For a romantic cosy get-away, the city of The Hague is a must visit this winter. If you want to feel like a real local ‘Hagenees’ for a few days, in the city behind the dunes, book your overnight stay at YAYS The Hague Willemspark. This building opened its doors in the spring of 2021 and is therefore the newcomer in the YAYS aparthotels and serviced apartments family. It won’t have that newcomer title for that long, as this winter a new YAYS location will be added: YAYS Antwerp Opera.
Unlock The Hague
Before we dive into Antwerp in a few months’ time, let’s go back to The Hague for a moment. YAYS Willemspark is centrally located in an authentic building on the – as the name suggests – royal and charismatic Koninginnegracht (koningin stands for queen in Dutch). Thanks to its central location and the knowledge of the YAYS insiders, YAYS Willemspark makes for an ideal experience for those who really want to feel part of the neighbourhood. With the motto unlock the neighbourhood, the YAYS Insiders ensure, thanks to their tips and local network, that every stay comes with that typical, in this case, The Hague vibe. Staying in The Hague, in a stylish boutique apartment. With someone always close by who knows the unique spots. YAYS combines the freedom and flexibility of your own home, with the comfort and luxury of a hotel.
Local YAYS insider Thijs Scheepers
Thijs Scheepers is the aparthotel manager, also known as the head of the YAYS insiders in The Hague. He has been working full time at YAYS Willemspark since the opening and shares, together with his team, unique tips about the small businesses and lesser known attractions. Thijs and his colleagues welcome and inspire guests to do what the locals do and help you discover the lesser-known corners of the YAYS Willemspark neighbourhood and the city in general. For Thijs, The Hague makes for an excellent winter destination: “The Hague can radiate warmth like no other place in the cold winter days, the old style architecture in the city that is beautifully lit up, combined with the nature, woods and dunes always gives a romantic and nostalgic feeling. It is a wonderful city! Whether in summer on a busy terrace or in winter bundled up with a thick scarf on a bench opposite of the Binnenhof with a tasty snack from The Hague. It always gives me the idea that I’m part of something very special, something you can only experience when you’re in The Hague” Guests who visit YAYS don’t see the general tourist highlights of the city, but really dive into the life of the city like a true local “When the guest comes home and thinks back on their stay with us, I hope they remember the real hidden gems they got from us” says Thijs.
Here are a few winter tips from YAYS Iniders Thijs Scheepers and his team:
- A romantic walk around the inner city where you can spot the unique street names like De Apendans (the monkey dance) and Koediefstraat (cow thief street).
- Find the ‘secret’ rear exit of the Paleistuin, the Palace Garden. There are a number of main entrances and exits, but there is an additional exit, once you find that specific door you can press the bell and the guards will let you through. It has a very nostalgic feeling.
- Strolling through all the antique and second-hand shops in the Piet Heinstraat in the Zeeheldenkwartier.
- Beer and bitterballen, a deepfried Dutch delicacy, at Bodega De Posthoorn on the Lange Voorhout.
- Indonesian cuisine typical to the city of The Hague available at De Poentjak op de Kneuterdijk
- The bicycle shop Lola’s Bikes. Enjoy a coffee there during a bicycle tour or go there to admire all those beautiful racing bikes.
- Muzee: a museum where you can immerse yourself in the past and present of Scheveningen.
- In the Hague we say ‘a bakkie pleur’, when going for a cup of coffee. There are many authentic coffee houses in The Hague that serve simple, straightforward Dutch coffees for no more than 2 euro. If you’re in luck, the owner might serve the coffee from an old fashioned jug, which is certainly slightly different than a trendy Latte Oatmilk. Those at Statenplein and Scheveningen-Haven are our favourites.
- Street art spotting, inspired by cats in the street called het Achterom. A project by The Hague Street Art showing humoristic depictions of cats and their daily mischief. Try and spot all the different pieces of art, in a street that has slowly been changed into Cat Street ; )
- From the 12th of November Haags Hoog will be opened for the tastiest local snack’s and drinks. The concept is still in development and therefore starts with a try-out. Haags Hoogs is the new creative hotspot of The Hague located in the old industrial area of de Brinkhorst, the place to be for creatives and new concepts.
- Trying on nice hats, and then purchasing them, is what you do at: House of Hats. It should make you feel like a royalty, and if that’s not the case we don’t know what else there is for you.
YAYS Insider’s tips board
YAYS encourages guests to inspire other guests. In every YAYS location there is an Insider’s tip board. On this board the YAYS guests can leave their favourite spot or moment, through a note. Additionally the YAYS Insiders will leave their suggestions of the best local spots here as well.
Neighbourhood guide en Neighbourhood experiences
The Insiders have compiled a Neighbourhood Guide for each YAYS destination, in which you can find all the ins and outs of the neighbourhood. The guide is still in print but will soon be online only, to save paper. On top of that, there are the special Neighbourhood Experiences, special experiences at or with local entrepreneurs. You can book these via yays.com and discuss the details on location with a YAYS Insider, just like you would with a good friend.