lloydmain101111.jpg During my recent visit to Amsterdam, I was the guest of the Lloyd Hotel and enjoyed a very comfortable bed and a delicious breakfast each morning in the central great room of the building. But, for me, the real treat was the tour given by one of the brains behind the hotel's beauty, Artistic Director Suzanne Oxenaar, as I snapped these pics of the quirky, homey, uber-welcoming interiors.

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The Great Room at the Lloyd, open all day for food, drinks, socializing and shopping.

The Lloyd Hotel has a long, unusual history: It began as a luxury hotel, then functioned as a sort of entry port for immigrants to stay upon arriving in Holland, changing to a holding center where members of the Resistance were imprisoned during the war, to a regular prison and then into the first reformatory/detention center for boys in the Netherlands, ending up in the 90s as low cost artist space. These walls have been witness to plenty of stories, sadness and emotion — it was time to reinvent the building's purpose to give this grand structure a fresh lease on life.

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The Library at the Lloyd, filled with art books for all to enjoy.

The concept behind the Lloyd being converted back into a hotel is a simple one. The team behind the project wanted to have a space for creative people — artists, writers, designers and musicians from around the world — to come together and live and interact in the same structure, leaving behind ideas and making connections. The execution of this grand project was not so simple, though; transforming spaces that had previously been converted into prison cells back to hotel rooms where modern day travelers want to spend time on holiday is what you might call a major league interior design challenge, but they pulled it off beautifully.

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The black floor to ceiling shelves at the back of the shot are the "winkel" (shop) where items from Dutch designers are available.

They also wanted the hotel to be all-inclusive, so they created rooms that range from one star style accommodation (small, bath in the hallway) to five star (very large space, private luxe bath) all in the one hotel. This is an idea that is unique but it works - if you are able to afford a higher rate then you will have more private space, but the basic, enjoyable experience of being a guest at the Lloyd and having this be your "home away from home" in Amsterdam is available to many more people under this format, regardless of how much they choose to spend on their room.

But, intriguing as it is, enough about the background — the Lloyd is beautifully designed and that is what Apartment Therapy is all about. Let's take a peek at some photos...

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Even the smallest guestroom at the Lloyd boasts beautiful vintage details such as this original tilework, along with stylish lighting and fresh, clean sheets.
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A cabinet made from the prison cell doors lends a note of history to one of the hallways.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
The homey library, filled with art and design books.
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The Lloyd is full of surprises, such as this lime green bathroom hidden behind closed doors in the middle of an otherwise very woodsy, neutral guestroom.
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The welcoming entryway.
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A gallery space features contemporary furniture pieces and a photo mural of boys like those who once resided at the Lloyd, harkening back to the building's days as a reformatory.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
How many hotels create a room to encourage bands on tour to come stay? The Lloyd did - with this soundproof chamber featuring a VERY large bed.
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The magical ship chandelier in the lobby.
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Outside the Lloyd, just a few stops from Centraal Station.

LOTS MORE INFO: Lloyd Hotel

Images: Janel Laban