Lute Suites, Ouderkerk a/d Amstel $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Just outside the city, seven 1780 houses on the River Amstel were transformed (in February 2005) by designer Marcel Wanders into self-contained private apartments with living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette, plus all electronic conveniences. Unsurprisingly, it's the design that makes these special: Everything was specially commissioned or painstakingly sourced, with details such as a sleep lofts, Baroque wallpaper, Bisazza mosaic tiles, all-zinc or -teak bathrooms, metal staircases, antiques, a smoked-glass wall, and chandeliers. Beds and baths have been positioned to maximize great views of the Amstel and the adjacent 1720s gunpowder factory, now the restaurant. The latter is a destination in its own right for the modish Euro menus (braised Dutch lamb with carrot and bay leaf gravy; wild sea bass with baked endive and smoked butter mousseline). The plan is to install Lute Suites all over town, so watch this space.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Located on the outskirts of Amsterdam, in the village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstelknown as a foodie mecca for its clutch of haute restaurantsthis former munitions-factory housing has been converted by Dutch design star Marcel Wanders into seven duplex suites, each unique. Some rooms' floors are painted chartreuse, others are made of psychedelic patterned steel; small ceramic tea dishes are used for coat hooks; chairs look like they were spun by an enormous black spider; and lamps are three or four times the normal size. Equipped with small kitchenettes, the suites were originally created for long-term stays, but the property accepts overnight guests as well. A canal boat ferries guests into Amsterdam proper.2005 Hot List
When to go: Late May through September, for the best weather.
Which room to book: For the visually adventurous, Nos. 5 and 7 are especially wildSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›