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Check Into a Life-Size Sand Castle in the Netherlands

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by Lilit Marcus, Condé Nast Traveler

Courtesy Zand Hotel

Just in time for the end of summer, two Dutch towns have abandoned sandcastles for actual hotels made of sand.

Seems like a kid's dream holiday: Two new hotels in northern Holland made of actual sandare now accepting reservations. You'll have to hurry, though, as the Zand (Dutch for "sand") Hotel pop-ups in the towns of Sneek and Oss are only open through the end of September, as a promotion for the local Brabant and Friesland Sand Sculpture Festivals.

Courtesy Zand Hotel

The "all-sand" term applies to the walls, floors, and other design features, but not to the furniture or linens, so don't worry about waking up with sand all over your body. (Though it does seem the poor maids have their work cut out for them.) Although the hotel's organizers wouldn't give too many details how this all works, they did note that the walls have wooden frames (phew). Rooms feature unfussy brown leather chairs and sofas and wooden tables that pair nicely with the sand color scheme. And, yes, there are showers.

Rooms go for $170 a night, which includes free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and a glass of prosecco and a bowl of fresh fruit when you check in. Amenities include complimentary bottles of local Oijens beer, and several sand sculptures in each room, most of which are emblematic of different periods of history. The festival's theme is "journey through time," so the Oss hotel has an Asian theme, while the one in Sneek draws inspiration from medieval castles.

Good news if you can't make it to Holland in the next two weeks: Thanks to the outpouring of interest in the properties, both are considering reopening for next year's festival.

See more about the Neatherlands, including Holland's Beautiful Spring Blossoms on

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