Holiday park De Pier “It is our backyard that we are proud of”

Bordering the area of drift sand near Bedaf in Brabant lies Holiday park De Pier. Here, you have got all the time in the world to relax in luxurious surroundings. This holiday destination exists since the 1950’s and has seen a lot of developments since then, and even now developments are still on-going. Meanwhile, De Pier has grown into a luxurious holiday park with beautiful glamping accommodations and is also the first to install our new accommodation: The Romanov Residence. We spoke to Rems Verbossen, owner of Holiday park De Pier.

De Pier over the years
“My great-grandfather started a café at the very location of the present holiday park in 1896. In the middle of the 50’s we parcelled out land for the first time and then we started a nature reserve combined with a camping. Lots of chalets and the odd pitch, and very close to each other as it used to be. But our vision is very different now. In the first place, we now look at what feels good to us, i.e. what is a natural fit with us. Then we explore which type of guest fits best with that.”

Based on this, holiday park De Pier has taken many steps. De Pier, for instance, has invested all its profits in the company and has changed all the flora and fauna on the terrain. Also, substantial sums have been invested in the accommodations on the park. The accommodations have to bring that outdoors feeling inside, but they also have to be of high quality so that they fit in with the target group. “The people that come here are people that have a conscious lifestyle and are looking for a relaxing vacation. You could think of things such as yoga, meditation, retreats and healthy food. That is part of our vision.”

Glamping at De Pier
Glamping fits perfectly with this. Last season De Pier already started installing a few glamping accommodations on the terrain and during the coming season it is time for the next step. The current tents have been placed in a large circle so that people can not look into each other’s tents, but they can see each other. In the middle there is a large fire bowl where people can make a fire, everything is illuminated and there is an outdoor kitchen so that people can barbecue together. The Romanov Residence will be situated at the foot of the hill as a kind of king’s lodge.

When we ask him about the experiences of people with the accommodations during the first season Verbossen says: “We have started letting the tents from 15 July onward and soon were fully booked, but after the holidays every single one of them remained empty to our surprise. In retrospect, we think this was to do with too little advertisements. But all the people that we have welcomed, were enthusiastic and many of them will revisit.”

Five star glamping with the Romanov Residence
Verbossen is very happy to add the Romanov Residence to his range the coming season. I think that we have the perfect location for it at the foot of the hill close to the nature reserve. You are aware that you can place it anywhere, but there is not a better place to put it than over there.” The Romanov Residence has to fit seamlessly with the target group that Verbossen is aiming for. Holidaymakers that are looking for luxury but do want to stay amidst nature. The Romanov Residence is not only beautiful to look at, the inside of the accommodation is also very luxurious. The accommodation has two storeys, a luxurious bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, and three bedrooms. Also, you can make use of the accommodation’s two verandas to enjoy the outdoors until late in the evening.

Focus on luxurious accommodations in nature
It is important to De Pier to grow into a luxurious holiday park with a focus on nature and sustainability. “This means: a good catering section accompanied by a lovely playground featuring water and sand play equipment. It is playing with nature and maintaining a good relationship with nature at the same time. An example would be a vegetable garden where children can take the ingredients from to make a soup or to built a hut with sticks and to play games amidst nature.”

When developing the facilities Verbossen also looks at his own family and their holiday needs. “I have two daughters. What would I like when I am going on a holiday?” According to Verbossen nature plays an important role. “If you step outside, you are surrounded by nature, but inside the accommodation, you have a luxurious home.”

The holiday park of the future
The developments on the park are on-going. “An entirely new foyer and reception will be built, next to that we would also like to work towards creating a hotel-like experience. For instance things as, serving breakfast in these tents for anyone who would like that, freshly made buns on site, wine and beer tastings, someone playing the guitar in the background at the restaurant, etcetera.” These are all examples with which Verbossen anticipates on a few major trends we notice within the glamping sector. More than ever, people are looking for an experience, but also sustainability and a sense of longing back to nature remain important themes.

And yet, Verbossen notices that customer-friendliness and being close to the customer are still the most important. Therefore he says about his holiday park: “What we want is that it is our backyard that we are proud of, because we live there ourselves, and I would like to have pleasant contact with everyone. I do not want to feel uncomfortable in my own backyard. So, that is indeed guided by emotion and we really do it our way.” The fact that you feel comfortable during your stay at De Pier is something we can surely imagine.

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