Surprises on the Nieuwegracht

The Secret Room
I love the little surprises I still find wandering through the city. While showing a visiting friend around the Nieuwegracht the other week, we spotted a few unexpected sights. First up is this Secret Room that is a part of the Hotel Nieuwegracht. Actually, let me correct that. It’s the only room in the Hotel Nieuwegracht. The hotel is the smallest in Utrecht, although eventually it will have a second room. From their website:

At this current moment, Hotel Nieuwegracht consists of one room. The room has a private entrance door right at the channel, and was recently completely renovated. Room features:
– bathtub with shower;
– flat screen TV with DVD player and digital TV
– water boiler and complimentary coffee and tea;
– complimentary bottle of white wine.

For those not familiar with the Nieuwegracht, it’s one of Utrecht’s famous canals with a wharf level below street level. For example, this is the view you would have outside your door if you stayed at Hotel Nieuwegracht:

Sadly, it was overcast and a bit gloomy that day, so this doesn’t show it at its best, but it’s still a lovely view and is particularly charming when the trees are in full leaf, or when snow coats the streets and wharves.

Heaven and Hell
The other unusual sight we came across just a few steps further down the Nieuwegracht was this sign pointing to heaven and hell. Interestingly, the sign is lateral rather than vertical. In this case, I have no idea if the sign has any specific significance, but it’s certainly food for thought.


6 thoughts on “Surprises on the Nieuwegracht

  1. I would love to stay in that hotel! What a great concept.

    There’s a quote I’ve always loved and the second sign brought it to mind: “The doors of heaven and hell are adjacent, and identical: both green, both beautiful. Take care, Adam! Take care! Take care!” It’s from The Last Temptation of Christ by Kazantzakis. Maybe the sign is meant to be a reminder– both ways are beautiful and equally open to us?

    Or maybe ironic and silly– sort of a monty pythonesque surreal moment???

  2. I love the idea of that hotel too & had never heard of it. I also got a kick out of the Hell/Heaven sign.

    I always loved finding new things/discovering new things while I visited different cities in NL. Although I visited Utrecht a few times, I never actually got to wander around there so it’s cool to see what all you share from here.

    Again, I wish you a Happy New Year!

    • It’s a fairly recent hotel, but I’m glad I stumbled across it like this. Definitely something to keep in mind if anyone is looking for a hotel room here with a bit of character! Gelukkig nieuwjaar! I hope you’re enjoying Australia!

    • Considering the low overhead of the doors on the wharf — and thinking of the height of the Dutch — I was thinking of Alice in Wonderland and was curious if a pill to make you smaller is included with the hotel room. 😉

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