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“stunning history, less stunning service”
Review of Librije's Hotel

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Librije's Hotel
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in Zwolle
Certificate of Excellence
amsterdam
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“stunning history, less stunning service”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

The former centuries old prison is now a high ranking hotel, conveniently close (with or without the butler driving service) to Holland's 3 star top restaurant De Librije.
Welcomed with a glass of excellent bubbles we had to wait in the rather chilly lobby before being led to the suite. Apart from the somewhat opulent style which you may or may not like, the room was slightly disappointing; cold, noisy because of the wooden floors and odd looking with the big stand-alone bathtub and double washbasins in the sleeping area. We would have preferred a separate bathroom.The Ipad provided by the hotel did not function and there are no international tv channels likes CNN, BBC, or German channels. The rain shower was excellent and so were the beds. The roooms are very high which adds to the feeling of being in a very authentic building.
We missed a(n) (inter)national newspaper in the morning.
Breakfast shows the hand of the master, in this case top chef J. Boer. It is an almost endless amount of small bites, all hand made and of exquisite taste. Beginning with two rolls you might easily eat too much in the beginning since there is no menu to choose from or to tell you what's coming. Service is adequate and easy going, no unnecessary formalities: Dutch style.
The town center by the way is absolutely pretty and only a few minutes walking distance from the hotel. All in all very good, but not top notch for international standards and the price level.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank orangeAmsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Flaine
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Excellent service which is very unusual in the Netherlands. We were upgraded from a standard room to a suite, which is always nice. Ate at the Librije. Challenging taste combos. Good wine arrangement. Owners very hands on.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank vvvvvvv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2012

We spent 4 nights at Librije's which was split up by 5 days of cycling. The first room we had was on the second floor and was fabulous. When we returned, the hotel was booked and we were given a room on the third floor. The temperature outside was in the high 80's. The AC couldn't keep up, To make matters worse the bathrooms in these types of rooms have no door and when we took our much needed showers, the whole room became a sauna. I literally sat on the floor outside my room to try to cool down for an hour while the AC finally cooled the room enough for me to reenter. We kept the shades pulled and lights off which made the room feel like a tomb.

One other oddity that all the rooms have is that the lights (and they are very bright lights) in the toilet room come on automatically when you open the door. For anyone who gets up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet, you will feel like someone shined a flash light right at you and the whole room lights up disturbing anyone else in bed trying to sleep. There is no way to dim these lights or control them.

On the other hand, Service was oustanding and above and beyond! Also, they kindly upgraded and moved us to a lower floor room for the next night.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ShadyMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2012 via mobile

We booked the hotel with dinner. If i had to pay the price for only the hotel room I think the price is too high. But now the whole package deal was great. The service is great, the rooms are nice and breakfast is excellent.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Chantal P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oegstgeest, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2012

We can be clear about one thing: the food in the restaurant is great. Probably one of the best restaurants there is in The Netherlands. But don't stay at the hotel, because that was quite a disappointment and surely overpriced! They pretend to be top of the bill, but don't live up to it. Some examples.
1. We noticed a big dirty stain on the floor in our bathroom. So I told the reception. She would tell the housekeeping immediately and it should be cleaned right away! After dinner we came back in our room. The same dirty messy stain was still there.
2. We stayed with friend. We arrived separately. After we freshed up, we arrived down stairs, asking or our friends already arrived for diner. "No they didn't". After some time we asked or they were sure. "Yes we are. We keep a close eye on this". After some time I choose to phone our friends, and yes, they were waiting for us in an other lobby.
3. So we joint them. They were having a drink. We sat there a quarter of an hour. No one of the staff noticed us to offer us something to drink. So we sat there, with our friends, without a drink. 4. When we sat at our table, no one offered us something to drink. After we asked four classes of champagne, the glasses came, but no champagne. After we asked again, the served, without asking, a big name champagne (I think it was Pommery but maybe it was Moet), not particularly my favorite.
5. When we had our first nip, my friend found out there was his glass was broken.
6. And something alike happened during dinner. Before the dessert, the classes for the wine arrived, then the dessert arrived, and after a while we had to asked for the wine. These things may not happen in a two Michelin star restaurant!
7. And about the arrival. During dinner we found out that our friends were handed over an old book with an Ipad in it, with an introduction movie on it, and the business card of the staff member who welcomed them. We didn't get both.
8. There was a box with bath soaps and that sort of things in the bath room. When we opened it, it was nearly empty. We thought that was somewhat poor. Talking about it with our friends, we found out their box was full with soaps and other things. They just forgot to refill ours!
9. On the room there is a box you can buy with some adult toys in it, but our bed (I suppose all beds) was a twin bed. Can it be more unromantic? Please, just put king beds in de rooms and leave away these adult toy crap. We'll have much more pleasure then.
10. Don't know who decorated the rooms, but it surely wasn't an interior designer. It is an potpourri of styles, materials and colors, and the art is really bad. In the whole hotel by the way.

So my advise: have dinner at Librije's Zusje or, maybe better, at the Librije itself, if they have a table for you. But look for an other hotel. I would suggest the Sandton Hotel in Zwolle. Great experience with that place, and you can stay there two nights for the price of one at the Librije's Hotel.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Theo1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, VA
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2012

I stayed in this hotel for work, but it really i s a unique place. The service is tremendous starting with the butler who helps with your bags. The rooms are all unqiue, built from a 1700s era building that once was a women's prison. You still have bars on some windows and cell doors in the dining area. The exercise area is now a lovely courtyard. My only complaint was the cost of breakfast. 27 euros for contiental or 40 for the full shebang. Also, zwolle is a cute and historic town, but there's not much happening. Thats why i'd recommend this for a weekend but not a week unless it's a jumping off place to see northen Holland.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jande_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

We stayed at Librije's hotel for one night after enjoying dinner in the fantastic 3* restaurant (which is an experience in it's own right) to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary.
The hotel is a converted women's prison built in the 18th century. We really liked the design, a mix of luxurious modern furniture and older elements. We had the simplest room category (called 'royale kamer') which provided more than enough space and was quiet and comfortable. The bathroom in our room was completely open which might not appeal to everyone, allthough there is a separate toilet.

The service and food is what really makes this hotel stand out. The breakfast is very expensive at 35 Euro per person but it really is unique and worth every penny. As a welcome gift we had a apple pie that was made to look (and taste!) exactly like a real whole apple.
The staff is very friendly and professional. There was a small mistake at dinner and to make up we were presented with a signed copy of the owners' cookbook the morning after. It was a very hot day and the valet parking attendants stocked our car with some bites for the road and bottles of cold water. We haven't experienced this level of service in any other hotel in The Netherlands.

It's relatively expensive though, we paid 250 Euro per night for the room excluding breakfast and parking is 27 Euro per day. That might not seem a lot considering the quality but bear in mind that this is in the quiet provincial town of Zwolle, not some busy European capital. Right now the price has gone up to 295 Euro per night, but there are sometimes interesting package deals if you have dinner at De Librije or it's 2* sibling, Librije's Zusje.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank danielkegel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Librije's Hotel

Property: Librije's Hotel
Address: Spinhuisplein 1, 8011 ZZ Zwolle, The Netherlands
Location: The Netherlands > Overijssel Province > Zwolle
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in Zwolle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Librije's Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The stylish 5-star Librije's Hotel opened its doors in Zwolle in May 2008. It is situated in a monumental building, only a few minutes walk away from the renowned 3-star restaurant 'De Librije'. The hotel accommodates its own restaurant as well as a cookery and oenology school ... more   less 
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