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Peek Inside the World’s First Sandcastle Hotels

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Ever wanted to stay overnight in a sandcastle? Well, now you can, at two pop-up properties in the Netherlands. The Zand Hotels are entirely made of sedimentary materials and designed to celebrate the sand festivals in the Dutch towns of Oss and Sneek.

The castle-hotels will be dismantled when the festivals in each city conclude — the last week in September for Sneek, and the first week in October for Oss — but no ocean waves will be employed in the process. (All photos courtesy of Zand Hotels, unless otherwise noted.)

A one-room suite at the Sneek Zand Hotel
A one-room suite at the Sneek Zand Hotel.

A one-night stay at either castle-hotel costs €150 (about $168) per night, and each property allows you to stay for up to two weeks at a time. However, this year’s opportunity has blown away like so much sand in the wind, as both properties are entirely booked for this season.

Don’t worry, though, because these sand hotels will be built again next year for the same sand festivals in both Oss and Sneek. And GlobalPowWow, the event-concept company that created these hotels, says that sand hotels may also come to the UK and Germany in the near future.

Water and electricity are available at the Zand Hotels. Photo courtesy of Zand Hotels.
Water and electricity are available at the Zand Hotels.

In the meantime, it’s fun to take a virtual peek inside these sandy structures. Each one-room suite offers running water, electricity, windows, a king-size bed (thankfully not made of sand) and even carpeting. Other amenities include coffee and tea in the reception area, a personal tour of the particular town’s sand festival, a full breakfast, a bottle of Prosecco (Champagne has an additional cost), fresh fruit in your room, Ritual bath amenities and Wi-Fi access.

A one-room suite at the Oss Zand Hotel. Photo courtesy of Zand Hotels.
A one-room suite at the Oss Zand Hotel.

Here are some fun facts about these Dutch sandcastle hotels:

  • The Zand Hotel in Sneek features Asian-style sand decor, complete with dragons.
  • The Zand Hotel in Oss has a medieval theme.
  • Approximately 1,750,000 pounds of sand were used to create each hotel.
  • A team of four or five sand experts/crafters was needed in order to construct each hotel and each took between one-two months to construct.
  • Apparently, there are wood-framed beams and walls beneath the sand, so the hotel is structurally safe.
The Oss Hotel from the outside. Photo courtesy of Zand Hotels.
The Oss Hotel from the outside.

Getting There

Both Sneek and Oss are each about a 1 ½-hour drive from Amsterdam (Sneek to the North and Oss to the South), and even though the hotels are fully booked, you can still check out the festivals and the exteriors of these hotels.

For more info on Amsterdam, check out our Destination of the Week post and review of the Andaz Amsterdam, and keep in mind that WOW Air now flies to Amsterdam from Boston — so if you’re lucky, you may just snag a deal for $99, one way.

You can stay at the Sand Hotel in Weymouth, UK, but keep in mind, you won't have a bathroom...or a roof! Photo courtesy of the Sand Hotel.
You could stay at the Sandcastle Hotel in Weymouth, England, but you won’t have a bathroom … or a roof. Photo courtesy of the hotel.

Another Sandy Hotel Venture

Technically, the Zand Hotels are only the first sandcastle hotels that also include roofs, plumbing and other amenities you likely associate with sleeping indoors. The Sandcastle Hotel in Weymouth, England, offers castle walls, beds made of sand and family rooms, but little else.

You can pop over to Sneek to visit the sand festival
You can still pop over to Sneek to visit the sand festival — and this guy.

Maximize Your Adventure

When planning trips overseas, remember that credit cards such as the Barclaycard Arrival PlusChase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture Rewards don’t charge foreign transaction fees, making them ideal to use in other countries. To see more cards without these fees, check out Top Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees.

Would you ever stay in a sand hotel? Share your comments below!

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