A dragon that breathes water, not fire
Welcome to Willemijn’s World
Do bland hotel rooms suck away your soul? In the Dutch city of Harlem, Willemijn de Lint offers a spectacular alternative.
Making her giant octopus
Her B&B is a tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top mosaic fantasy. Its walls and ceiling contain a three-dimensional gallery of voluptuous relief sculptures covered with mosaic tiles. She’s catering for guests who want their temporary residence to be an experience in itself.
Here, the jacuzzi is part of a cave whose irregular walls and ceiling are covered in hundreds of little mirror tiles. You are drawn into a warm shower by the giant arms of an immense octopus that extend along the walls and ceiling outside. Or be refreshed with the cold water that emerges from the mouth of an intricately studded dragon.
The dragon is a mirror-image of its maker’s spirit. Willemijn takes the scary out of scary things by embracing their beauty with humor. A graphic artist who worked for famous Dutch brands, she likes to be hands-on, whacky and inventive, challenging tradition, boundaries and reserve. This attitude can bump into bureaucratic roadblocks. She overlooked some city regulation or the other and had to close her first B&B last year and start to build a new one.
MOSAIC AS EROTICA
The original B&B was called Sin Suite and oriented towards clients who needed a discreet address. Jelly-like phalluses dripped from the ceiling in the toilet. Spermatozoa raced across the kitchen counter. Eventually, the media learned of its existence and there were articles in newspapers and TV interviews.
‘Why is sex a taboo while it is so healthy?’ asked Willemijn in one interview. ‘It’s a much nicer way of losing weight than going to the gym. They do as if sex is a sin. But what is really a sin? With the Sin Suite, I tried to evoke both heaven and hell. These two flow through each other.’
An erotic cartoon angel
With this exposure, the place began to be booked solid.
‘People came just to see it,’ Willemijn laughs. ‘During the pandemic, married couples booked it just to escape their kids for a while.’
It also figured in an Walking Art Tour through the streets of Harlem.
‘All the older ladies in flowered dresses were laughing when they caught sight of the phalluses,’ recalls Willemijn.
With the new B&B, she plans to make it bigger and better and tone down the erotica.
‘I want it to be put on the official monument list,’ she says.
Sin Suite’s kitchen counter
See more of Willemijn’s work at
For mosaic supplies please visit:
The Craft Kit/Mosaic Trader