The Michelin three-starred De Librije restaurant is the best-known attraction in the handsome Hanseatic town of Zwolle, 65 miles east of Amsterdam. Recently, to accommodate the gastronauts traveling here from all over Europe, chef-owner Jonnie Boer and his wife, Thérèse, turned a former women’s prison into a design-centric 20-room hotel, cooking school, and casual restaurant complex. Behind the heavy cell doors of the 18th-century jailhouse, each room has a unique design with a name to match: Bubbles has a dramatic black-and-orange color scheme and a lavishly stocked champagne bar, while silver-hued Vanilla features a sauna. Indulgent breakfasts are built around handcrafted Dutch cheeses and sausages, and Boer’s mom’s pancake recipe. For dinner there’s the formal De Librije around the corner, or the hotel’s own one-starred dining room, decorated with Dolce & Gabbana fabrics and serving five-course themed tasting menus.
T+L Tip The hotel can arrange a biking trip or a canal tour on its sloep.