Gypsy-Style Lodging: Delft ’s Hotel de Emauspoort

Gypsy-style Lodging: Delft's Hotel de Emauspoort
Delft, a charming city in southwestern Netherlands, halfway between Rotterdam and The Haag, has been noted for its fine ceramics pottery and tile work since the late 16th century. Delftware, or “Delft Blauw,” are traditional blue-and-white ceramics originally patterned after imported Chinese porcelain.

Delft was home to scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723), the inventor of the microscope; to lawmaker Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), who is considered the father of international law; and to Flemish painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675).

The Hotel de Emauspoort has four apartments.
The Hotel de Emauspoort has four apartments.

The 2003 movie Girl with a Pearl Earring, a cinematic homage to Vermeer, put the spotlight once again on the medieval town, which has become quite a tourist attraction since the movie’s release.

Delft still offers some affordable hotels, such as Hotel de Emauspoort, situated behind the Nieuwe Kerk (new church), constructed between 1381 and 1496, and the historic market square.

Although the hotel itself is fairly new, the building it occupies is not. The space was a bakery beginning in 1922, owned by Jules Joseph Grossat. Jeroen Struyk, today’s owner and grandson of Grossat, decided that the location was perfect for a hotel, one that offers a unique flair.

Inside the side-street entrance is a courtyard with two Gypsy caravans. The wooden caravans, made especially for the hotel and imported from the Czech Republic in 1999, are used as accommodations. Both caravans are beautifully decorated, with cane chairs and flowing curtains.

They have a shower and toilet, as well as a TV, telephone, coffee- and tea-making appliances — everything an ordinary hotel room would have, only on four wheels. In addition to the caravans, the 3-star-rated hotel has 23 double rooms.

The gypsy-style caravans are in the hotel’s courtyard.
The gypsy-style caravans are in the hotel’s courtyard.

The upper-level rooms feature a fantastic view of the church, and hearing the bells chime in the morning makes the experience even more pleasurable.

Historical artifacts are displayed in the dining area, where a breakfast buffet is served every morning with fresh-baked bread, made onsite.

During the expansion of the hotel, the old confectioners shop and bakery closed in 2005, but you can still enjoy a cup of coffee with a piece of cake or lunch in the hotel’s brasserie, Nieuw Grossat.

Don’t forget to pay some attention to the little black cat, Moorkop (Dutch for chocolate eclair), which frequents the dining area in the morning looking for a place to sleep or, more likely, something to eat.

Delft is a fairly small city, with around 95,000 residents. It is quiet, and people are very friendly. Options while visiting Delft include taking a horse-drawn tram; traveling by boat along the canals; or taking a city walking tour.

Many visitors use Delft as a base for exploring surrounding cities in the Randstad area, including The Hague (15 minutes by train), Amsterdam (50 minutes by train) and Rotterdam (25 minutes by train).

If You Go

Hotel de Emauspoort

+31 15 219 02 19

Delft Tourism