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Hospitaallaan 16 · 9341AH Veenhuizen, Drenthe

The landscape of Drenthe is nowhere more unique than here...

Our hotel-restaurant in Veenhuizen is centrally located in beautiful surroundings. You are within one-hour driving distance from cities like Groningen, Leeuwarden, Assen and Drachten. Below you can read what the surroundings of Bitter en Zoet have to offer.


Veenhuizen is a village in Drenthe with a rich history that looks nothing like other village in the area. Veenhuizen is a former coercive colony of the Society of Humanitarianism where more than a hundred national monuments bear witness to a unique past. Straight lanes and stately buildings, museums and workshops – all located in historic buildings and surrounded by extensive nature reserves, from the Fochteloërveen moor area to the De Slokkert stream valley. 
Veenhuizen is part of the region Top of Drenthe. And Groningen and Friesland are nearby.
Also check our page Veenhuizen for more information (dutch only).


A moor area as large as the city of Utrecht, but impressively empty. Grasses, peat mosses and cotton grass reach to the horizon.
Moors are created in places where rainwater remains and peat mosses can grow for centuries in succession.
The peat mosses die from below and grow at the top. After centuries, a soil with a thick package of peat mosses is created.

Fochteloërveen is within walking and cycling distance and gives a good picture of the situation in this area before the arrival of the Society of Humanitarianism. Wild, wet peaty soil and heathland. Empty en isolated and for those who did not know the way, impassable. 

Fochteloërveen is now a beautiful nature reserve. One of the few, unspoilt, remaining moors in the Netherlands.
There is a walking and cycling trail through the marshy moor. From the watchtower, on the south side of the area, the view is overwhelming and with some luck you can spot the graceful cranes that breed here since a few years.

Starting from Bitter en Zoet, there are several beautiful routes across Fochteloërveen. For more information, take a look at

Brook valley De Slokkert

De Slokkert is not exactly the most famous stream valley in Drenthe, but it is an area that is really worth a visit. The stream valley of De Slokkert lies in the northwest of Drenthe, between Norg and Veenhuizen and is part of the Norg Esdorpen Landscape.
A large part of the stream was normalized in the sixties, but since 2012 it has been made meandering again.
A beautiful area has been created with wild flowers, birds and large grazers. Chances are you will meet some deer!

De Slokkert consists of two upper streams of the Peizerdiep system: the 'Tonckensloopje' near Zuidvelde and 'Slokkert' near Veenhuizen. Both streams meet southwest of Norg. They then flow on as the Slokkert stream and eventually end up in the Reitdiep near Groningen. This has created an 'open' connection with the Wadden Sea.

Top of Drenthe

Veenhuizen is part of the Top of Drenthe region and is located exactly in the middle of the Noorderland. The Top of Drenthe comprises the area between Peize, Roden, Norg and Veenhuizen, bordering the city of Groningen and the provincial border with Friesland.

An area with a very varied landscape, beautiful villages and centuries of cultural history. From prehistoric dolmens to modern art. For more information, please visit

World Heritage Site 2021

The Society of Humanitarianism was founded almost 200 years ago by Johannes van den Bosch to tackle poverty in the big cities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The poor and needy were offered a new chance in life in one of the colonies; Frederiksoord, Wilhelminaoord, Ommerschans, Wortel en Merksplas (Belgium) and of course Veenhuizen. With varying outcomes by the way...

Around 1900 a new layer was added to history; architect Metzelaar was commissioned by the state to build, among other things, the many service residences with edifying inscriptions and the Hospital complex. The original buildings and landscape structure were largely retained.

The philosophy and its implementation are so unique that the humanitarian colonies are on their way to a place on the UNECSO World Heritage Site.

Click on the link below for more information.