AIACE, recognized as the only representative international association of former European Union officials, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, held its annual congress in Maastricht from 28 May to 1 June 2017. 150 members met in MECC Maastricht. For several reasons, the organization looks back on a successful conference.
Highlights from the program
The welcome reception, offered by the Maastricht Convention Bureau, took place at Thiessen Wijnkoopers on 28 May. The General Assembly on May 30, during which the Maastricht Treaty was exceptionally exhibited, was preceded on May 29 by the solemn opening with Maastricht City Alderman Mrs M.F.V. (Mieke) Damsma and by a conference / debate with C. Trojan, former Secretary-General of the European Commission. This was about 25 years of Maastricht Treaty and the future of Europe. On 31 May, 3 other workshops were held on topics that are of interest to pensioners, as well as a meeting of the board of directors.
In addition, the participants became acquainted with the city of Maastricht and South Limburg: they had a tour of the city, a trip to the Drielandenpunt (three country spot) and the Margraten military cemetery, and finally visited the villages of Thorn and Oud-Rekem and the Bonnefantenmuseum.
The organization announced that the participants are over the moon about their experience and the environment and that they are still talking about the gala dinner at La Butte aux Bois.
Ronald McDonald Huis
It is common for money to be collected for a local charity during AIACE. Maastricht Convention Bureau suggested the Ronald McDonald Huis Maastricht, which was embraced by the organization and conference delgates: last week was announced that there were no less than
€ 637,40 in the collecting box and that the Ronald McDonald Huis Maastricht will receive an additional amount of € 875, – from the conference budget (an amount from the conference fee of each delegate); so: a total amount of over € 1500, -! Margo de Kock, Managing Director of the Ronald McDonald House Maastricht, is grateful for the wonderful contribution from AIACE. She says that they can achieve no less than 44 nights for parents whose child is hospitalized in the adjoining MUMC+.
AIACE was founded in 1969 and now has 11,500 members around the world and 15 national sections. The objectives are:
- defend the interests of the members of the institutions’ administrations and, where appropriate, the national authorities
- dissemination of relevant information to members
- dissemination of the European thought
- promotion of contacts between members, through meetings, visits, conferences, excursions, etc., both regional and international.
Oostwegel Collection are delighted to announce the grand opening of St. Gerlach Pavilion & Manor Farm, today, by Her Royal Highness Margriet Princess of the Netherlands and husband Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven. To mark the occasion, two pieces of art, gifted by generous donors who share an affinity with the Château St. Gerlach estate, are unveiled at a private event for 450 guests.
Oostwegel Collection invests €11.1 million in Château St. Gerlach estate expansion
Dating back to 1668, the Manor Farm at the entrance to the estate, has been entirely restructured and transformed into Burgemeester Quicx, Coffee & More. Supremely adaptable it not only offers a welcome draw for coffee or lunch, but also six breakout rooms for intimate meetings and events. Adjacent to the farmhouse, the contemporary pavilion designed by renowned architect, Francine Houben from Mecanoo Architecten, effortlessly blends with its historic backdrop and boasts three multifunctional meeting rooms, that can be used separately or combined to encompass a vast 850m2 space, accommodating up to 750 people. Francine Houben explained, “The St. Gerlach Pavilion is designed with a generous overhanging roof and beautiful arch, using materials inspired by the surrounding landscape: limestone, bluestone and oak, ensuring a successful connection with the existing Château and newly renovated Manor Farm.”
Owner Camille Oostwegel SR said, “The spectacular St. Gerlach Pavilion and renovated Manor Farm strengthens the estates overall proposition, making it primed for the future and more relevant than ever for both leisure and business guests.”
New meetings and events venue overlooking Château St. Gerlach
Officially launched today, by Her Royal Highness Margriet Princess of the Netherland and husband Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, The St. Gerlach Pavilion & Manor Farm have been trading since January 2017 and adds a new dimension to the existing hotel’s meetings and event spaces. Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, whose continued support in preserving the cultural heritage of historic buildings has a connection to the estate that has endured for over 20 years, when he opened Château St. Gerlach in September 1997.
Artistic tributes unveiled
During archeological excavation, a 14th-century silver coin decorated with Johanna van Brabant’s and Philips de Stoute’s coat of arms was discovered on the site of the St. Gerlach Pavilion. To celebrate this discovery and mark the opening, artist Claudia Volders has been commissioned to create portraits of both individuals, to be hung in the Pavilion’s Johanna van Brabant salon, alongside the coins.
Additionally, the sculptor Frans van Straaten has been commissioned to create a bronze Limburg draft horse to stand between Manor Farm and St. Gerlach Pavilion entrance. Named “Bella from St. Gerlach” the statue is a celebration of Château St. Gerlach’s 20th anniversary and grand opening.
About Château St. Gerlach
Nestled in the Geul Valley, on the edge of the protected Ingendael nature reserve and just ten-minutes’ drive outside Maastricht, lies luxury hotel, Château St. Gerlach. The magnificent country estate has been thoughtfully and sensitively restored to encompass 113 guestrooms, suites and serviced apartments, a renowned à la carte restaurant, popular bistro, coffee bar, lavish spa facilities and 16 meeting and event spaces, including the newly built St. Gerlach Pavilion accommodating up to 750 guests.
A member of Relais & Châteaux since 1997, Château St. Gerlach is part of Oostwegel Collection, a Limburgian family business dedicated to gracious hospitality, artisanal cuisine and historically authentic properties. For more information: www.stgerlach.nl
Photos: Etienne van Sloun
Hotelsterren announces 5 star hotel classification for Kruisherenhotel Maastricht
Maastricht, 1 June 2017
Kruisherenhotel Maastricht was awarded a 5-star classification on Wednesday 31 May, making it the first hotel in Limburg to receive such a coveted accolade. Rated by Hotelsterren, a Royal Dutch Hospitality Association initiative, it is equally endorsed by Hotelstars, the European Hotel Classification organisation.
The first Limburgian hotel to secure 5 Stars
Kruisherenhotel was officially awarded its 5-star status at a celebratory dinner for stakeholders and the press. Ron de Bruijn, Director of Hotelsterren said, “We used 270 objective quality assurance points to judge the Kruisherenhotel and concluded that the extensive service and facilities offered are absolutely worth the stars awarded. We congratulate the Kruisherenhotel as the first 5-star hotel in the Limburg province, which now joins 27 other Dutch properties with the same classification. All 21,000 hotels under the European hotel classification system assure guests that they will receive a consistent and quality experience. The Kruisherenhotel is an oasis of tranquility in the dynamic city of Maastricht, where history and art converge at the crossroads of modern day luxury.”
Design between Heaven and Earth
During a cocktail reception a glass shipping container styled with hotel furnishings, including an Auping bed, dramatically sailed over the central square as a symbolic expression of the hotel’s positioning – Design between Heaven and Earth. Bastiaan Klomp, General Manager, stated that “We are proud that as a team we have achieved the 5-star classification. With this strategic milestone we can add a new chapter to the Kruisherenhotel story and look forward to an exciting future.”
About Kruisherenhotel Maastricht
Dating back to the 15th century, the former Kruisheren monastery and adjoining Gothic church have been transformed into a spectacular design hotel, located in the heart of Maastricht’s historic centre. A member of Design Hotels™, Kruisherenhotel Maastricht combines thought-provoking architecture with original features throughout the 60 ultra-modern guestrooms, each with their own individual quirks and details. The church’s impressive nave has been sensitively reimagined to create an arresting, semi-open place space that encompasses the hotel reception, restaurant, Wine Bar Rouge & Blanc, meeting spaces, library, glass elevator and three corner lounges tucked away in former side chapels.
A member of Design Hotels™ since 2005, Kruisherenhotel Maastricht is part of Oostwegel Collection, a Limburgian family business dedicated to gracious hospitality, artisanal cuisine and historically authentic properties. For more information: www.kruisherenhotel.nl.
Maastricht Convention Bureau
6229 GT Maastricht – the Netherlands
t: +31 43 763 47 30
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