The warm story behind gast-vrij

Hospitality and hygge, the central theme in the life of host Geert

So, how did the story of gast-vrij (which means ‘hospitable’ or ‘welcoming’ in Dutch) begin? Well, together with my husband and four children, I live in one of the very first Belgian straw-bale houses. Our house was built using the natural materials of wood, straw and clay. It’s environmentally friendly, energy-efficient and sustainable, and provides a healthy living environment.

We were so enthusiastic about our house that we wanted to share it with other people. So, we built holiday home StroEnzo (stro means ‘straw’ in Dutch, enzo means ‘and such’ or ‘and so on’) and now, you, too, can experience this positive living environment for yourself.

For many years, a home exchange was my family’s favourite way of going on holiday: every summer, we would swap our home with another family somewhere in Europe for a couple of weeks. It’s how we discovered that authentic feeling of spending your holiday in a homely atmosphere. A totally different feeling from staying at a hotel or in standard holiday accommodation.

And, it’s that homely feeling – which I like to call ‘hyggelig’ – that I have been creating for a while now in my three unique holiday homes in Riemst. Because, besides StroEnzo, we have since also started VillaEnzo (Villa because of the type of building) and ZussEnzo (Zussen is the village this accommodation is located in).

‘We feel so at home here!’ is the compliment I get the most from my guests and every time I hear it, it makes me genuinely happy. Because I’m a passionate believer in the concept of hygge, the Danish lifestyle philosophy of enjoying the good things in life with friends and family. Hygge is about a warm atmosphere, a feeling of home and relaxation.

Hospitality and hygge make life more beautiful, for me and my guests. I have created a cosy home in each of my three unique holiday homes and have decorated them in a warm gast-vrij style. That way, you and your (extended) family, friends or colleagues can feel right at home on holiday.

A very warm welcome,
your host Geert

The pillars of gast-vrij

Feel right at home in the holiday accommodation of gast-vrij

Have the best holiday

Have the best holiday or weekend away. Relax, slow down, and enjoy time spent together with your (extended) family or friends. Rediscover yourself and each other.

Feel totally at home

The holiday accommodation of gast-vrij is a home away from home. From the decor and charming ornamental touches to the candles, books and toys: everything is geared to making you feel totally at home.

Explore the area

Explore Riemst and the local area. Broaden your horizons. Have fun together. Learn something new. And carry these experiences with you.

Share your experience

Did you feel at home on holiday? Do share your experience with other people. Tell everyone you know about the three unique, welcoming holiday homes of gast-vrij.

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