The province of Frise in the north of Holland is a very popular region for tourists from all the over the world, who come here to admire and to discover the secrets of a remarkable natural site which in 2009 was classified a UNESCO world heritage, the Wadden Sea. Presently managed like a nature reserve because of its incredible flora and fauna, it is very well frequented by nature lovers who practice a highly original activity known as “à gué” or fording. Accompanied by an experienced guide, they take advantage of low tide to walk for several hours on the dry lower depths which are like sandbars, where it’s not uncommon to find oneself almost knee deep in mud! It’s a very original way to learn the secrets of this exceptional site and to discover the numerous plant species on the way, as well as the tens of millions of birds that come here every year during the mating season. The more fortunate visitors will come across common seals, gray seals or porpoises. The port city of Harlingen, a commune in the Frise province and located on the shore of the Wadding Sea, is a true haven of peace which offers guests an ideal setting for those who want to discover the region.
Spending a night in a traditional hotel with all modern comforts is of course possible almost anywhere in the Netherlands including Harlingen. But who would have believed it possible to spend a totally untraditional night several dozen meters above the ground, and to play lighthouse keeper or crane operator for a day? And yet this is what the lighthouse and the famous Harlingen crane offer its guests. After having ceased operations, they were transformed into an off the wall, design hotel room. The Harlingen lighthouse opened in the 1920s and ceased all activity in 1998 after seven decades of loyal service. Whereas everyone was convinced it would fall into ruin, it is now one of the most fashionable sites in the country. Guests are welcomed by a woman in charge of its administration for breakfast and a tour of the site. A large staircase leads to the first floor where we find the very original but perfectly equipped shower. Then, on the next floor, we discover the room, an incredibly brightly lit, warm space with a made to measure bed and a small living space. As it is totally surrounded by windows, visitors have a breathtaking panoramic view. Just a few meters further on, the blue and white Harlingen crane, once used to unload loads of wood cargo for boats, arouses everyone’s curiosity. Often called the spider, because of its long pawlike structure, two years of renovation were necessary to create a hotel perched seventeen meters above the ground. Two elevators take guests to the former machine room, transformed into the hotel’s only room, in vivid colors and a capacity of two. There’s a handsome bed, a shower, furniture by Charles Eames and diverse high-tech tactile equipment. The elevator is also used every morning to bring up the guests’ breakfast. And to complete this incredible experience, guests can be crane operators for a day! Thanks to a staircase leading to the former operator’s cabin, they can use the control lever to turn the steel giant 360 degrees for an unprecedented view of the horizon, the boats and the city. At night, the view is truly spectacular.
Unusual accommodations / Crane / Lighthouse / Unique / Imaginative / Extravagant / Design
Open all year
2 rooms, one lighthouse room, one crane room
Double occupancy from 319 euros
Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (AMS) - Amsterdam
HARBOUR CRANE & LIGHTHOUSE
Dromen aan zee
P.O. Box 89
8860 AB Harlingen
No time diifference
Temperate maritime climate: fairly mild winters, cool summers
Average temperature: 3°C in January / 18°C in July
National ID card or valid passport
No visa required
No vaccinations required
The euro (EUR)
Dutch and Flemish, Frison
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Harbour Crane & Lighthouse
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+33 1 75 43 70 26 *Our reservation department is always happy to assist you via phone or via email. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 18pm (GMT +1).