Andries van der Veen is a Zwolle native

'Ambition splashes off Zwolle'

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You have to love not only what you do, but also where you do it. And I love Zwolle," says owner Andries van der Veen. The Zwolle native worked all his life for ABN/AMRO and currently runs bed & breakfast Pelsertoren, Hotel Staatsman and Hostel het Archief. Characteristic locations that fit a characteristic city. He notices that domestic and foreign guests fall for Zwolle. He himself also saw the city grow on all fronts. Van der Veen talks about his heart for Zwolle.

"I was born and raised on Tulpstraat, the Tulpstroate, in Assendorp. You could still play soccer in the street there in my childhood in the 1950s. In those days, those houses all had a little garden in front of the house. With the advent of cars, a lot changed: the gardens disappeared and neighbors suddenly made trouble out of [playing soccer](article://5638 """). I also played in the paid youth of Zwolsche Boys. Zwolle still had two professional soccer clubs back then. That changed because of a reorganization in professional soccer. Our youth team then continued in amateur soccer as the first team of Zwolsche Boys. We climbed from the fourth to the second division. A wonderful time with a real people's club.

More beautiful and fun city

Zwolle was actually still a large village then. In the late 1970s I moved with my then wife to her hometown of Epe. Back then you had two discotheques in Zwolle. To my mind, that was all the nightlife. Upon my return in 1994, the city already looked very different. And that development has never stopped. Zwolle has really become a different and, as far as I am concerned, more beautiful and fun city. Nowadays I advise my guests to make reservations if they want to eat out at the weekend. That was unthinkable twenty years ago, wasn't it? Back then you could go anywhere.

City of icons

Zwolle is bursting with ambition these days. When we opened the Ridder van Zuthem at the beginning of this century, it caused a lot of problems. We were the first bed and breakfast in town and had to deal with unclear regulations. That felt like opposition from the municipality. That attitude has completely changed. I feel that the municipality actually gives entrepreneurs a lot of space now. This is another reason why Zwolle has become a city of icons. De Librije, Van der Velden in de Broeren, De Fundatie, you name it. That's what people come to Zwolle for.

The small shopping streets

I notice that my guests are always impressed by the city. Last week I had a couple from Manchester in the hotel. "Did Zwolle used to be a rich city?", the man asked. He saw from the facades and monuments the wealth of our Hanseatic past. That same week a Belgian couple spent the night with us. They were crazy about books and therefore came to Zwolle especially for Van der Velden. Our guests find the city green and appreciate the conviviality of the stores and restaurants. Certainly visitors from the Randstad are no longer used to that. And what often strikes me: people really like the smaller shopping streets in Zwolle.

Best new hotel

With our accommodations we fit the new character of Zwolle. We always look for special locations that add something. De Pelsertoren is a very characteristic location, and so is De Staatsman and Het Archief in the former provincial government building. We distinguish ourselves with the atmosphere and appearance. For example, with us you can sleep in the former room of the Queen's Commissioner or in the old messenger's house. And our guests have breakfast at Grand café De Staatsman which is also in the old provincial house. It is also not for nothing that we were nominated for the title "best new hotel" last year. In addition to Dutch people, we receive many guests from Belgium and Germany. The work of MarketingOost certainly contributes to that, by the way.

Enjoying the inner city

I myself also enjoy the city center of Zwolle. You have so much choice of good restaurants and special locations. Jaffa Jaffa in the old Librije I find very innovative and in the summer I find the Pelserkade a pleasant place. On the terrace of Bistro Kwaak you sit in the sun until late in the summer. At the same time, you have plenty of shade on hot days. And children always have fun along the quay, too. That is perhaps the most beautiful place in Zwolle."

The Top 3 of Andries van der Veen

  • "We live on Kuyerhuislaan between Wipstrik and Berkum. Between that little road and PEC Zwolle's stadium is a retention area. You can walk there beautifully. And in the other direction you go towards Herfte and the Vechtdal. That too is a wonderful area for walkers and cyclists."
  • "I think the most beautiful square of Zwolle is the Nieuwe Markt. Around it you will find a very varied range of catering establishments. On the side of Brasserie Jansen and De Hete Brij you can enjoy the sun for a long time in summer."
  • "Near the Fur Tower you'll find Thai restaurant Bai Yok. That's a restaurant I often recommend to our guests. I think it's a very good place. If you walk back to downtown afterwards, you might have the most beautiful view in Zwolle."

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