After a series of boutique hotels, we are ready for some surprise. We get that in Bar Hotel Karel in Arnhem.
Just upon entering: manager Karlijn is frantically rolling croissants behind the large window while curious passers-by keep an eye on the craft. The French delicacies are sold well on weekends, but of course we also find them on our breakfast board the next morning. You will not get them fresher!
The nice thing about this passage to the final room is that the scent of fresh flower lingers in the coffee bar annex entrance, where more homemade French delicacies, sourdough bread and good coffee are sold. As if you are staying at the bakery!
Then the accommodations themselves: there are four, adjacent to an idyllic courtyard, quiet and yet close to the bustle of Arnhem. There was once a snooker hall here, but given the fact that this neighborhood, the Spijkerkwartier, was once the red light district of Arnhem, both Karlijn and the undersigned wonder aloud whether balls were actually put into pockets.
All rooms at Bar Hotel Karel, a reference to Duke Charles of Guelders, are industrially furnished. In 2021 that means matte black steel and wood, but here it is industrial as industrial is intended: with robust blue-green stainless steel vintage furniture such as an old-fashioned desk with matching stool and locker cabinet, bedside table, dining table and chairs.
At the back of the room is a steam shower behind glass, in front the toilet and a classic bath on legs. The whole is partly screened off from the sleeping area with a light curtain, so you have to be somewhat familiar with your fellow guest.
The tiles, from old Belgian country houses, on the wall in the bathing area would make you want to take them with you, so beautiful. This also applies to the bathroom furniture: what appears to be a cut-out piece of stone with a waterfall tap. Also so refreshing!
The floor is the old original concrete from the time when the accommodation was a garage, before the faulty snooker hall, and fits well with the rest of the interior.
Then there is the pantry, with a fridge and coffee and tea, but above all, also slightly different: a bright garden room with daybed with cushions and the necessary greenery. It is that this day is gray, but with the patio door it is a good place in the summer.
In the morning Karlijn personally delivers breakfast to the door, including the fresh croissants, and then continues singing happily with all kinds of baking (take the pain au chocolat with you on the road!).
The interior, the design, but especially the personal approach ensure that this is a hidden gem in Arnhem.
Interior: Industrial as intended, the luxury of a bath and steam shower, cheerfulness in the garden room.
Location: In a residential area, close to supermarkets and the Musispark.
Service: Personal and cordial. Karlijn’s enthusiasm and cheerfulness are contagious.
Practical: From about 135 euros per night, barhotelkarel.nl
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