06 July 2024

Kruisherenhotel Maastricht review: design in a Gothic church

For a weekend getaway in the Netherlands, Maastricht is one of my favorite destinations. Nowhere else in the Netherlands do I feel so much like I’m on vacation, and I want to spontaneously start speaking to people in another language.

I’m also a big fan of beautiful design boutique hotels. And the 5-star Kruisherenhotel Maastricht had been on my wish list for quite some time. It’s not the cheapest option for an overnight stay in Maastricht, but we decide to indulge this weekend and travel to the south of the Netherlands specifically for a stay at the Kruisherenhotel.

5 Star monastery hotel in Maastricht

After driving mostly through Belgium (apparently the fastest route), I didn’t even realize we had arrived in the city center of Maastricht. We turn a corner and see a large Gothic church on a beautiful square. However, this is no longer a church; we have arrived at the Kruisherenhotel.

Outside of the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht - a former monastery and gothic church turned into a luxury design hotel by the Oostwegel Collection

The Kruisherenhotel Maastricht is housed in the 15th-century Kruisheren monastery. This was the home of The Order of The Holy Cross (aka the Crutched Friars) until 1797 when it was turned into military barracks during the French occupation. It’s one of the few remaining Gothic monasteries in the Netherlands.

Together with the adjoining monumental monastery church, it was converted into this stunning luxury design hotel as part of the Limburg-based Oostwegel Collection in 2005. The hotel is a member of Design Hotels, where I often find hotels I want to add to my wish list.

Interior architect Henk Vos won the European Design Award in the same year for the interior design, collaborating with renowned designers like Philippe Starck and Le Corbusier.

Parking at the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht

Cute little red car in front of the Kruisherenhotel in Maastricht, The Netherlands. An old monastery and gothic church as seen from the outside.

We can park our car in front of the church. With true 5-star service, the hotel will later move it to their garage for us. They even ensure that electric cars are charged. Love this valet service (which costs €45)!

Spectacular first impression of the former monastery church

Although the hotel still looks like a church and monastery from the outside, the entrance reveals that things have changed inside. You enter through an orange copper tunnel designed by Ingo Maurer. And wow, this is no longer a church! Between the old stone walls, the towering stained glass windows, and vaulted ceilings you’re now in a beautiful modern hotel.

Someone immediately approaches us to welcome us and take our luggage. We are a bit early for our room, but we can already check in. They offer us a glass of champagne as a welcome drink, but since we have a lunch reservation at Cinq in 15 minutes, we’ll save that for later.

Lunch at Cinq is great by the way. It’s a 15-minute walk from the hotel, and on sunny days you can sit on a beautiful terrace along the Maas. The food is super tasty.

But with such a beautiful hotel as the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht, you want to enjoy your stay as much as possible. So after lunch, we walk back to the hotel.

Rooms at the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht

We are shown to our room by a hotel staff member. Not only is this a nice service, but it’s also necessary. In such an old building, the layout is not straightforward. Along the way, he tells us a bit about the history of the building.

The hotel has 60 rooms, 50 of which are located in the former monastery around the courtyard. The other 10 are in two separate buildings.

Signature Room in the former monastery

Our room (room 123) is in the monastery on the first floor. Apart from the somewhat unusual dimensions, you wouldn’t notice that you’re sleeping in an old monastery. You might find this a positive thing, but honestly, I find it a bit disappointing.

If you want to stay at the Kruisherenhotel, it’s important to realize that each room is different. Even within a particular room category, there are significant differences in size.

I only discovered later that for the type of room we booked (Signature Monastery Room), we did not get the best room. For example, the promised seating area was missing. And with dimensions varying between 25 and 39 m2, we definitely got one of the smaller rooms (a sofa or chair wouldn’t have fit). We are also above the kitchen and opposite a staff area. Our room is quite noisy, and we hear sounds from the rest of the hotel late into the evening and early in the morning.

Ask for the room you want

I unfortunately see in online reviews that there are more people who have been disappointed by this, while others emphasize how beautiful and spacious their room is. The hotel’s response is that due to the building’s monumental nature, each room is unique, but they are happy to help you find a room that meets your expectations.

I regret not saying anything about it at the time. For this price, I expected more, and it could have been different and better.

At a 5-star hotel, I don’t expect the best experience to be reserved for the most assertive guests, but unfortunately, this seems to be the case at the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht. My advice is to carefully check which room you are booking and possibly discuss the options with the hotel in advance.

There are rooms where you sleep under slanted ceilings with old wooden beams, which create more ambiance. The promotional photos always show the room with a bed next to a beautiful stained glass monastery window.

My experience staying at the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht

Nonetheless, our room is fine. It just doesn’t have the wow factor I expect from a 5-star hotel. Everything looks sleek, modern, and new. A long wall opposite the beds has a photo wallpaper depicting Limburg artist Charles Eijck at work.

The bathroom with two small separate sinks facing each other is not a separate room but is behind a half-height wall. The bathroom products are from the luxury brand Malin+Goetz. The shower is nice, but you have to step into the bath first. There are also rooms with a walk-in shower without a bath. The toilet fortunately does have a door.

There is also a desk in the room with a coffee/tea maker. However, as mentioned earlier, there is no place to sit other than the bed.

Although I have to say that those Auping beds are no punishment to sit or lie on. I haven’t felt such a comfortable mattress in a long time. You’ll sleep wonderfully on it. Because we asked for separate beds, we both sleep on single beds.

Conclusion: The room is fine, but not necessarily one you’d want to spend a lot of time in. Back to the rest of the hotel!

Courtyard and bar in the Gothic church

In the former monastery, there is a nice, quiet courtyard where we decide to have our welcome drink. When it unfortunately starts to rain (it is still the Netherlands after all), we move to the bar inside.

What’s special about the large open space of the church is that they have created seating areas on both sides. With different modern furniture and both old and modern art on the walls.

In the church chancel is now Spencer’s Bar, surrounded by a round red bench. The staff is super friendly, and we’re enjoying our snacks and drinks. If you’re a wine enthusiast you’ll love the glass-vaulted wine cellar.

Dinner at the Kruisherenhotel restaurant Spencer’s

As I said before, when you stay in a 5-star hotel like the Kruisherenhotel, you want to make the most of it. So we are having dinner at the hotel restaurant Spencer’s tonight.

This restaurant is on the mezzanine level in the middle of the church. You sit under the beautiful ceilings and with the stained glass windows around you. Super elegant and truly a stunning location. You wouldn’t realize that the bar and lobby of the hotel are below. I’m honestly surprised it’s not fully booked on a Saturday evening.

You can choose from a 3 or 4-course menu of classic French dishes with a Dutch twist, optionally with a wine pairing. We opt for the 3-course menu and enjoy every bite. Each course is prepared with such care and looks beautiful. I highly recommended it.

Breakfast in Maastricht

Best breakfast in Maastricht at Van Wijck

After a good night sleep in that comfortable bed, we don’t need to rush to check out which is at noon.

The same restaurant where we had dinner last night also serves breakfast in the morning. Normally, I consider a hotel breakfast one of the highlights of a hotel stay. I really look forward to it. However, I had read some reviews in advance where the breakfast was criticized. Not that it was bad, but too expensive for what you get and not impressive enough.

So we decide to have breakfast in the city. If you want to do the same, I can highly recommend Van Wijck. Or, of course, one of my other restaurant tips for Maastricht.

Unique stay in Maastricht

After breakfast, we pick up our luggage from the hotel to drive back to The Hague. The car is charged for the long journey and is waiting for us in front of the hotel.

Due to the disappointment with the room, I look back on this stay at the Kruisherenhotel with mixed feelings. The hotel has responded properly to our criticism, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I expected more from a stay at a 5 star hotel.

Still, if you’re looking for a unique, luxury stay in Maastricht, this is one of the best places to choose. The contemporary design of the Gothic church within its old construction, walking through the old monastery corridors, dining at Spencer’s restaurant, the service from the staff, it’s all wonderful. However, you need to ensure that you get a room that is worth the high price. If you don’t want to stay here (I have some other Maastricht hotel recommendations), definitely visit the hotel when you’re in Maastricht to admire the design interior and perhaps stay for a drink or dinner.

Looking for more Maastricht tips? Have a look at my Maastricht city guide.



Kruisherengang 19/23
6211 NW Maastricht
The Netherlands