Hotel - Café 't Anker was created in the early 60’s. It started as a simple cafe place but was later on developed into an hotel-cafe with a capacity of 23 rooms and 55 beds (as of June 1999).

At the beginning of the sixties, the Van Der Leij’s (Jappie and Carla) had the idea to start a new cafe, so they bought a space for it. They named the cafe ‘’Vic Boitelle’’ and it  was at first located on the Heerestraat in Leeuwarden. Nevertheless in that same period the province of Friesland was also making big plans to expand itself and needed more space. So quickly after they started it, the cafe space ended up being bought out by the province for that purpose.

The Van der Leij’s then went on to create a new pub called “Regina”on Eewal 69. This pub gained popularity quick and the space became too small. Therefore in September 1966 they bought another local in the same building at number 73. This new address then became a pub while the previous one was converted into a dancing bar. In 1967 the former guesthouse (no. 71) "the center" of amateur filmmaker Eeltje Janssen was also taken over by the family, which then lead to the opening of Hotel - Café 't Anker (11 standard rooms with a capacity of more or less 15 people.)

At the beginning of the 70s, business was not going as good with the dancing so they decided to merge that space with the hotel, which allowed them to expand and add 6 extra rooms. In 1988, the son Chris joined the company as a waiter. Administratively  Van Der Leij was first established as a v.o.f (partnership under firm ) in 1990 and later on in 2002 Hotel - Café 't Anker became a BV (private equity company).

Jaap (now 87 ), Carla (now 80) and their son Chris van der Leij, are currently still the hosts and hostess" at the hotel- Cafe.

Following the companies establishment in 1990, it was decided to start renovating the first 11 rooms and the cafe to transform it into a more modern old-Dutch café.

Meanwhile as the demand for hotel rooms in the area increased, a new adjacent business space (no. 75) became available for purchase. The hotel therefore ceased the opportunity in 1993, bought the space and expanded in it with 6 more rooms which were this time equipped with their own showers, toilets and tv’s.

This was again a successful development and in 2002 the hotel decided to engage in further renovations, and today it has 12 standard rooms with facilities (shower / toilet), 11 low-budget rooms with shared showers and toilets on the first floor and a group room for 8/12 persons with private showers / toilets. The hotel is now able to accommodate up to 60 people. All rooms can be booked in different types and sizes. With the advantage of being built in-house, Hotel - Café 't Anker is still able to maintain an excellent price/quality ratio and offer the  lowest prices in Leeuwarden. 

Following the arrival of internet, the hotel decided to create a website and luckily enough they were able to claim the domain name www.hotelhetanker.nl as it was still available at the time. The website is being updated once in while and since 2012 customers have been able to make reservations online and the hotel has one of the fastest WiFi connection available in hotels.


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