by the time they were served. Desert consisted of a cheap supermarket yoghurt. The only drink available was chilled water, with others being available at the bar, albeit severely overpriced. Not a single drink was removed from the dining room or bar, and yet the next morning out group were accused of stealing ten pint glasses from the bar (which after a quick check of the rooms by a couple of the older members of the band, were not discovered in anybody's luggage) and no evidence was presented to us as to why we were apparently responsible, despite the extensive CCTV system in the hotel. At this point he claimed he only had five pint glasses left.
The next night, and ten pints (between us) later, we very carefully returned all of our pint glasses to the bar, however the next morning, mysteriously another six had gone missing. At this point he decided that he wanted our tour leader to pay for the sixteen missing glasses.
After this we decided that we would drink our own alcohol to avoid any further misunderstandings. We drank our drinks on the tables outside the hotel (part of the hotel and yet not part of the bar), however the owner decided that as we were not using his bar he wasn't happy with this, and proceeded to remove and lock away all of the tables.
Each night the food was similar. The broth was simply that from the first night, reheated and with some tomato puree added. The meat was again cold and served with chips. The bolognaise served one night was over greasy and the pasta was cold and undercooked. Deserts continued to be supermarket bought tubs.
On the last night one room ended up with an extremely smelly blocked toilet, and so deodorant was sprayed to cover up the foul smell. The hotel manager then jumped to the conclusion that a member of the band had been smoking in the room and had sprayed the deodorant to cover the smell. Threatening to throw the teenager onto the street for the night, our band leaders had to step in and protect the falsely accused young person.
Do not stay in this hotel unless you like to be caused significant trouble. The staff are rude and the facilities are terrible.

Room Tip: Room 46 is the only acceptable room in the hotel, and if you can look past the horrible manager and...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Den Halder

Address: Emmalaan 12, 6301 Valkenburg, The Netherlands
Location: The Netherlands > Limburg Province > Valkenburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 53 Hotels in Valkenburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Den Halder 2*
Number of rooms: 17
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