I’ve had it in mind to pay a visit here ever since I read about it on a blog quite a long time ago. And last weekend there was finally time to go. Had I realised that Dordrecht was only an hour away I’d probably have managed earlier. I forget how quick it is to get across Holland. Anyway, on a snowy and rather bitter winter’s day we took the train over to Dordrecht and made our way to Villa Augustus. Once you are through the entrance you are in another little world.
First of all you arrive in a little cafe and shop area where they sell organic veg and decorative items used around the buildings. Straight way the colour and design details hit you. And you are introduced to the little hare logo who pops up everywhere. The attention to detail is one of the things that so impressed me. Colour, shape, texture, if there was an interesting way to decorate something then it wasn’t left plain.
This shop/cafe area leads on to quite a large restaurant space and then the hotel part is reached by crossing the gardens to the old water tower. The gardens were covered by a thin dusting of snow when we arrived but I think they must look amazing in the summer. There are many different sections – vegetable plots , flower garden, orchards, a little wooded area, a formal italian area. Rubble discarded during the renovations resurface in a garden wall, complete with little bits of mosaic and mirror.
The hotel rooms are either on the edge of the garden or inside the water tower. I opted for a room in the tower, in fact where the old water reservoir used to be. The floor was still made of the original thick metal plates , riveted together .
As part of the agreement the owners made with the council, the gardens are open to the public so you don’t need to stay here in order to visit the gardens . And in the summer months I think it must really be stunning. No surprises that I am already planning a return visit at a warmer time of year.
If you’d like to see a bit more, here is the Villa Augustus website. And the connection with yesterday’s post ? When I got home after visiting I was curious about which blog had pointed me in this direction in the first place, and with a bit of detective work I realised it was Ingrid’s blog.