For years I wanted to visit hotel, restaurant and garden Villa Augustus in Dordrecht. A few weeks ago I finally did and I loved everything about it!
Why I love Villa Augustus in Dordrecht
Villa Augustus is a unique hotel and restaurant, housed in a former water tower, surrounded by huge and beautiful gardens.
It is owned and designed by Dutch artist and multi-talent Dorine de Vos, a woman that I admire enormously. I love, love, love her style, her work, her creations.
Dorine de Vos, multi-talent
Way way back in time (1984), I visited Grand Cafe Schlemmer in The Hague for the first time, and I was instantly blown away! Oh. My. God. Everything in and about that place was creative, quirky, different and pretty.
(Apparently it’s still there, but I have no idea if it looks anything like the olden days or not…)
I wanted to LIVE there,
… as I always do when I’m in a place (hotel, shop, restaurant, house, whatever) that shouts to me: “This is ME, this is my style, I love everything in here, I want everything in here; can I move in please?!…”.
I remember visiting Schlemmer once around Christmas time and the waitresses walked around wearing wings. Fun and magical!
Dorine de Vos did a lot of other projects, from interior design in restaurants to writing books and sketching and much more.
But the project that was a huge hit amongst the public, including me, was Hotel New York in Rotterdam.
Picture taken from Wikipedia article.
A unique, industrial heritage building on a fabulous location, that she converted into a hotel and cafe-restaurant. I did not live anywhere near Rotterdam, but went to Hotel New York as often as I could.
And then, one day, there was Villa Augustus.
Villa Augustus; a must-visit when you are in the neighbourhood
History of the building
This monumental water plant dates back to 1882 and on the website of Villa Augustus you can read more about the fascinating origin and history of this building.
Find out how and when the water tower stopped weeping, how the current developers and owners stumbled upon this heritage building, about their vision, why the name Villa Augustus, why the hare logo and more interesting and fun facts.
The hotel has 37 rooms. Most of them are inside the former water tower, the rest is on different locations in the gardens. All rooms are different.
I booked a room in Villa Augustus twice, but unfortunately I had to cancel both times, due to unforeseen circumstances. It is still on my bucket list though!
I have my eye on one of the tower rooms (The Lantern Room) AND on the secret room (Il Giardino Segreto). That room is SO secret, that guests are not allowed to show pictures of the room or to reveal what it looks like!
The restaurant looks a-ma-zing! Just have a look at the pictures I took.
They use a lot of fresh produce from their own gardens, but I opted for shrimp croquettes instead.
Market is the part of Villa Augustus which is a store, selling products from the gardens, from an on-site bakery, and other food items.
It is also a giftshop with the coolest stuff.
Often made or illustrated by Dorine de Vos herself or by some of her preferred artists, like Nathalie Lete. Who happens to be one of my favourites too!
The garden is the heart of this whole project. On 1,5 hectares you find a vegetable garden, an orchard, an Italian garden and a small wood.
Also in the garden is The Limonaia, a hothouse that is home to lemon trees in winter and used for events in summer.
After our lunch at Villa Augustus and a relaxed walk on the premises, we made our way to the historic city center of Dordrecht.
More about that in my next blogpost.
Have you been to Villa Augustus? Did you stay in the hotel? How was your experience there?