In January, I started with a project at Vodafone Maastricht, as a
consultant in Project Management (Sogeti). Although I live in Amsterdam, I
did not hesitate and decided to go for this great opportunity. I experienced
Vodafone as a progressive company. The offices are nicely designed.
They also introduced the ‘New Way of Working’ (Het Nieuwe Werken), so you can work where you want, even in another location or office. They also use social
Historical looks of Maastricht
Maastricht is a great town to visit. It is very international and has a beautiful historical look
because of the leftovers of the old rampart. Maastricht is separated by the Maas river. There is a modern part and an old part. During the project, I mostly stayed at hotel Zenden in the old part (centre) of Maastricht, near the square “Onze lieve vrouweplein”. Cosy and artisan, those are the best words to describe the city centre.
Running trail in Maastricht
Not being at home means that I missed my wife very much, I did not do much about sports and only had a social life during weekends. To enjoy myself after work, I
hung out with my colleagues and met up with some friends (who live near
Maastricht). I also explored the wonderful nature, by running over the hill ‘Sint-Pietersberg‘ every week. It is a beautiful hill between Holland and Belgium, from which you have stunning views.
Special beers at Falstaff
Another great thing I often did, was walking through the small city streets or into the city park. The people you pass by are often beautifully dressed up and there are many nice (but expensive) boutique stores. Maastricht is also well-known because of its University.
Although there are no real clubs in Maastricht, there absolutely is a night life, especially on Thursday night. Many (young) people start with drinking a special beer at Falstaff (Sint Amorsplein). From there, they are hopping from bar to bar, such as “Cafe Cliniq” or the pub “De Twee Heeren“. At two o’clock at night, everybody moves to student dirty dancing bar “De Alla” or “De Feesfebrik“. It is a pity that they closed down the “Nightlive” club that was established in a church. I enjoyed some great parties there with DJ Tiesto, for example.
Restaurants & Hotel reviews Maastricht
For dinner, I often went to the restaurants in or around Maastricht. I love tasting nice food and that is the reason why I chose a different restaurant almost every time. In the list below, I describe my restaurant and hotel experiences and rate them with a mark between 1 and 10. I chose the restaurants by reading reviews on the websites or Tripadvisor, Iens.nl and Les Tables. I usually picked a menu.
- Basiliek – Meerssen (village close to Maastricht)
Dinner: Chef’s Menu
Starter: delicious cod with Dutch shrimps
Main dish: Marinated salmon with subtly flavoured vegetables
Dessert: Ice cream, white chocolate mouse in tasty limoncello and strawberries.
Plusses: One of the biggest surprises and great value for money, good quality service. They also let me try some liqueur for free.
Minus: Always fries with the main course and no fresh whipped (organic) cream, the place needs a paint job.
- Gio’s Cucina Casalinga – Maastricht
Category: Italian restaurant
Dinner: Fish menu
Plusses: There is no menu list. You can choose between fish, meat or vegetarian. The food smells great, looks great, tastes great, is fresh and they serve it ‘live’ at your table. One of the best restaurants in town.
Minus: A little too much olive oil in the salad. We did not try a dessert. The place is a bit expensive, but reasonable for the quality you get.
- Beaumont – Maastricht
Category: Local restaurant
Dinner: Menu Du Centenaire (100 year anniversary menu)
Plusses: The food and wine are delicious and beautifully presented. The service is high level. The interior is a combination of modern and old. A place to experience good quality food!
Minus: The price and an overload of posh (but friendly) people.
- La Boheme – Maastricht
Category: Local restaurant
Dinner: A la carte menu
Plusses: A small place with a ‘home’ feel. Personal and friendly service from Jolande ter Haar, one of the owners. A place where you can easily sit and talk for hours. Very comfortable! The food is great but not culinary. I loved the wine!
Minus: It is located a little out of the centre (but near the St. Pietersberg), the prices are high.
- IL GIARDINO – Maastricht
Category: Italian restaurant
Dinner: Pizza, Pasta, Lasagne
Plusses: The atmosphere, the cheerful staff, it’s always cosy and crowded. Lovely place for an uncomplicated, tasty, not too expensive, Italian dinner.
Minus: Because of the chaotic and vibrant ambience they sometimes forget to serve you the free aperitif. On the other hand, you sometimes receive a prosecco on the house. I did not like the dry swordfish. Reservation recommended.
Note: This was my favourite restaurant and I came here once every week.
- Restaurant Pet Thai – Maastricht
Category: Thai Restaurant
Dinner: Fish in Peanut sauce and fish cookies as a starter
Plusses: No ties allowed, it is crowded, cosy and the food is cheap.
Minus: I had to wait for almost an hour between the starter and the main dish, the food is okay but not very special.
Note: If you like Thai food, I think this is the place to go in Maastricht.
- Restaurant Petit Bonheur – Maastricht
Dinner: Fish menu
Plusses: The location is very nice.
Minus: Cold and uninterested staff, prices are too high. The food is okay but nothing special and the portions are too small (afterwards, I went to McDonald’s for a burger). Quite a disappointment.
- Restaurant Kruisheren hotel – Maastricht
Plusses: Everything about this place is design. It looks beautiful! Dining in a church is very special. The food looks nice too.
Minus: The service is bad. The food looks nice, but the taste is boring. Eating from a stone from the Maas river is not comfortable. The cappuccino was made with an automatic coffee machine. I give it a 7, only because of its looks.
- Restaurant Kobe – Maastricht
Dinner: Hana menu
Plusses: The Japanese tea & the amuse
Minus: The service is very bad. The fish was not fresh (after complaining, they told me I was unlucky, because it was the third and last day that they use the fish), the price is too high and it was cold in the restaurant.
- Witloof – Maastricht
Plusses: The service is very friendly and the creative decoration is awesome.
Minus: The food is very simple and not so tasty. As a compensation, you receive a huge amount of fries. The bill is way too high. I will never come back here. Too much window dressing!
- Ilya – Maastricht
Category: Mediterranean & Fish
Dinner: Portuguese croquette and the week special: lobster
Plusses: The service is very friendly and personal. The restaurant is dark with a cozy atmosphere.
Minus: The croquette was nice but the lobster tasted weird and had the same salad and dressing as the croquettes. Bummer! They should do something with their website too (noticed: June 2012).
- La Chine – Maastricht
Category: Chinese (Cantonese)
Dinner: Vegetables with king shrimps and noodles and a beer (price 20 euro)
Plusses: The location and the friendly service
Minus: It’s just one of the many typical Dutch-Chinese restaurants.
- Restaurant Reube – Maastricht
Category: French, Italian and Mediterranean
Dinner: Menu with fish
Plusses: The very friendly service and the warm atmosphere
Minus: Quantity above Quality. The fish was drowning in fat.
- Restaurant ROXY’S – Maastricht
Dinner: Fish soup, Sicilian fish dish and a glass of Prosecco
Plusses: The location, the interior and an amuse of the house.
Minus: I visited this restaurant with two of my best friends to have a good time. You have to book this restaurant more than a week in advance and the ratings are outstanding. Unfortunately, I do not agree with them at all. The soup was flavourless and the fish dish was soaked in olive oil. An absolutely overpriced experience and a big disappointment. The owner (and waitress) would tell us only how sorry she was but she did nothing actually do something about it. What a shame.
- Restaurant Gadjah Mas – Maastricht
Category: Indonesian (Eastern Java)
Dinner: Tanpa Daging (Vegetarian Menu) and saté Udang (Price for two including two drinks and a coffee: 72,20 Euro)
Plusses: Close to the train station, the saté Udang (shrimps)
Minus: The price, too small dishes, the service, and the taste of the food in general.
- Restaurant Ginger – Maastricht
Category: Fusion asian
Dinner: Sushi and a surprise menu (I was there with six people)
Plusses: The looks, and I like the name of the restaurant
Minus: The friendly waitress was confused about our order, we had to wait more than an hour for our starter. Almost everyone received something they did not order. For example, they gave me a chicken dish, while I do not eat meat. The taste of the food is okay.
- Restaurant D’oude Markt – Weert (45 minutes from Maastricht)
Dinner: Lettuce Soup and Shrimps in garlic
Plusses: The food, lettuce soup and the service
Minus: The location in the centre of Weert is perfect, but the place looks a bit poor.
- Restaurant De Oolderhof – Roermond – Herten (30 minutes from Maastricht)
Dinner: Fried pike-perch and local farmers ice cream with cherries
Plusses: The location, in a nice environment near Roermond
Minus: The price
Note: The food is good but not as culinary as they indicate.
- Hotel Zenden – Maastricht
Category: Design hotel, studios, gym and swimming pool
Experience: Hotel Zenden is a minimalistic simple, small sized designer hotel, near the square “Het Onze Lieve Vrouwenplein” in the centre of Maastricht. I stayed here for over 30 days, and I tried almost every (Urban) room. The interior is nicely designed and everything is white, with some Japanese touches. I can recommend the rooms ‘Go’ and ‘Nana’. The ‘Kyo’ room is noisy due to the noise in the small street in front of the hotel. ‘San’ is a very small room and less comfortable. A studio would be your best choice – with great views on the Maas river and the modern “Hoge brug” bridge. I stayed in studio 2 and 3. Studio 2 is a pretty big room with a balcony at the back. Studio 3 is on the top floor of the building. It is much smaller than studio 2, but it also was a great place to relax and enjoy the great views. The breakfast is simple, but fresh and complete. Try the different jam flavours, they are really tasty. The staff is nice and personal. Also try the small swimming pool, which is nicely spotlighted with different colours. I did not use the fitness group lessons, but they are free for hotel guests. The reception closes on weekdays at half past 10 in the evening. They have an arrangement with another hotel, if you want to check in later. Conclusion: a great hotel to stay.
- Chambres d’Hotes Rekko – Maastricht
Category: Small Family hotel / Bed & Breakfast
Experience: Chambres d’Hotes Rekko is a friendly, simple, dignified and somewhat old-fashioned hotel. When you arrive, a nice, older man takes his time to welcome you. He knows everything about Maastricht and I found it great to listen to his stories. The decor of the hotel is a bit old, but the beds are excellent and there is free wifi. The breakfast is standard. The staff likes to chat with you. The hotel is very quiet and has a nice small patio. If you have a loft, you will see the university library. The hotel has no parking, but parking in the area is easy. Parking is free in the evening. The hotel is near the centre and is situated almost in the city park. I had a nice, relaxing time there and the price is okay.