Looking out over the peaceful Reest valley in the eastern province of Drenthe, you will find yourself a world away from the crowded streets of Amsterdam. “Yet it’s only an hour and a half drive,” says Jos Wijland, owner of the Havixhorst hotel. Everything he and his staff do at this historic castle hotel is geared towards making their guests feel comfortable and at home. “The large, light and airy rooms and beautiful surroundings definitely add to this,” he smiles. “And, in some kind of magical way, the history of the place conveys a sense of confident tranquility that you feel the moment you step across the threshold.”