Even if you’re new to Amsterdam, you shouldn’t have any problems in locating Art’otel Amsterdam. It lies just across Stationsplein from Amsterdam Centraal Station, the city’s main railway station, making it one of the most central hotels in the Dutch capital.
The hotel, which opened officially in October 2013, occupies the former head office of the Koninklijke Hollandsche Lloyd shipping line, which has a grand early 20th century facade built in the architectural style known by the Dutch as ‘um 1800’.
Check-in on iPads
Be prepared, the interiors are very different; chic and very 21st century. The check-in process is also refreshingly contemporary, undertaken in the comfort of the smart, black leather scoop chairs of the otherwise minimalist reception area. Hotel employees collect the details they require on iPads while you sit with a coffee under what appear to be outsized desk lamps by shelves laden with art, design and photography books published by Taschen.
Each of the seven art’otels features the work of a signature artist. In Amsterdam you’ll see works by Atelier Van Lieshout, founded in 1995 by Joep van Lieshout. Skull Chair and Course of Life, white sculptures, are displayed on the ground floor. By the staircase there’s also a 12 metre long plastic curtain, designed by the people who created wetransfer.com, onto which projections are made.
The 5&33 art gallery
If you enjoy contemporary art head downstairs into the 5&33 art gallery, a 300 square metre space in which events and temporary exhibitions are held. Check the hotel’s listings page to learn about what’s past and what’s planned.
5&33, designed by Eyal Shoan, is the also name of the hotel’s cocktail bar and all day dining area. This is where you’ll be served breakfast. On evenings it has an upbeat mood when the resident DJ gets to work. If you simply want to flick through the collection of Taschen publications then wander past the fireplace and take a seat in the lounge. Fertility Lamp, a table light sculpted by Atelier Van Lieshout, featuring a prodigiously sized erect penis, provides potential fuel for discussion should none of the books take your fancy.
Wellness centre with a pool
For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of this hotel was spending time in the attractively designed active club; a wellness centre with walls of layered red-grey stone. It hosts a sizeable gym with cardiovascular training machines and free weights in addition to a beauty salon, solarium, sauna plus pool.
On first viewing I was a tad disappointed by the pool, due to its compact size. To me a pool should be designed for swimming lengths in, not merely relaxation (for which bars are well suited). However, all was forgiven when I learned that the pool has four water jets, enabling anyone wanting to undertake a proper training session to swim against them.
Close to Amsterdam Centraal Station
The hotel’s 107 rooms provide stylish, minimalist yet comfortable accommodation. They are divided into the categories of ‘art rooms’ and ‘masterpiece suites’. They’re characterised by black wooden floors and neutral colour schemes enlivened by boldly coloured chairs. Ask for a room with an ‘iconic view’ if you like the idea of looking towards the n.
This is a good base for exploring the city during a short break or retiring to after a day in an Amsterdam office.
Find out more about the hotel and room availability on the Art’otel Amsterdam website.
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