An unique experience
Best Western Hotel Spaander takes it's name from Leendert Spaander (1855 -1955), who in 1881 took over a café located on the seaward side of the dike from Pieter Steur. Spaander’s circle of friends included various foreign artists, who would stay overnight when they came to visit him. So he soon extended his café and developed it into a hotel and café restaurant.
It was a period in which there was a movement among artists to return to nature. They would travel to country villages to paint ordinary simple people like farmers, fishermen or shepherds at work in their own daily environment.
Among Spaander’s visitors in that same period were artists from America. The gracefully handsome traditional Volendam dress, the wooden houses, the harbour with its hundreds of ‘botter’ fishing boats with their red-brown sails, the sea and the magnificent landscape = all these made Volendam a hit with the American painters. Its traditional dress and the village itself became a household word, a symbol of Holland alongside the bulb fields, windmills and Edam cheese. It was these painters in fact who first ‘discovered’ Volendam.
It was not just Volendam itself that attracted these artists. They came too for the lovely girls in Best Western Hotel Spaander. Leendert Spaander had seven stunning daughters, three of whom actually married an artist.
After World War II Volendam began to attract increasing numbers of day trippers and ‘ordinary’ tourists. But even today, Volendam still attracts many artists.
The artists who visited Leendert Spaander regularly gave him one of their paintings, drawings or etchings as a gesture of appreciation for his hospitality. These he hung in the rooms of his hotel, thus encouraging other artists to present him with one of their works. This collection of art works was later expanded by Alida Spaander, who took over the business from her father in 1919. She purchased dozens of paintings from her artist brothers-in-law.
After Alida’s death the hotel was acquired by the Volendam building contractor Hein Schilder (‘Madoet’). He and his successors constantly added to the existing collection, which now comprises 1,200 works of art. So in Best Western Hotel Spaander today you can admire a truly unique art collection that is closely associated with the origins and history of the hotel itself and life in the late 19tth and early 20th centuries.