Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
In the trendy Eastern Docklands district, the Lloyd's history begins in 1921, when the building was constructed as a dorm hotel for migrants. The Germans commandeered it as a prison during WWII, then in the '60s, it became a juvey hall. Fortunately, before it opened as a hotel in early 2004, the owners let about a score of Holland's top design talents loose on the 116 rooms, which are categorized with one to five stars. Teeny, plain one-star rooms might have wainscoting and raised cot beds; robes are provided for forays to the shared bathrooms. Three-star "remarkable" rooms mix 1920s furniture and pieces from big-time Dutch designers like Hella Jongerius. Four-star "exceptional" and five-star "amazing" rooms have masses of space, fabulous views, and perhaps a polystyrene bathroom, a concert piano, or a 12-foot bed. A caveat: Some rooms are so inscrutable that visitors seeking old-style luxury may prefer to gawk here but sleep elsewhere. Public areasa restaurant, art bookfilled library, and a soundproof room for your next jam sessionare a hangout for hip locals and a clearinghouse for arts institutions, hosting readings, cooking classes, screenings, and the like.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:The Lloyd offers rooms for all budgets, from two- to five-star. Two-star rooms are as tiny as ship cabins and share dormitory-style bathrooms down the hall; the enormous five-star rooms are soundproof, airy suites with bathrooms designed by renowned local artists and architects. The 1920s landmark building, located just outside the city center in the developing Eastern Docklands area, has variously been an immigrant hotel, a prison, and artists' studios. In its current incarnation as a 120-room hotel, it still feels bohemian: Many of the rooms are decorated with quirky contemporary Dutch furniture, and artsy locals wander in for meals at the main restaurant, Snel, which serves small plates of Dutch-inspired fare. The more exclusive Sloom has no menu; guests request what they will, and the chef improvises with haute ingredients.2005 Hot List
When to go: Late May through September, for the best weather.
Which room to book: A two-star on the fourth floor with views of the river, or one of two five-star attic rooms, with wood-beamed ceilings, white-fur throws, and freestanding tubs
Amenities: Bar/lounge, 24-hour Room Service, Wheelchair-accessibleSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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