There’s a little Dutch seaside town in the northern province of Friesland called Harlingen. This old city has a long and rich history of shipping and fishing.
When you go for an early morning stroll along the docks, you’ll definitely notice a huge crane that looms mysteriously in the old harbor. The 45 metre-tall structure that stands in the half-light and rises above the Wadden Sea has become a top holiday spot for sophisticated travelers and adrenaline seekers. This machinery is a Figee level-luffing crane that was originally built in 1967 and was used until 1996 to unload ships from Russia and Scandinavia.
A few years ago, husband and wife Willem Koornstra and Carla Comello saved the ‘Havenkraan’ from being torn down and converted it into a unique mini-boutique hotel. The transformation project that started in 2001 took about two years to complete. The results are absolutely worth it and the crane became a luxury hotel hideaway for couples. Guests are now offered many unforgettable moments thanks to the blend of high technology, spaceship-like interior, great room service and dramatic sea and harbor views. The crane’s machine-bedroom is suitable for two persons only and has all the amenities visitors may desire: computer controlled air-conditioning and lighting, HD television with a nice collection of DVD’s and a huge comfortable, king-size bed. There is a separate sun deck that provides breathtaking panorama of the Wadden sea and the Friesian Islands as well. Gaining entry to the main cabin to the height of 17 meters is a big adrenaline rush, too and can be a bit intimidating for people with claustrophobia: the only possible access is via two tiny elevators. And last but not least here comes the icing on the cake: the sixty-five thousand kilo machinery giant is still operational and can take a 360 degree rotation anytime. Pulling a special lever will kick the crane into action so view can be manipulated at will, depending the time of the day or the mood you’re at.
The crane hotel might be a bit expensive place to stay with its $417 a night but it’s a definitely a unique spot that you will never forget. Do you feel inspired and would you like to put the ‘Havenkraan’ on your itinerary? You can manage this booking easily via Wimdu. And if Harlingen isn’t part of your holiday plan, you can still find a huge number of other great offers and destinations on their site. Staying one or two nights in an old Parisian cinema or in a funky cupcake store are all possible thanks to them.