Jan Hamdorff opened the luxury hotel Hamdorff in Laren at number 16 in Laren in 1901. Hamdorff did everything he could to attract artists by organizing exhibitions for artists. Artists from the Gooi regularly met in this old bar, 'Het Kroegje'.
Painters paid with paintings, giving Hamdorff a large collection and a great reputation. In 1913, Hamdorff opened a special art room. Both the Association for Visual Arts Laren-Blaricum and later the split-off De Gooische Schilders Vereeniging had meetings and exhibitions here. Local parties and carnivals are also often organized there, where artists come up with the themes for ball mascés and made the posters, including Willy Sluiter.
Artists, tourists and 'summer residents' meet on the terrace, at parties, carnivals and balls. Piet Mondriaan also likes to dance there. However, Mondriaan ignores the annual exhibitions because he finds them too conservative and boring. The summer exhibitions conclude with sensational theme parties that went wild. Poet Adriaan Roland Holst said predictably before the 1918 festival: 'What a deafeningly immoral gang this will be.' In 1928, Jan Hamdorff withdrew from the business. After World War II, Hamdorff also became a household name in the world of international entertainment with performances by Charles Aznavour, Archie Lewis, The Ray Ellington Quartet and Rita Reys.
In 1978 the hotel was closed and the furnishings sold. In 1980, Hotel Hamdorff was completely destroyed by a major fire and rebuilt in 1988. The decorative style of the earlier Hamdorff was retained. You can still enjoy delicious food there and people watch on the terrace.
The Hamdorff Hotel has been of great importance for the development and fame of Laren. Jozef Israëls was the first painter who discovered Laren at the end of the 19th century and told this to colleagues including Anton Mauve and Cornelis van Vreedenburgh. The Singer family also lived there temporarily when their Villa, where the Singer Museum is now located, was built.