Landgoed Het Roode Koper - Ermelo - Gelderland

cijferA delightful country manor house with horse stables set in the woods of the Veluwe.

For us a weekend in the Veluwe brings up nightmarish images of school excursions, noisy campings and tacky pancake houses. However, as we discovered, there is another, more dreamy side to the Veluwe: the baronial estates hidden in the woods, the magnificent grounds of the Kröller-Muller museum and the solitary woods barely an hour from Amsterdam.

Het Roode Koper belongs to the Veluwe of solitary walks, burbling brooks, gently flowing streams and ancient farmhouses. Situated on the grounds of an estate in the midst of the Leuvenum woods (Leuvenumse bossen), this old country house became, for a weekend, our retreat from the noise, hurry and confusion of the city. To get to the hotel, we drove down a narrow, dirt road through the woods hearing nothing but the sound of birds and the rush of the wind in the trees. At once we knew that we were headed to a quieter, gentler pace of life. When we arrived, guests were already basking in the sun with tea and cakes, gazing across the spacious classical gardens and rolling lawns. We joined them and immediately came under the spell of the place. As we relaxed in the sun over tea, we felt the last remnants of the city grind dying away.

The hotel is a country manor that has been restored to its old glory, with traditional décor balanced by fresh modern elements. The dining room, which is the center of activity, boasts large windows that open up to the gardens below. Indeed, light spills into every corner of the house. The two largest bedrooms in the front of the house have high ceilings and large windows, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the rolling lawns and the woods beyond them. Our room at the top of the house also had a view across the gardens and, although smaller than the main bedrooms, it was large enough to contain a sofa, table and chairs for reading and writing. Best of all, it was decorated in a playful country style with “toile de Jouy” wallpaper, thick luscious carpeting and antique furniture pieces, enough temptation to stay inside all weekend with nothing but a pile of books. The bathroom was new, spacious and luxurious, with design fixtures and recessed lighting, a magnificent bathtub and towels so large and fluffy they felt like blankets.

Dinner at the restaurant was a highly rewarding experience. The food was marvelous and we decided this was the place to put the diet on hold. We enjoyed dishes such as lobster bisque and duck breast salad, game (in the winter) and luscious desserts. Our host informed us that the game served in the restaurant is hunted by the Natuurmonumenten from the grounds of the estate itself. The service is professional yet never stiff or overbearing, and the staff are helpful and friendly. Indeed, lunch is just as enjoyable as dinner and sitting in the dining room in the sun, overlooking the gardens, is a genuine treat.

For the active, outdoorsy types, there are tennis courts, horse stables and a swimming pool. The lawn is also perfect for jeu de boules. What is remarkable about Het Roode Koper is that it seems to be part of the forests that surround it. There is no discernable boundary between the natural park and the estate, and we felt as if the forest was sheltering us and providing us a haven of peace.

Given all its superb qualities, we were not surprised to learn that Het Roode Koper has been a family-run hotel for three generations. The current owners, Jon-Ivar Sørensen and his wife, recently took over the hotel from her aunt and have been busy renovating the main house, bringing back the original details, and completely redoing the buildings on the property to bring them up to modern standards. The effect is stunning, but still in keeping with the historical roots of the estate. For those in search of a country retreat and the enchanted Veluwe, this is as good as it gets.
decor Score_4
location Score_5
facilities Score_4
kitchen Score_4
service Score_4
price/quality Score_3

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