Van Oys Maastricht Retreat

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Van Oys Maastricht Retreat

Source: Chapeau Magazine
Pascal Jalhay to Van Oys


The renowned top chef Pascal Jalhay will become the culinary director (executive chef) at Van Oys Maastricht Retrait, the new hotel complex in and around Kasteel Oost in Eijsden.


The chef, who grew up in Maastricht, is thus returning to his roots. He previously worked with Hans Snijders at Château Neercanne and with Roger Souvereyns at Scholteshof. Over twenty years ago, Jalhay gained fame as the youngest chef in the Netherlands to earn two Michelin stars at the former Amsterdam restaurant Vermeer. At that time, he introduced the combination of classical French cuisine with Eastern influences.

Not long after, Jalhay chose a different path and took on a leadership role at a large international company providing catering services for international airlines. He found this position more compatible with family life, raising his children.


In recent years, he has organized cooking clinics and dinners at his own finca in Murcia, Spain.


In the new edition of Chapeau Magazine, which will be presented on Tuesday at La Butte aux Bois in Lanaken, Jalhay (54) shares that he is ready to become active in the restaurant world again at this stage of his life. “I will be responsible for the food and beverage sector across the entire estate, but I will mainly focus on the luxury bistro in the castle, including overall procurement and daily operations. We are also working on finding a suitable candidate for the separate gastronomic restaurant on the estate, with whom I will collaborate closely. The Cittaslow philosophy that Van Oys will follow particularly appeals to me, as sustainability in the food industry is becoming increasingly important.”

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Source: Entrée Magazine


Marc Alofs, GM at Van Oys Maastricht Retreat, on the collaboration with Pascal: “He was looking for a new challenge and thought he had found it in southern Spain. Fortunately, I was able to convince him that an even greater challenge awaits him in his hometown. He immediately embraced the Cittaslow philosophy. I am 100% convinced that his innovative cuisine du terroir will attract gourmands from all corners and make Maastricht an international culinary hotspot.”

Leading Hotels of the World
Bron Hospitality Management

Less than a year before its official opening, Van Oys Maastricht Retreat becomes a member of Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel organization says it is “truly impressed” by the transformation of the medieval castle, the F&B offerings, and the sustainability concept of Van Oys Maastricht Retreat.

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May 17, 2024—a date that will long be remembered by Michel and Leon Maes, owners of the original Kasteel Oost in Eijsden-Margraten, which has recently been renamed Van Oys. In an official letter, Chairman Andrea Scherz and President & CEO Shannon Knapp confirm that Van Oys Maastricht Retreat has been accepted as a member of Leading Hotels of the World. In the attached letter, the LHW management explains their decision.


Deniz Omurgonulsen, Vice President and Member Experience at LHW, adds that “the eco-luxury hotel Van Oys Maastricht Retreat illustrates the attention that The Leading Hotels of the World pays to sustainability, both in terms of protecting nature and preserving traditions.”

The restoration of the medieval castle proves that it is perfectly possible to combine heritage with sustainability and top-level service.”


Leading Hotels of the World, headquartered in New York since 1928, is the world’s most renowned hotel organization, representing more than 400 luxury hotels in over 80 countries. In the Benelux, LHW has seven members.


Cittaslow is the central theme
The history of Kasteel Van Oys dates back to the early thirteenth century. It owes its name to the knightly family Van Oys and has changed ownership several times over the centuries, the last time being in 2005. The Maastricht entrepreneur Michel Maes lived in the castle for a while but decided, in consultation with his brother Leon Maes, to give it a new purpose as a five-star Superior luxury hotel, a project that is currently underway.


Sustainability is a key focus. The sustainability concept referenced by Leading Hotels of the World in its acceptance letter pertains to the Cittaslow philosophy. This philosophy is the brainchild of Paolo Saturnini, the former mayor of Greve in the Chianti region of Italy. Cittaslow aims for a sustainable society with a strong social community in a high-quality environment. Cittaslow is innovative and employs the latest applications in communication, transport, production, and sales. At the same time, Cittaslow seeks and finds inspiration in the origins of things. Values such as authenticity, respect, time and attention for each other, and warm hospitality are the central themes that find concrete expression in the unique project of Van Oys Maastricht Retreat in Eijsden-Margraten, just a stone’s throw from Maastricht.

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Happy and Proud

For the realization of their unique project, the owners enlisted Marc Alofs, who previously earned a five-star Superior rating for La Butte aux Bois in Neerharen and Botanic Sanctuary in Antwerp. In his initial response, Marc expressed that he is “very happy and proud to have brought Leading Hotels of the World, the highest achievable international hotel label in the field of hospitality, to Limburg.”

Previously, this privilege was reserved for major and global cities, and in the Netherlands, for the Randstad region. From 2025, this honor will also be bestowed upon the people of Maastricht and both Limburgs. It is a great encouragement for the owners and the entire team that we were able to convince the LHW team during the rough construction phase to award Van Oys Maastricht Retreat the prestigious LHW label. The inspection team was “truly impressed” by the spectacular transformation of the 13th-century castle, as well as the extensive F&B offerings and innovative Cittaslow sustainability concept.”


Alofs is supported by a team of specialists who have earned their stripes in top-tier hospitality, including Stéphanie Stulens (maitre de maison, formerly La Butte aux Bois and Botanic Sanctuary), Kim Defaux (operations manager, formerly La Butte aux Bois), Bart Bloemmen (finance/IT/HR specialist, Botanic Sanctuary), and Jurgen Lijcops (F&B specialist, Botanic Sanctuary, GLASS Wine & Bistro, Bar Burbure).

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Van Oys Maastricht Retreat

81 Luxury Rooms and Suites

Van Oys Maastricht Retreat features 81 luxury rooms and suites equipped with the most modern and exclusive comforts. The rooms are distributed across the Château (castle), the Remise (farmhouse), and Carré (new building).


The culinary offerings include an all-day dining restaurant with views of the expansive park and a fine dining restaurant in the Remise where star-level cuisine will be prepared. A cozy hotel bar invites guests to enjoy an informal chat over a good glass of wine. Additionally, a high-end cooking studio is available for masterclasses, and the wine cellar is perfect for private dinners.


Van Oys Maastricht Retreat also offers an indoor & outdoor spa with high-quality health and beauty treatments and rituals. In the gym, exertion and relaxation go hand in hand.