Geulzicht Castle hotel belongs to the youngest generation of castles. It was designed by the Maastricht architect Henri Reek at the end of the nineteenth century and commissioned by the industrialist Pieter Carel Zuyderhoudt and his wife Fannij van Enthoven, who among others, also owned the small castle Hofwijck in Voorburg. Mister Zuyderhoudt, born in Batavia in former Dutch East India, was engineer by profession. In those times it was quite common for the nouveaux-riches among the upper middle class to build a manor-like country house in a historical style to their taste.
The style of the castle, which is entirely put up in marl, is English neo-gothic, which gave it its romantic appearance. It is prominently set against the slope of the Brakkeberg, complete with drive and entrance gate. The former staff residence and garage are situated in the immediate surroundings. The marl blocks came from the Brakkeberg and were transported over a narrow gauge railway to the construction site.
The construction of the castle was completed at the beginning of last century. As for the interior, of high interest is the large lounge with its white marble and black Namur stone floor. The monumental fireplace is partly decorated with glazen tiles. Its wainscoted mantelpiece is draped with a gobelin. The walls have woodpanelling.
The paintings on the ceiling are by Adrianus Hartigh, who is also known to have several mural paintings in the nearby caves, and portray biblical scenes. Figures from Greek and Roman mythology adorn the brown frieze.
The former library prides in richly carved wooden bookcases. Here again, the fireplace is decorated with glazed tiles and has a wainscoted mantelpiece. Here too, wood panelling on the walls. The dining room has a decorative stucco ceiling. Its white marble mantelpiece rests on four little marble columns. Four rooms have a sunken Roman bath (600 litres).
Originally the castle was built for private occupation. From 1937 onwards, the Weinberg family used Geulzicht Castle as a hotel. Everyone called the then owner, Mr Weinberg, “Uncle Joep”, which proved to be very opportune in the war. On 10 May 1940 some high German officers” and their staff arrived and occupied Hotel Geulzicht Castle, which they made their central command post. All through the German occupation though, the hotel harboured some Jews in hiding. Since everyone addressed Mr Weinberg as “Uncle Joep”, there was no danger of them betraying Mr Weinberg or themselves. There were also a few artists among the persons in hiding who had refused to become member of the Kulturkammer. They paid Mr Weinberg with paintings.
The story goes that the decision to bomb the city of Rotterdam was taken at Geulzicht Castle, but this is a doubtful allegation that cannot be proven. Fact is that the aerial shots of the front lines taken by the German reconnaissance planes were dropped at Geulzicht Castle and developed and finished in its cellars. There is a plaque in memory of the Second World War at the entrance of the hotel. Later on the hotel was taken over by Mr Weinberger’s daughter and his son-in-law. When they closed business, the well-known journalist Jean Nelissen, who lived there till 1982, bought the castle. Since 1982 the van Kuik family owns the castle. After thorough restoration they made it back into a hotel. Recently Geulzicht Castle was listed as a historic building.
Contrary to most hotel castles, the guests of Geulzicht Castle stay and sleep in the original castle itself!