Last weekend I had the great good fortune to stay at the Spaander Art Hotel in Volendam, Netherlands.
You can find all the information on the hotel´s web site. I understand this lovely hotel was founded in 1881 and the idea was to create a sympathetic environment for painters in the picturesque setting of the Volendam village. Volendam is built behind a huge dam: the town itself is located below sea level and its origin and its future depend on the amazing achievement of the people of the Netherlands and their technical expertise in taking over land that was previously below water.
If you want to understand the fascinating story of how these clever people carved out their country step by step, look for the book Amsterdam by Russell Shorto. He tells an interesting story in an un-put-downable way.
Here are a few photos of the art work which artists have left at the Spaander Art Hotel over the last century and more. I understand that many of these paintings were accepted by the owners in exchange for a stay at the hotel: if that´s the case I think the hotel have made a good deal. In 2006 the current owners decided to revisit the hotel´s origins and invite a group of artists to stay at the hotel cost-free on the condition that they left a work of art for the hotel.
It seems to me that the Spaander Art Hotel is a perfect example of the practical efficiency of the people of the Netherlands which you see daily in this lovely country.
So here is a photo from the room: water, water everywhere....