‘’Zwier is very personal, you’re not a number’’

Zwier is a free port of the city that is located in Vinkeveen, the Netherlands, and a perfect place to visit for anyone who wants to slow down and recharge. Rachelle Krancher works at Zwier and talks about their concept.

Interview by By Iris van Mourik
Photos by Zwier

What makes Zwier the perfect place to slow down?

“Zwier started 6 years ago. It is a free port of the city. We rent out luxury tents with heated box springs, a fridge and a sitting area. You have to think of it as a hotel room in a tent. You don’t have to bring anything with you. Here you can relax and do whatever feels good. Hang out and read books or explore the surrounding nature by boat, bike, canoe or sup board. Zwier is a place to recharge your batteries, to relax and to find peace in the middle of the hectic everyday life.”

“We have a BuitenThuis (Outside At Home) package: you stay for a weekend and we provide vegetarian meals in the morning, afternoon and evening. The products we use come from the region and we try to use our vegetable garden as much as possible. The package includes a boat trip with our sloop and unlimited use of canoes or sup boards. This way, you can escape the city and the busy life and enjoy nature. If you want to reset completely and don’t want to be agitated by anything around you, you can book the Island Cabin. This is a cabin on an island where you will be brought by boat. Here you can stay for 24 or 48 hours. On the island, screens are not allowed, you can enjoy total peace and quietness. We only give you an old Nokia for emergencies. The island has a cabin with a small kitchen, hammock and a fireplace with nice chairs. You can take a shower in the puddle and we will create a basket full of food you can take with you
to the island.”

“At the end of this summer, the harbour houses will be opened too. These tiny houses are built eco- logically. You can overlook the harbour through the large windows from your bed. In this way, we also offer a nice and comfortable space for the winter. Besides private stays, you can also come here for yoga retreats or a brainstorming weekend for companies.”

Why is rewinding and slowing down so important in your opinion?

“We are convinced that when you feel relaxed, there is more room for who you are and what you would like to do. We also think that the world becomes a bit more beautiful. When people are in a healthy stay of mind, it is all about connecting. You will feel more comfortable and you can tolerate each other more, learn more from each other or have a good conversation with someone.”

“I think a lot of people nowadays are aware that we are living a busy life and that we can’t just go on accelerating like this. That’s why we have a sustainable business. This can be seen in a pellet stove that we have and our solar panels. But also in our shared living room which is made of old scaffolding wood that was used on the islands in the Vinkeveen Lakes.”

What kind of guests come to stay there?

“We focus on people between 25 and 45 years old. This is the generation that has a bit more to spend and often has the consciousness to be able to escape the busy life for a while and see that this is necessary or what this can bring them. Many people who live consciously, love meditation or yoga and like to be in nature, but also like comfort. Especially during the corona crisis. If you, as an Amsterdam family, live in a small apartment, a weekend in Zwier is a real recharger and it is only 15 minutes away.”

Now that more and more people want or need to rewind, what do you do to keep it safe?

“Of course we have adjusted some things for these times. Normally we have 13 tents available. We now have 8 tents open to provide enough space. Each tent also has its sanitary facilities and we clean extra often. But of course we still try to make everyone feel at home. Just to do or not to do; you can do what you feel like doing.”