The history of Preston Palace
Preston Palace is an all-inclusive Family Resort in the city of Almelo in Twente. Find out everything about the origin, the successes, the new management and strategy, the major innovations and the golden future of Preston Palace!
Preston Palace was established in the former Prinses Irene Hospital that opened its doors in 1960. In 1987 the hospital was sold to the then-owner: Mr Van der Most. He had an innovative idea: creating an all-inclusive hotel in this former hospital. After a number of years of demolition and subsequently construction work, in May 1990 the first part was opened: the entertainment centre. Preston Palace had arrived.
The entertainment centre
The entertainment centre offers a wide range of facilities. The many guests can currently enjoy the modern Black Rock coffee corner, a cosy bar street with various bars (ship bar, ski hut, English pub, piano bar, traditional pub and karaoke) and various restaurants such as the San Remo, Ribbleton, Peppermill and Bistro de Heerlijkheid. Preston Palace also has a cinema, bowling alleys, snooker, pool and billiard tables, miniature golf and a play area with entertainment room.
Two years later, in February 1992, we opened the hotel, which included a grand restaurant. The development of Preston Palace has been an ongoing project ever since. The large, multifunctional ‘Preston Hall’, opened in October 1995, and, taking turns with the coffee corner, it has live music on every weekday evening, with national artists or DJs entertaining the guests during the weekend. During the weekend, the live music moves to the coffee corner.
Riviera Subtropical swimming paradise
In October 1997 the first guests used our subtropical swimming paradise and they were not disappointed! The hotel guests, whose all-inclusive package deal gives them access to everything, are not the only ones who can enjoy the subtropical swimming paradise, as many guests (in particular) from the region come for a visit as well.
Boardwalk indoor fairground
In July 2008 we added the indoor fairground. And that, like other parts of Preston Palace, is in itself unique! An indoor amusement park that includes seven marvellous attractions and many fairground games in an attractive, wonderful, décor that reflects Twente. A welcome addition for many families, young people, elderly people with their grandchildren, school parties or children's parties. Just like the subtropical swimming paradise and entertainment centre, the indoor fairground is open to guests from the region.
A unique concept with a unique entertainment centre, AND unique subtropical swimming paradise, AND unique indoor fairground, and and and ... that is Preston Palace: unique in many ways and suiting all tastes and ages.
Apart from the leisure sector, Preston Palace also caters for the business market. Larger conferences are held in the Preston Hall, but Preston Palace also has 14 meeting rooms equipped with all possible requirements. Modern flatscreens for the smaller rooms and professional beamers in the larger ones. Naturally, each room is equipped with individual climate control and, if required, other office equipment (flip charts, white boards, projection screens, etc.).
New management, new strategy
In 2011 the hotel was taken over by a new management board. The three new owners have adapted the strategy, which has made a positive impact. Many facilities at Preston Palace have since been updated or added, based on the wishes of our guests. This ranges from new offerings in the field of free Wi-Fi and charging stations for electric cars to the now extremely diverse range of hotel rooms and a modern – and very appreciated – grand hotel-restaurant. At the end of 2019, there was another change at management level, which means Carlo Slag now holds the highest administrative position as Managing Director.
Apart from the leisure sector and the business market, we focus particularly on what people regard as their ‘special day’. A wedding is a unique event and it requires a unique location: Preston Palace. Preston Palace is an official wedding location in Almelo. San Remo, a secluded location with its own attractive outdoor terrace, is a favourite for many wedding couples who have chosen Preston Palace as the perfect location for their wedding day.
Children's indoor play area
The children's indoor play area for the smaller guests has been completely renovated and we added a new colourful entertainment area where you can often find the mascots Preston and Alice if they are not in their new Berenhut home. Preston Palace is also a great location for children to have their parties in all kinds of different ways. It could be a Cupcake party, or High Tea Jewellery party, or an Apple Cake party, or a Bowling party: success (and of course lots of fun) guaranteed! In 2012 the bowling lanes were completely renovated and designed on a theme.
Black Rock, the former Coffee Corner was fully revamped in 2013. This room is multifunctional and the stylish renovation has received many positive responses from (returning) guests. Speaking of returning guests: at the end of 2014 we had the first hotel guest who passed the milestone of 100 hotel visits!
Over recent years the subtropical swimming paradise has been extended with a wide range of wellness package deals. Guests can enjoy Rhassoul, Zithammam and relaxation massages at Preston Palace as a pure treat for body and mind. In addition to our hotel guests, more than 100,000 guests from the region visit our subtropical swimming paradise. The number of German guests also increases every year.
During the day Preston Hall is regularly used for exhibitions, private parties, meetings, seminars and conferences.
Almost all of the Economy hotel rooms have now been renovated into modern Classic and Royal hotel rooms. The number of guests keeps increasing, which is why another 30 hotel rooms were added in 2014. During the renovation, a number of hotel rooms were given a luxury make-over (2015, 2016 and 2017), and our guests can now choose from 6 luxury suites, including bridal suites and family suites with four beds for parents and children. Preston Palace now has 318 hotel rooms with a total of close to 1,000 beds. With more than 200,000 overnight stays each year and an occupancy rate of more than 85%, Preston Palace is enjoying more success than ever before. Preston Palace’s market share for overnight stays in hotels in the entire province of Overijssel is now 12% (2016). All this makes it the second largest hotel in the Netherlands, the largest being a hotel at Amsterdam Airport.
Guest numbers continue to rise as appreciation for Preston Palace continues to increase. The newly chosen strategy is bearing fruit in that respect as well, which is why Preston Palace has regularly been receiving awards over recent years. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, the guests selected the swimming paradise as one of the best swimming pools in the Netherlands, in 2017 the swimming paradise received the Award Beste Uitje (Best Day Out) award, and in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Preston Palace became Familiehotel van het Jaar (Family Hotel of the Year).
All this is reflected in the quality and quantity of our staff members. The 400 staff members from 2011 had increased to around 500 highly motivated, welcoming employees in 2020. This makes Preston Palace one of the major employers in Twente and the major employer in the tourist sector in the east of the Netherlands.
Even more innovations
At the beginning of 2017, the renovation of hotel-restaurant Ribbleton was completed. The end result is a refreshing and modern restaurant with almost 650 seats that is set in an ultimate living room ambiance. It is equipped with the latest technologies for buffets, show cooking, refreshing salad bars, a cool children's buffet, a sparkling bar, and has a modern interior design with hand-crafted wall decorations, cosy seating areas, benches and cosy corners.
One of the latest acquisitions is the impressive metamorphosis of the hotel lobby. The latest innovation resulted in a new show pond, hotel entrance and hotel lobby that perfectly match the unique character of Preston Palace. Mayor Gerritsen officially opened the revamped area on Monday 2 July 2018.
At the end of 2019, the fantastic revamp of the heart of the entertainment centre was completed. The former Central Terrace was transformed into Preston Palace Central, Terrace & Bar. Preston Palace Central exudes an atmosphere that can best be described as ‘dandy, worldly, accomplished and enjoying life's pleasures’. Themes that are perfectly in line with the demands of the esteemed guests and the updated image of Preston Palace.
The major renovation of the entertainment centre was completed in early 2021. The grill and wok buffet have made way for a new food plaza where everyone can enjoy dishes from around the world. Introducing: Peppermill Food & Bar! A major upgrade and expansion of the all-inclusive offer.
Monkey Rush waterslide
In June 2022, the new waterslide Monkey Rush opened in Riviera. In January 2022, the construction of the new water slide in the subtropical swimming paradise started. The slide starts at a height of four meters and descends through three bends. It is equipped with a range of multimedia, including theme choices, timekeeping and touch points. With the realization of this interactive water attraction, Preston Palace has fulfilled yet another guest wish. Monkey Rush is a valuable addition to the unique offering of the All-in Family Resort and it offers plenty of challenge for the whole family.
Plans for the coming years are predominantly based on the path we have chosen. What other innovations Preston Palace has in mind for you in the coming years will remain a surprise.
But ... what will always be at the heart of Preston Palace is the fact that you can make the most of your all-inclusive stay without a care in the world!