Beach pavilions in the Netherlands
I live in a charming, but sleepy town in the Netherlands called Haarlem. It is located halfway between Amsterdam and the beach. The nearest beach is Bloemendaal aan Zee. A less touristy stretch than its neighbor beach Zandvoort. Bloemendaal is more focussed on the hip, trendy crowd.
Normally, all beach pavilions are built up and broken down each year; they are only up and running for the summer season. This has to do with the lack of clientele during the colder months and with the tide ‘eating up’ some meters of (the already narrow) beach each year. Especially the storms of november to february are notorious for that.
Before the start of the season, the beach is first restored/suppleted, before the pavilions can be build up again.
There are a few exceptions, meaning that there are some beach pavilions that are permanent. They are there and open all year round. So if you go for walks at the beach during winter, you still can find places to go inside, order a hot chocolate milk or dinner, and warm up near the fireplace. Cosy!
San Blas – my new favorite beach hangout
Last year, a new hotspot opened it’s doors at ‘my’ beach: San Blas.
This permanent beach pavilion is named after a group of 365 small islands near Panama with the same name. You can read more about San Blas the pavilion and San Blas the islands on the website of this beach shack.
Though the term beach shack does not do this place justice. At. All.
San Blas in Bloemendaal is awesome
What’s so awesome about this place?
- This pavilion is huge. And I mean: really huge!!!! It can host parties up to 1.000 people. It feels spacious, even when there are a lot of visitors.
- The look, feel and decor -inside and out- is super cool. Hip, eclectic, beach style, boho, cosy, pretty, different, colorful…and the list of adjectives goes on.
- Unlike neighboring beach pavilions, they keep their music down. The loud beats at other beach joints drive me crazy AND drives me away. It may all be very hip and cool to be as loud as a club, even at broad daylight, but it’s not my cuppa tea. I guess I’m too old for that? And I like to be able to actually talk to my company and just chill.
- Their food and drinks are good.
- The staff is friendly.
- They have comfy seats.
- The location is ideal, right next to a path down from the boulevard higher up.
- And of course the point I mentioned earlier: they are open all year round.
Have you been to San Blas? Are you a fan like me? Which is your favorite beach pavilion along the Dutch coast?