Small family-run company De Riethorst
Bungalow Rental De Riethorst grew out of the passion of Rinie and Thea Theunissen. In 1993 they decided to build their own holiday bungalows. Over the years they have built and developed the park into a cosy and atmospheric holiday destination for young and old.
Today, the company is run by the children Erna, Mieke and Koen, who continue their parents’ passion and have made it a true family business.
Read below about the extensive history of the site, which goes back much further than just the building of the cottages.
End of the 19th century
The Simons family originally occupied a 19th century farmhouse, which was converted into the modern family home we know today. During later conversions, a brick foundation and an earthen floor were discovered, suggesting that the farmhouse may be older than the 19th century. Unfortunately, the exact year of construction is not known, as the records were lost during the war.
The high water level of the Meuse and its tributaries caused flooding in the river basin of the central Netherlands in January 1926, which inundated the Simons family farmhouse by half a metre. The roof of the farmhouse was then partially covered with reeds and tiles, starting at a height of 1.50 metres. To prevent further water damage, they decided to rebuild the farm and raise the roof to 2.60 metres.
During the Second World War, the Simons family fled Plasmolen because of the heavy bombing. After their return, it turned out that the farm was badly damaged, but it was one of seven houses in Middelaar/Plasmolen that had not been completely shot up. Together with children and local residents, the family made the farmhouse habitable again. They closed bullet holes, replaced windows and covered the roof with tiles. In the remaining debris of the village, they searched for usable materials to repair the farmhouse. Thus, they used no less than 7 different types of roof tiles to repair the roof.
Frans Simons and his wife Marietje took over his parents’ farm in 1953. At that time the farm was a mixed farm with a few cows, pigs, about 200 chickens and some arable land.
In 1963, the inhabitants of the farmhouse decided to remodel it. They enlarged the small “goei kamer”, the living room in a farmhouse, into a larger living room and built a more spacious kitchen. They also added a shower room and created two bedrooms in the hayloft.
The Simons family started growing asparagus and strawberries in 1967 on the land where De Riethorst bungalows are located today. This gave many young people from Plasmolen and the surrounding area the opportunity to work on the land during their holidays. The Simons family’s reputation grew as a result of tourism in Plasmolen, including guests from Camping Eldorado and De Geuldert. People came from all over to buy the family’s asparagus and strawberries, which were sold from house to house.
In 1989, Thea Simons and her husband Rinie Theunissen took over the farm and carried out another thorough renovation. They tore down the old stable part and built a completely new one. They also renovated the front house: It received a new façade and the roof was covered with new tiles. The extension at the back of the house served as the reception for Bungalowpark De Riethorst until 2016. In the early years, Rinie and Thea continued farming, but then decided to focus entirely on recreation at home. As a first step, they bought two chalets for rent.
Rinie started building the first two bungalows in 1994. He built them in his spare time alongside his job as a part-time bus driver and had worked out the plan for the bungalows in consultation with the landscape gardener. This led to the fact that the front gardens of the bungalows are now named after trees.
Rinie has converted the former farmhouse into a family home called “Ons Ald Huus”, which has been available for rent since the renovation was completed in 2017.
In 2023, the next generation will take over the business. Erna, Mieke and Koen will continue to run the business.