A Night at Des Indes, The Hague
When feeling under the weather nothing helps bring a girl back to health quicker than an indulgent stay at a luxury hotel, except for maybe a mother’s care, but mine lives far away so a night in a fancy hotel is always second best.
The timing couldn't have been better as I had already booked a one night staycation in a Junior Suite at Hotel Des Indes because they have these stunning classic canopy beds that I wanted to include in my ‘La Mascara’ photo series. The series consists of photographing myself in mystical settings, disguised as a cheeky little character that wears an antique nightgown and a Venetian harlequin mask. For two years ‘La Máscara’ has accompanied me on all my travels. For a while now I had been wanting to photograph a bed scene for the series and the bed at Hotel Des Indes was the perfect choice for it.
This hotel holds a very special place in my heart. It was the first place where I ever spent a night in The Netherlands, a country that has defined me and become my one true home. Throughout the years Hotel Des Indes has been a recurring site for special moments and milestone celebrations in my life, the most important of which was the dinner to celebrate finally becoming a Dutch citizen in 2014. I felt that it was crucial to include a place that holds such great emotional significance for me in the photo series.
Hotel Des Indes has not only been significant to my personal history, but is also iconic to the illustrious city of The Hague. The property was originally built by architect Arend Roodenburg in 1858, for Baron van Brienen, as a stately home in which to host lavish parties and entertain aristocrats and heads of state of the time. Nowadays you do not need to be an aristocrat to be treated like royalty at Hotel Des Indes. Here I have always been treated like a queen.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the energy during my stay to experience everything the hotel has to offer: the spa, the health club, the bar, the cigar lounge; and I didn’t take the opportunity to photograph the place as it deserves to be photographed for a proper hotel post. I arrived in my room mid-day, ordered a snack to the room, and went straight to bed for a long and much needed nap on the heavenly bed. I woke up in the evening to go enjoy a sumptuous three course dinner at the extraordinary Restaurant Des Indes.
This is my favourite restaurant in the Hague not only because of the history and elegant ambiance that characterise it, but because it is genuinely one of the most excellent restaurants in the city. The french inspired worldly kitchen offers the finest culinary creations. Also, if you’re an SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) Member you can enjoy a 10% discount for lunch and dinner, and if you know Dutch people you know we love a good deal.
My dinner began with a beautifully presented tray of delicious freshly baked bread accompanied by small portions of wasabi courgette crisps, spicy pepper flakes, virgin olive oil with sweet balsamic vinegar and perfectly creamy butter.
As an appetiser, I was served a light pumpkin soup cleverly garnished with sharp blue cheese. I normally don’t like pumpkin, it takes a great chef to make it palatable for me, but this dish was absolutely delectable.
Next, came a magnificent, exotic ceviche of juicy watermelon that was presented like a striking piece of modern art, and it tasted even better than it looked.
For the main course, they prepared a delightfully creamy, al-dente risotto with seasonal cep mushrooms. The dinner was so deliciously satisfying that I didn’t have any room left for dessert, which is pretty much a cardinal sin in my book (not having it, that is).
I went back to my room to sleep in the miraculous bed and woke up the next morning feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and nursed back to health. I took a long shower in the phenomenal red bathroom, and popped down for a quick buffet breakfast in the lounge. I returned to my room having overdosed on the marvellous selection of fresh fruit and cheese and got to shooting my ‘La Mascara’ photographs. I got the shots I had been wanting and before I knew it, it was time to check-out.
I was so pleased with my stay here and very thankful to Hotel Des Indes for pampering me like always, bringing me back to health, and for having such an enchanting setting for me to use in my photo series. I only wish I’d had the time and energy to do a proper hotel post that would be reflective of its grandeur, but that just means I will have to check back in soon to do so, and I love having a good excuse to keep coming back here.
To view the rest of the photographs in my ‘La Máscara’ series visit my Portfolio Website.