Features

Amsterdam hotels: Hitting a high note

1 Jul 2016 by BusinessTraveller

From sleek new-builds to the restoration of some of the city’s most historic buildings, Amsterdam’s revived hotel scene is buzzing, says Paul J DeVries

After years of little hotel development, the Dutch capital is seeing a much-needed increase in activity, bringing greater choice to travellers both within and around its historic core. In 2015 and 2016 alone, more than 3,000 rooms will have been added to the city. At the same time, a number of properties are completing substantial renovations.

NEW…

The Hoxton 

In July last year, Hoxton Hotels opened its first property outside London on the Herengracht canal, converting the former Rembrandt hotel. A few minutes’ walk from Dam Square, the Hoxton Amsterdam has 111 rooms, which range from “Cosy” (20 sqm) to “Roomy” (28 sqm). “Tubby” is the first Hoxton hotel room with a bathtub, and “Fruity” and “Floral” come with original ornamental ceilings. Lotti’s restaurant serves Italian-inspired food, while “the Apartment” event space is built around an internal courtyard. thehoxton.com

W Amsterdam

Last September, Starwood opened a W property even closer to Dam Square, in the 1903 Telephone Exchange building behind the Royal Palace, and in a former bank just across the street. An all-glass floor was added to the Exchange building, which is where you’ll find the reception, W lounge, Mr Porter steakhouse and two outdoor terraces, one of which features a raised swimming pool. The Duchess restaurant, serving Mediterranean cuisine, occupies what was once the bank’s main hall. A total of 238 rooms include the brand’s signature Wow and Extreme Wow suites. A gym and spa are opening this summer. whotels.com

Jaz Amsterdam

Steigenberger Hotel Group opened the first property under its Jaz in the City brand – which “draws on local music and cultural scenes” – in November. The hotel has access to the Ziggo Dome arena, 8km from the city centre. Checking in and out of one of the 258 rooms can be done via smartphone, which can also serve as a room key. Rhythms bar and kitchen has live acts and serves local craft beers. jaz-hotel.com

Hilton Schiphol Airport

Hilton Hotels and Resorts opened its new Schiphol airport property in December, next door to its 1972 predecessor, which will now be demolished. Built around a 42-metre-high central atrium, the 433-room hotel is directly accessible from the airport terminal. The Axis lounge and cocktail bar sits at the heart of the atrium and specialises in gin and Dutch jenever, while the Bowery restaurant serves international and Asian cuisine. There is also a spa, a gym, a business centre and ballroom. hilton.com

Element

Five months after opening the W, Starwood added an Element hotel – the extended-stay version of its Westin brand – in the Buitenveldert district, close to the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre. Housed in a former office building attached to a shopping mall, it has 160 studios and one-bedroom suites, each designed with an eco-friendly theme and offering free wifi. My Place serves a free breakfast, while guests can buy ingredients to cook in their own kitchens from a round-the-clock pantry. starwoodhotels.com/element

Generator

Taking over a 1917 university science building, “luxury hostel” brand Generator arrived in March near the Oosterpark. A maximum of 564 guests can stay the night across twin and quad rooms, all with en suite bathrooms. A luxury apartment sleeps six and has its own kitchen. The lecture hall has been turned into a lounge, while the old boiler room is a speakeasy. generatorhostels.com

Zoku

The first hotel for this new Dutch lifestyle brand, the 133-room Zoku Amsterdam opened in May. While it offers a number of standard hotel rooms, Zoku wants to draw guests with its “home-office hybrid” lofts, which come in three sizes and have a kitchen, a work table and a sleeping space. Public areas include a living room, a music room/games corner, a bar and coffee shop, “Living Kitchen” restaurant and communal workspaces complete with punch bags for stress relief. livezoku.com

Zoku Amsterdam

REVAMPED…

Pulitzer 

Having left Starwood’s Luxury Collection for Preferred Hotels and Resorts’ LVX Collection last year, the Pulitzer Amsterdam began a two-phase transformation of its rooms and public spaces, spread across 25 connecting canal houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. The first 80 rooms, with restored original accessories and a new colour palette of white, purple, light blue and mustard, were unveiled in February. The second phase is to be completed this autumn, and will result in 225 refreshed rooms and a number of new suites, along with the restoration of the original façade on the Prinsengracht canal. pulitzeramsterdam.com

NH Collection

NH Hotel Group relaunched not one but three hotels in April under its new NH Collection brand: the NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, NH Collection Doelen, and Barbizon Palace. Facing Dam Square, the Krasnapolsky has 451 rooms and suites. Dating back to the 15th century, with 85 rooms, the Doelen is the city’s oldest hotel and has hosted everyone from Empress Sissi to the Beatles. The 247-room Barbizon Palace features a converted chapel and Michelin-starred restaurant Vermeer. nhhotelgroup.com

Pulitzer Amsterdam

COMING SOON…

Sir Adam

Following the opening of the Sir Albert Amsterdam in an old diamond factory in 2012, Design Hotels member Sir Hotels will add Sir Adam in November. The 108-room boutique property will be housed in the 22-storey A’dam tower, a redevelopment of the former Royal Dutch Shell offices. A short ferry ride from Centraal station, A’dam Tower also houses offices, restaurants and an observation deck. sirhotels.com

Hyatt Regency

Down the street from the classic Amstel hotel, Hyatt is set to open the Hyatt Regency Amsterdam on the site of a former children’s hospital in spring next year. While it incorporates parts of the hospital façade, the 211-room hotel is otherwise a new-build and will have a Hyatt Regency Club, meeting space and spa. hyatt.com

Kimpton

Having acquired Kimpton Hotels at the start of last year, Intercontinental Hotels Group is taking the US brand overseas next year with the opening of Kimpton Amsterdam. A renovation of the existing Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre, the hotel will have 270 rooms and suites in addition to a new lobby and restaurant. kimptonhotels.com

Soho House

Soho House Group will continue its impressive expansion by opening a hotel and private members’ club in the 1930s Bungehuis, a former university building, next to the W Amsterdam.
Due to open in 2017, the property will have 79 rooms along with numerous facilities, ranging from a roof terrace and screening room to a spa and Cecconi’s restaurant. sohohouse.com

Pestana

Across the Amstel river from the Hyatt Regency, Portuguese group Pestana Hotels is working on a property in the 1890 former town hall and seat of Nieuwer-Amstel county. Combining the historic building with two modern wings, it will have 157 rooms and suites, plus a restaurant and bar, a spa with an indoor pool and a winter garden. The hotel is scheduled to be unveiled next year. pestana.com

Maritim

In the same area as the Sir Adam, the Maritim Amsterdam will take the title of the city’s tallest hotel, at 34 floors, when it opens in 2018. In addition to 579 rooms, it will have extensive conference facilities, a full-floor spa with a pool, a gym and an outdoor terrace, as well as three restaurants and two bars – one of which will be the top-floor Sky Bar. maritim.com

Nhow Amsterdam RAI

An ambitious project by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA architects, the NH Hotel Group’s Nhow Amsterdam will be the largest hotel in Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) when it is completed in the second half of 2018. With 650 rooms over 25 floors, it will be located next to the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, and include a multimedia studio on its top floor. nhhotelgroup.com

Rosewood 

Rosewood Hotels and Resorts is to open a property in the former Palace of Justice, dating from 1664, on the Prinsengracht canal; opening date to be confirmed. rosewoodhotels.com

Nhow Amsterdam RAI`
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