History of the Van der Valk Group

Hotel Mechelen

The building

Van der Valk Hotel Mechelen is located in the old swimming pool, den Ouwen Dok, of the city. So it is a monumental building bursting with historical details. Several generations of people from Mechelen still look around very nostalgically when they walk into the building. Both young and old used to learn to swim here.

In 1924 the resu-like building opened its doors. For almost 80 years Mechelaars from all corners of the city came here every day. Unfortunately, the swimming pool was closed in 2001. Fortunately, the Wohrmann family gave the old swimming pool a new, beautiful destination.

Because it is a monumental building, many original elements have been preserved. For example, the large swimming pool has been preserved and transformed by a beautiful pond. The hotel also has different types of rooms, which in turn differ from each other by the shape and character of the building.

Wohrmann family

Hotel Mechelen opened its doors in November 2019, with Coen and Mireille Wohrmann at the helm. Together with their four children: Nina, Amber, Roy and Joyce they will make Van der Valk Hotel Mechelen a true success.

Roy Wohrmann is responsible for the daily operations of the hotel. Roy: "The fact that we run this hotel as a family is very special to me. I work together with my sisters Amber, Joyce and Nina. Each has her own responsibilities and that goes very well. Without my sisters I don't know how I should have done it here. We are a real Van der Valk family business and I hope that our guests will feel that in the warmth with which they are welcomed here".

From Pancake Restaurant to Hotel Chain

More than 80 years ago, in 1935, Martinus and Riet van der Valk opened a café called ‘de Gouden Leeuw’ in Voorschoten in the Netherlands. They sold exclusively coffee and lemonade in the first few years. Later on, they also began to sell pancakes and refreshments. Business went so well that they rapidly extended the café. At the same time, they opened a butcher's shop to provide ‘de Gouden Leeuw’ with fresh meat. The family's aim was to produce all the products the restaurant required themselves and sell them. That same business strategy was followed at all the hotels and restaurants they subsequently opened. Today, the Van der Valk Group includes interior design firms, furniture manufacturers, kitchen fitters and tour operators.

The road on which ‘de Gouden Leeuw’ was located was widened in 1939. Consequently, the restaurant had to be demolished. A new restaurant with the same name and a small hotel with 10 rooms were erected at a new location. When, in 1947, the family opened several new restaurants, the Van der Valk Group began to take shape.

Martinus van der Valk died in 1969. At the time, the Van der Valk chain already consisted of 16 hotels and restaurants. Each of his sons and daughters was given control over one establishment. Today, the establishments are run by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Martinus van der Valk. Although it has grown enormously, the Van der Valk Group is still a family business, and that explains the homey atmosphere. Wherever you see the toucan sign in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Netherlands Antilles or Florida, you know you will find a hotel and restaurant to your liking.