Type of Place: Bed & Breakfast
Location: Rarenderstraat 19; 6291NC Vaals
As hands-down the best bed and breakfast Dan and I have stayed in in the Netherlands, I thought the Raren and it’s owners deserved a special mention here on the blog.
The Raren B&B is a small pension in Vaals located in the home of the owners Ad & Lenny. This beautiful converted farmhouse has three bedrooms upstairs, as well as private bedroom downstairs with its own entrance to the home. The beds are pretty comfortable and the double bed is actually a single piece mattress (shocking if you’d ever slept in a hotel in the Netherlands). Outside the B&B is a lovely private garden with small orchard of many different types of fruit and a fish pond. A pool and sauna are also available for guests to use. Oh, and wifi.
The entire space is decorated in a mix of African and Germany antiques (as well as some Asian touches in the garden), which I imagine reflects the owners tastes very well. The entire effect was cozy and more like staying in the home of a couple of friends than in a B&B.
Ad & Lenny, the owners of the Raren, were wonderful hosts to Dan and I. Upon arrival they welcomed us in with open arms, allowed us to select our room for the weekend, and enthusiastically gave us the grand tour. When we mentioned that we were staying for our anniversary, they gave us a bottle of white wine as a gift and later sent us home with walnuts and jam from their own trees. We had a great conversation about the Netherlands (Lenny is from Chicago originally), jobs, and discovered a mutual interest in comics. They even showed us their massive collection of 1950s German pottery, which they sell online.
Both men were an absolute font of information about Vaals and the local amenities, as well as about Aachen (which is just 5 km or so over the border). On their advise we ate at the Boscafe ‘t Hijgend Hert, which was delicious and gave us a great starting place for hiking on day two of our trip.
Breakfast both mornings was what I consider to be “typically Dutch” with bread and rolls, fruit, yogurt, lots of spreads and a hard-boiled egg. Ad fussed over us as we tucked in, making sure we had everything we needed.
The Raren is located outside of Vaals, so you probably will want a car to visit, and you should know that they have a large, energetic chocolate lab. But with all the amenities we could hope for and frankly two of the friendliest hosts we’ve ever met, I heartily recommend you all to try the Raren for a night or two. You’ll be glad you did.