After making the two hour drive from Amsterdam, the street was too narrow for the bus to turn down, so I rolled, or rather bounced my small bag along the cobblestones to Maastricht’s City Centre Hotel Mabi. Maastricht is located in the southeast corner of the Netherlands, not far from the borders of Belgium and Germany. Just steps off the Markt, Maastricht’s large square, the stretch Hotel Mabi calls home oozes old-school charm and ambience. The hotel is fairly unassuming from the outside, there’s nothing about the hotel that makes it stand out from the street. Once inside though, it’s an entirely different story.
The first, impossible to miss sight when you enter the compact lobby, is a full size sculpture of a black stallion. But this is no ordinary racer. It’s a lamp. The light and lampshade, juts up into the air from between the horse’s ears. You have to walk around him to reach the front desk.
As you check-in, there’s a great deal to take in. On the wall behind the front desk is a stuffed polar bear head. Stuffed as in stuffed animal. A side cupboard holds candles and a display of Buddhas. It’s topped with another, albeit smaller animal lamp. (The critter of choice is a rabbit.) A near life-size butler-esque statute stands tall holding a tray full of apples.
Pictures of an assortment movie stars and famous Hollywood scenes hang from the walls. But it’s the old theater projector, complete with film, that has enough shine to steal the show. In its former life, the Hotel Mabi was a movie theater. The silver screen themed décor pays tribute to the building’s roots. There’s even a small theater tucked in a corner off the hotel lobby. Every day from 3pm to 8:30p you can take a in screening from the likes of Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Before you hit the theater be sure to stock up on movie candy. Just stroll around the lobby. There are candy dishes just about every direction you look.
Hotel Mabi has 55 rooms. Unlike the bold, brightly decorated lobby, the rooms are clean and comfortable, but very basic. There is a small television and desk and a European style bathroom. When I first laid eyes on the wall radiators I feared the room would be cold, but never had any trouble with the temperature. WiFi is free, but was inconsistent during my three day stay. Sometimes it was great, sometimes it was practically non-existent. If all you need to do is check email, you should be fine. Though the room had no frills, when it came down to it, I had everything I really needed.
A small sitting area off the lobby serves as the social gathering spot of the hotel. Every day from 3pm to 5pm the Mabi Salon serves complimentary Limbourg Pie (a custard like dessert) with coffee and tea. When the pie is put away an olive bar is set up in its place and a selection of beer and wine is available for guests to enjoy until 7pm. Unlike most other public spaces in Maastricht, the hotel is a smoke-free building.
Hotel Mabi’s best amenity is its location. A quick walk from the Markt (square) and the old section of Maastricht, its location is a great launching point to explore the city. You can walk what’s left of the city’s old walls or shop until you drop from big names designer stores or small boutiques. The front desk staff is extremely helpful and happy to help with everything from directions to dinner reservations.
A breakfast buffet including an assortment of meats, breads, yogurt and eggs is served daily for an additional fee.
Room rates at Hotel Mabi range from $90 to $145 plus tax. The hotel also has a number of family rooms that sleep up to five people for $120 to $185 plus tax per night. Make a reservation directly with the hotel or you can go through agoda.com.
Be warned, the hotel books solid in March during TEFAF, The European Fine Art Fair. During the fair, museums, private collectors and the public can purchase art, jewelry and antiques from 275 dealers from around the world.
Dana’s stay at Hotel Mabi was hosted by NBTC Holland Marketing, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.