Situated in a former migrant hostel in the up-and-coming Docklands district, the revamped Lloyd Hotel took out various accolades on its opening thanks to the combined design efforts of Claudy Jongstra, Marcel Wanders and Hella Jongerius and a revolutionary idea: 1-5 stars under the one roof.
The hotel is in big rambling building, a sort of rabbit warren of corridors and unexpected entry ways so the communal spaces – a large and welcoming mixed-use bar, restaurant and lounge area plays an important role in providing a focus for social life in the building. (Imagine the Lloyd Hotel as a labyrinth – the lounge is your ‘home’ page.) Note that the rooms vary wildly in terms of size, shape and feel; some are quite sweet some are rather utilitarian. The room with a bed that sleeps eight is allegedly one of the hotel’s most popular.
Situated on the docks surrounded by new developments and artistic businesses, the hotel refers to itself a ‘cultural ambassador’ which gives you a sense of what kind of an outpost it is. Super handy if you will be working in the area and it plays host to the city’s new restaurants etc. However, it may feel a little lonely on a dark winters evening – note that a cab from the city centre costs around €20.
What We Love
We do love the concept of 1-5 stars under the one roof. The idea is becoming more familiar (the Ace hotel in NYC and the Michelberger Hotel in Berlin being notable examples) but at the time it was launched it was – and remains – innovative. The social mash-up seems egalitarian and friendly, much like the Dutch themselves. Other pluses: ease of Wi-Fi access ( a simple thing but so many hotels get this wrong) and the staff friendliness. Various events and art installations also give a sense of liveliness to this rather echoing building. While the rooms vary in size etc we appreciated that our room had loads of cupboard space – plenty of space to store clothes, coats and suitcases. We like the looks of the concept room dedicated to Dutch singer Ellen ten Damme.
Room to Improve
The restaurant and reception appeared under staffed and some of those on the desk seemed inexperienced. While we appreciate the difficulties of keeping a hotel with high turnover in tip-top condition, scuff marks etc are not so difficult to clean up and make a real difference to one’s overall impression. Also while we loved the free communal tea and coffee spots, somebody needs to patrol these areas throughout the day to ensure they remain spic and span (as was the one pictured here).
If you are likely to be in a rush to check out in the morning, settle your bill the evening before as morning staff are few in number. Building works are currently taking place on one side of the building avoid rooms with scaffolding blocking the view.
Lloyd Hotel & Culturele Ambassade Oostelijke Handelskade 34 1019 BN Amsterdam
Ik moet nog zoveel leren (I’ve still much to learn) is your tear-jerker anthem to love-gone-wrong if you score the concept room devoted to Dutch songstress and actress Ellen ten Damme.