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A hotel named Ernst Sillem Hoeve

 by Agnes Sillem


Close to the Royal forests of Vuursche the traveller enters a pleasant and comfortable hotel, after passing Soestdijk palace where Queen Juliane of the Netherlands used to reside. The shopping city of Utrecht can be reached in a 30 minutes drive. The hotel bears its name to commemorate the banker Ernst II. Sillem (1864 – 1919). He was treasurer of the Dutch Y.M.C.A. (the Young Men’s Christian Association) for 30 years. He set out to donate a holiday home to the 15.000 Dutch Y.M.C.A. members which was also to serve as a centre where training courses and conferences could be held. He had visited similar houses in the USA (see also the book De Reis om de Wereld van Ernst Sillem 1888 -1890, s. the Publications page). Sadly, he died before his project could be realised.
His son Albert fulfilled his fathers plan by purchasing a large coach house with stables and a residential flat for the association. He had the estate converted into a recreational facility where one hundred men could be accommodated. They slept in a dormitory, linen and towels had to be brought along. In 1926, Ernst Sillem Hoeve was opened. During the decades that followed the estate was enlarged and modernised. Today Ernst Sillem Hoeve is a comfortable conference venue with 85 rooms, 12 conference rooms, restaurants and a swimming pool. But of course, single travellers are welcome, too. The house continues to be owned by the Y.M.C.A.

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©  Copyright 2012  Martin Sillem  -  Last update: 2 November 2007