Pre booked the hotel for a couple of days and after a major search of Hoorn we found the hotel. Beautiful location overlooking the Markemeer and close by the historic old town. The room we stayed in was an old prison cell, half the next door cell was converted into a shower room/toilet. The main room was very cramped, about 12' x 8' poor facilities in the room i.e. no tea/coffee making facilities and a desk a bout as big as the desk I had at primary school, and a micro television. Worst of all there was no door on the bathroom so no privacy. Quirky? yes comfortable? certainly not. Very dissapointed
The Oostereiland used to be a prison before it was converted into a hotel. This makes for a quirky stay, but not a comfortable one. The location of the hotel is stunning overlooking the lake; and Hoorn itself is a beautiful and charming town, full of cafes and restaurants overlooking the canals and boats. But the Hotel Oostereiland is not a winner. The rooms are converted cells, granted, but there were absolutely no comforts or luxuries in my 'cell'. No bedside table, no reading light, no hooks to hang wet or dry towels on, or indeed anywhere to put them in the bathroom. The room's window didn't open so there was no fresh air. It truly felt and looked like a prison cell; I could more or less touch all four walls from the centre of the room. The bed was among the most uncomfortable I have slept in, essentially dipping into a 'V' in the middle. I assumed it was broken. The rest of the bed was so squashy it didn't support the body and I didn't really sleep for 2 nights.
Having said that, the staff were excellent (especially Deedee who walked into town with me on her own time to show me where I was to be working). I would revisit Hoorn, but I'm sorry to say that I wouldn't stay at the Oostereiland.
The old converted prison in Hoorn promised a realistic experience...it was rather to realistic. A room with a leaking roof, cheap furniture and carpet and a rather cramped and small room. Got the impression that the cinema and brasserie (which share the foyer) get more attention than the hotel.
The wonderful building deserves more than this wasted opportunity
Hotel Oostereiland isn't easy to get to, but knowing some of the towns in Noord Holland, they're not really designed for cars, so it didn't surprise me.
It is a little over priced and I would probably go as far as to suggest that the target audience is for those who want an overnight stay somewhere different and not for someone wanting to base themselves there for a week or two, as the rooms we stayed in on the upper floor were small with very little storage space, but the beds were comfortable and I have to say I slept extremely well.
I was a little disappointed that there weren't even more traditional features as the advertisments made such a big thing of the prison conversion, however, I didn't stay in the cells and I suspect there is more of that prison feel for those guests who stay in the below ground cells.
The food was fine, without being in any way spectacular. The breakfast was typically Dutch, functional and filling.
I did find that it got a little busy in the evening, as there is only one room which is the restaurant, bar and cinema box office, but you don't need to spend your evenings there.
I was also a little disappointed that I was charged for car parking and wasn't told that this was going to be the case. I would have still required it, but I do like to know in advance.
I wouldn't discourage anyone staying here, as it is quirky and interesting and it was very quiet both in my room and outside the hotel, especially walking back from the centre of the town at the end of the evening. There is a marina immediately behind the hotel and there is a visitor centre, museum and cinema all on site. Sitting in the courtyard is also lovely on a warm day. Hoorn itself is such a beautiful town and should definitely be visited if you're coming to this part of Holland, but you might feel like you'd get better value for money staying elsewhere.
I liked the idea of sleeping in a former prison and it's a nice location. Hoorn is a very nice town to visit and it's a totally different experience than Amsterdam.
We've booked through Vakantieveilingen, so it was quite a bargain, but knowing the normal price I expected a little more luxury. The room was tiny, but that was to expected as it's a former prison cell. We absoluted hated the fact that there wasn't a door or at least a curtain between the room and the bathroom. The only place to be comfortable on was on the bed, but the toilet was practically next to it. Although me and my partner have been together quite a while we're still not very interested at each others toilet visits... So we decided to use the toilets in the corridor.
We spent a pleasant night in Hoorn and then watched tv in the room. That was all well, but then we tried to sleep. When we turned off the light the room wasn't dark at all, because the cell has a curtain but the bathroom hasn't... Also the tiny bed was so soft that we were practically lying in a hole and the room was very hot. In the end I didn't sleep at all... The breakfast in the morning made up for most things, because that was very good, but in all I don't think I would recommend this hotel. I think it would be nice and comfortable if you travel on your own.