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.
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.
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.
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...
LOTS MORE INFO: Lloyd Hotel
Images: Janel Laban