5 hotels with history
1) Amrath Hotel
Het Scheepvaarthuis (the Shipping House) is one of the finest examples of the Amsterdam School architecture. It was built in 1916 as a modern office building for six shipping companies, teeming with references to Holland’s rich shipping history. Lavishly decorated, the Shipping House is a feast for the eyes. The building was restored and reopened as a five star hotel in 2007.
2) De Windketel
The Windketel is the smallest building on the site of the former municipal gas and waterworks. The small octagonal brick tower, which was built in the late 19th century, is located in a quiet car-free square, somewhat overshadowed by the apartment buildings of an eco-friendly neighbourhood and a large white water tower. Amazingly, this tiny tower is now a three-storey luxury apartment for two, furnished with Dutch design. It is run by a cooperative of neighbours.
3) Hilton Amsterdam
John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their famous bed-in for peace here in 1969. On a less positive note, this is also the building singer Herman Brood jumped from to end his life in 2001. When the Hilton Amsterdam opened its doors in 1962, it was the first international chain hotel in the Netherlands. Its v-shape was designed by Dutch architect Hugh Maaskant.
4) Op het Altaar
Sleeping on an altar? It’s possible in this church which is tucked away behind Rembrandtplein. In the wake of the Reformation (16th century) clandestine churches popped up in Amsterdam where repressed Catholics could still practice their faith. This 18th-century church looks just like a normal home from the outside. Inside, though, you will discover a luxury apartment, with a bed on the altar.
5) Doelen Hotel
This large neo-Renaissance hotel building dates from the late 1900s. Amsterdam’s first tour boat departed from here in 1909. It was also where the Beatles stayed when they visited Amsterdam in 1964. Long before that, it was called Kloveniersdoelen or the civic guard’s hall. Rembrandt’s famous painting The Night Watch used to hang here. NH Doelen is now a 4-star hotel.
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