Planning a trip to Zuid - Limburg in The Netherlands then you must visit Valkenburg! One of the most famous picturesque villages of the country and also the cycling capital of The Netherlands. Traveltomtom is originally from the so called Heuvelland, the most southern region in The Netherlands and we love to show you some of the best places to stay in Zuid-Limburg.
You may know it as the Black Label Hotel, but since March 1, 2022, this hotel is known as Hotel Valkenburg by Mercure. Traveltomtom team member Ashley went to check it out and this is her Hotel Valkenburg review.
Next to the Sittard DoubleTree by Hilton, a hotel in a former high school and the MERICI Hotel in Sittard, housed in an old monastery, Hotel Valkenburg by Mercure is the third major hotel of the Black Label Hotel Group in the South of the Netherlands. With Hilton, Accor and Mercure as three major hotel brands behind their hotels, they have a strong position in the Netherlands and are very attractive to domestic and international tourists. Hotel Valkenburg is a modern hotel that has an industrial look with a rough edge.
Location Hotel Valkenburg
The hotel is located in a wooded area just outside of Valkenburg in Limburg. The center of Valkenburg is just a short 10 minute walk from the hotel, so you’re in the busy center in no time. But the location, outside of the center, quiet and easy, is just perfect!
You can go for the crowds and the busy center if you wish, but then staying in peace and quiet in Valkenburg is golden.
What I like about Hotel Valkenburg is that they offer only one room type, the styled comfort room. No different room choices, makes life easy. Their rooms are designer rooms, where luxury flirts with industrial, and that works really well! Class with an edge, design with character. I truly loved their raw but cozy rooms, where the bike theme comes back as well.
It’s all about hiking and cycling in Valkenburg, you can probably already tell. Hotel Valkenburg really takes this to the next level with their Bicycle Wellness. As they say, your bike deserves the best and necessary care as well.
You can store your bike safe and dry in their Bicycle Wellness. Cycling in Zuid-Limburg is probably one of its best kept secret for foreigners, road cycling fanatics know everything about it.
Interested to know more about visiting Zuid-Limburg then check out the Traveltomtom travel blogs about the best things to do in Heerlen, Christmas in Zuid-Limburg or check out our blog about the best places to visit in Netherlands with of course a mention about Zuid-Limburg and Parkstad.
Restaurant RUW is the onsite restaurant with a fantastic menu and a lovely, relaxed and quiet terrace. You can really escape from the hustle and bustle here, feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere, just hearing the sounds of nature.
The restaurant is open for dinner and lunch.
And RUW restaurant is also the place where they serve breakfast in the morning. Buffet breakfast with plenty of choices.
Valkenburg is the beating heart of the Heuvelland region, and one of the most popular places to visit in the Netherlands. Hidden between the moss-green hills, in the heart of the protected Heuvelland nature reserve, the marl town glitters as the center, with its rich tourist tradition: a major attraction for more than 135 years. The charming medieval city center is full of terraces and shops around the impressive castle ruins and above the ancient systems of corridors. Surrounded by a 5-star landscape, peace and nature are never far away.
On the outskirts of Valkenburg, just outside of the city center you find the Par’Course experience center. Here, several buildings form a mixed-use environment consisting of a gastronomic center in an old monumental brewery, a cycling and sports center with the Shimano Experience Center and Hotel Valkenburg by Mercure.
The site of the old Leeuw Brewery has a rich history, dating back to 1820. It wasn’t until 1886 until they started using this site as a beer brewery. Eventually until 2005, when the brewery left, leaving the site neglected and dilapidated.
It’s now a newly developed area focused on what Valkenburg and the Heuvelland is famous for, cycling, especially with the Cycling Center and the Shimano Experience Center on site.
It’s the only height castle in the Netherlands, and perhaps even the number one must do when visiting Valkenburg, the castle ruins, right in the middle of town. Visit the Castle Ruins and go back to the time of the knights and damsels. Imagine what life was like back in those days. The castle was blown up by order of governor Willem the 3rd in 1672.
Tickets to the Castle Ruins and Fluweelengrot (Velvet Cave) can be bought at the spot, or online. Combined tickets go from €15.
There is a complete underground world in Valkenburg in the many marl caves that the city has. You can have the most unique experiences here, what about cave biking for example. This system of caves is unique in Europe and an absolute must do when visiting Valkenburg.
The funicular is one of the most unique attractions in the area. It takes you to the 68 meters higher located Wilhelmina tower. Once you’re up there, there is a diverse range of activities offered. Experience a ride in the toboggan run, tubing track or zip line down from the tower. Are you looking for more excitement? You can also book laser gaming in the characteristic environment of the marl caves!
Relax on top of the famous Cauberg, where Thermae 2000 is hidden in the green. Splash in the warm thermal baths with water from their own spring, bubble in the whirlpools and relax in the many saunas and steam baths. After working out in Valkenburg, whether that’s a walk or a bike ride, this is your perfect time to relax and recover.
Christmas in Valkenburg
It’s never too early to think about Christmas right? Even though Valkenburg is extremely popular and busy during the Spring and Summer months, with all cyclists, it’s equally as popular in Winter as the ultimate Christmas destination. See out Winter and Christmas guide for Zuid-Limburg.
Cycling capital of the Netherlands
Valkenburg is the Dutch capital when it comes to cycling, with the yearly famous Amstel Gold Race classic as absolute highlight of the year. The Shimano Experience Center and the Cycling Center Valkenburg are right next door to the hotel. You can rent bikes at both places, so it really couldn’t be any easier to start exploring Valkenburg the way you should, cycling.
Of course we had no choice but to get on the bike ourselves during our visit to Valkenburg. Visit Zuid Limburg organized a wonderful cycling route for us from Valkenburg. The website of Visit Zuid-Limburg is available in English!
The outlying area between Heerlen, Valkenburg and Vaals is also called the Land of Kalk (Land of Lime). You can feel, taste and admire it here, this tasting is not literal, but points to the many vineyards and orchards that thrive on the fertile loess soil.
We picked up our rental bikes right across from Hotel Valkenburg at the Cycling Center, just perfect! You start your route from there towards a very beautiful part of South Limburg, which is hilly and rich in nature. Kunradersteen, the typical local limestone, is still mined here in the last opencast quarry in the Netherlands. Along the route this robust limestone can be seen in churches, farms and works of art.
The route we did was about 27 kilometers and takes you through some amazing parts of the Heuvelland, passing vineyards, castles (like Castle Schaloen above in the picture) and churches. Keep your eyes open while cycling and enjoy the amazing views you get in this part of the Netherlands!
We love a good lunch, especially when it involves local produce. While cycling we came through Schin op Geul, which is located directly next to Valkenburg. Our recommendation: have a break at Bei Jeanneke, the best lunch!
And you might even be lucky and catch a glimpse of the famous steam train, one of the most popular tourist attractions of Zuid-Limburg.
Valkenburg is the ideal destination for a trip that has it all, action and tranquility. We would highly recommend staying at Hotel Valkenburg when visiting. It’s perfectly located for some peace and quiet, and it’s the start of many cycling routes as well.
This blog was written by travel writer and Traveltomtom team member Ashley. She stayed at Hotel Valkenburg by Mercure, on behalf of Traveltomtom, and wrote this blog about her experiences.