History of the Van der Valk Family

How it all began

In 1862 ancestor Nicolaas van der Valk started a bar called ‘de Gouden leeuw' in his farm in Voorschoten. Nicolaas died in 1902 and his youngest son Martien bought the bar from his mother in 1929. Since the café was torn down in 1939 due to a road expansion, Martien van der Valk and his wife Rie built a new restaurant next to it with 8 hotel rooms. By honest hard work, a hospitable and homely approach and the innovations, ‘De Gouden Leeuw' once again turned out to be a great success. This resulted in a couple of other branches they built together with their 11 kids in the years after World War II.


Meanwhile, the grand and great grand children are at the helm. And the urge to expand still exists to date. Currently, the Van Der Valk chain has 68 branches in the Netherlands, 14 in Germany, 13 in Belgium, 3 in France, 1 in Spain, 1 in Bonaire, 1 in Curacao, 1 in Aruba and 1 in Florida. In addition, construction plans are ready for various multifunctional and state of the art hotels, where the comfort of the guest still is key.


The foundation of the successful 'Van der Valk-formula' still is inextricably associated with the vision on hospitality of Martien and Rie. Their attitude and entrepreneurial spirit is an example for the younger generation of ‘Valken'. With passion, they follow in the footsteps of their ancestors, which results in branches that move with the times, but will never lose the hospitable charm of yesteryear.