Pentecost will soon be upon us. To some, this holiday marks the descent of the Holy Spirit. To others, it’s just a long weekend. For me, it has been my favorite little holiday ever since I was a kid. It always felt like it was a sign. Not a heavenly sign, but rather a sign of the coming of summer. Soon, school would be a distant memory and the long holiday would start. Pentecost was a 3-day appetizer to the magnificent 6-week main course yet to come.
Pentecost always felt like some sort of beta test for the summer. It would be the moment we packed our bags as a family and went somewhere not too far away to enjoy the sun for the first time.
This time of year, is marked by an appealing 18-20 degrees with a cool Dutch breeze, my favorite type of weather. Thick Ruisdael-esque clouds creep across the patchwork of green fields, leaving room for rays of warm sunlight to peak through and heat the typical Dutch countryside. People bring out all the shorts, skirts, and bikinis that they have been collecting throughout the winter and flaunt them for the first time. Couples wander past the lush green fields where young cows and sheep happily chomp away at the long, fresh grass. Students take out old barges that barely stay afloat, anchor somewhere on a lake, and enjoy their first proper outdoor “borrel”. Anticipation buzzes in the air. Summer is coming.
Parc Maasresidence Thorn is one of those places where my parents would have taken me as a kid during Pentecost. The classical brick-and-mortar houses with gabled roofs embrace the vibrant shores of the Maasplassen on one side, whilst looking over the green tartan of fields, pastures, and forests on the other. People cautiously spread their towels on the private MRT Beach and dip their toes into the water. Slightly cold, but not too cold. Parents whip out their favorite books or sudoku puzzles as kids rent SUP boards and e-foils on which they outrace each other on the water. Young families rent bicycles at the reception and set out to explore the green backcountry, letting themselves be led by the intricate network of way markers.
The resort throws me back in time two decades, to a time when deciding between the swimming pool and the bowling alley was my greatest concern. A time when the enclosed playground was my castle which I could only be lured from with the promise of ice cream. A time when my father, against his better judgment, would let me steer the rental sloop as my mother hung on to the side for dear life. A time when I blindly followed my parents into a cascade of fun adventures.
Since its opening, Parc Maasresidence Thorn has always had a keen eye for incorporating this child-like nostalgia. Although it has modern villas with heating pumps, box spring beds, private saunas, and fully equipped kitchens, it doesn’t lose this sense of simple homeliness. The same goes for the private MRT Harbor and the MRT Beach. They have been exquisitely designed to integrate the lush Maasplassen and the lakeside vegetation as if they were always meant to be there.
And then there is the location. The waterside resort has the stunningly beautiful town of Thorn right in its backyard. The old, white-washed brick homes, small winding roads, and green squares lined with family-run cafés make Thorn feel like the most Dutch and non-Dutch place at the same time. Besides this, the close proximity of waterside swimming parks, wake-board circuits, and windsurf areas truly speaks to my inner child!
All in all, Pentecost at Parc Maasresidence Thorn feels like a drumroll, a build-up to the magnificent crescendo of summer. The large terrace of Humphrey's Thorn, the long, sunny boulevard, and the large, hedged-in private gardens buzz with anticipation. All the ingredients are there to explore and enjoy as a prelude or a perfect little test run. As a child, I would never despair at the end of Pentecost, for I knew…I felt what lay ahead.