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Corona-proof staycations: why not try a city break in a serviced apartment?

Photo: Odi Busman
Photo: Odi Busman

The summer holidays are coming and corona infections have slowed down – so why not book a staycation to get to know the Netherlands a little better?

Normally, business service apartments are full of corporate customers but one advantage of the travel crisis is that these super-clean, modern spaces are now being offered to the leisure market – and at prices that are sometimes even cheaper than staying in a hotel.

‘Serviced apartments are perfect in corona time – they are often single units, apartments with full kitchens, weekly serious cleaning, and sometimes even online check in with an app,’ Eva Valkhoff, communication and community manager at ‘It’s a corona-proof product that people really like in this time.’

She says that in her own experience, with a lack of clarity about whether and where you can go away this summer, the usual popular Dutch destinations and holiday parks are filling up. They are also at the usual peak season prices.

‘The prices for our apartments are attractive – and even better in these times because we have discounts,’ she explains. ‘I wanted to do a staycation on the Wadden Islands and the prices are insane!’

Discover new places was started five years ago, offering serviced apartments from 60 partner organisations across the Netherlands. It can organise a stay in 4,000 different apartments and all kinds of potential holidays, often based around a city that you might have overlooked.

In its new ‘staycation’ leisure service, is offering beautiful apartments on the watersport-friendly lakes in Loosdrecht, at Scheveningen beach in The Hague, or near the charming canals in Utrecht.

‘You really get an apartment that’s fully equipped, and also have a desk to work from home in a space that’s larger than a hotel room, mostly in cities,’ says Valkhoff. ‘Our original target audience is people who come for business, but that’s actually very attractive for city tripping! A lot of people are looking for holidays in Holland and everything is fully booked.’

Short break has a new website and booking platform being built for summer 2020 in Dutch and English – reaching out to the local market but also expats who might live somewhere like Eindhoven but fancy a summer break in the bright lights of Amsterdam.

Another difference is that it doesn’t just offer listings online – there is a personal service to help match your needs with one of its apartments with a remote ‘travel agency’ team available by phone or through filling in a webform.

Utrecht by night. Photo:

‘We are more like a traditional travel agency in that sense,’ adds Valkhoff. ‘You can scroll through a small selection of the apartments online but when you contact us we will really give you personal advice. Whether you want a spacious apartment on the lakes where you can go sailing, or you want to go shopping or sit by the canals in Utrecht, this will appeal to a lot of people.’

Some even have on-site facilities like a gym or swimming pool, some are bookable from stays of one week but other apartments can offer breaks from one night.

So look a little further than Airbnb or a tired holiday apartment – a spotlessly clean and corona-safe serviced apartment could be your perfect city break base!

Apartments are available from €80 to €180 per night across the Netherlands, via or +31 (0) 20 723 3490.

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