Marcel’s Creative Exchange

Amsterdam Hood: Centre Genre: Design Price: $$

Strictly speaking Marcel’s Creative Exchange is neither a hotel or a B&B, rather it’s an impeccably decorated, artistic pad in the heart of Amsterdam aimed at those who love art and don’t mind a little eccentricity. How this 17th century town house came into Marcel’s possession is rather a convoluted story involving the following elements: an illegal gambling den, WWII, a lost son, a brokenhearted Jewish businessman who took Marcel under his wing, a coalition of culturally-minded entrepreneurs, various struggles against ruthless commercialism,  and if not a triumph of will then at least a kind of reprieve that keeps Marcel in situ and in a position to share the fruits of his labour with canny visitors to Amsterdam. Note that the hotel is sometimes closed in the winter months.

The Hotel

Marcel’s Creative Exchange is actually three rooms in an old house which is inhabited by Marcel who, as an artist, also works from home.  Anywhere else, this could seem awkward, but somehow Marcel has found a way of going about his day while ensuring that everyone feels right at home.  (Aside: Marcel is the first octogenarian we’ve met who gets around in Hollister and has a taste for Massive Attack – something for the rest of us to aspire to.)

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Marcel's Creative Exchange Amsterdam - Hotels We Love
Has own balcony! The Barcelona Apartment at Marcel's Creative Exchange, Amsterdam. (Photo © HWL)
MARCEL - Hotels We Love
White on while - The Barcelona Flat @ Marcel's Creative Exchange (Photo © HWL)

The Neighbourhood

The house is located right in the heart of central Amsterdam – pretty much everything is an easy walk from here and the canals are a dreamy stroll. Just tumble downstairs and wander off to breakfast.

Marcel's Creative Exchange Amsterdam - Hotels We Love
The Patio Garden Suite opens onto the kitchen - it also has a little side room with a single bed for a child or additional friend. (Photo © HWL)
Marcel's Creative Exchange, Amsterdam - Hotels We Love
Cosy desk and fireplace in the Barcelona Apartment, Marcel's Creative Exchange, Amsterdam. On sunny days this room gets the morning sun. (Photo © HWL)

What We Love

Throughout the house you’ll find great examples of Marcel’s graphic design from his long spanning career – ranging from typographic-led titles work for local Dutch television stations to posters he designed for the LA Olympics back in 1984. This is really what sets Marcel’s apart – the combination of personal touches and excellent taste.

Marcel's Creative Exchange Amsterdam - Hotels We Love
The Patio Garden Suite at Marcel's Creative Exchange in Amsterdam.
Los Angeles - Hotels We Love
Los Angeles 1984 - graphic design by Marcel. (Image © Marcel's Creative Exchange.)
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Room to Improve

Each room is beautifully appointed, but we couldn’t help that notice that some surfaces needed a little extra work with a duster. No problems however with the bathrooms or bedding which were immaculate.

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Marcel's Creative Exchange Amsterdam - Hotels We Love
Marcel's Creative Exchange Amsterdam: Marcel himself has an excellent pedigree in graphic design - as suggested by the hotel logo. (Photo © HWL)


Access to the hotel is by an extremely steep, traditional staircase – this is probably the secret the Marcel’s trim line – so you’ll need to be a light packer and sufficiently able to mount several steep flights. The Garden Studio room does open on to the kitchen, so if you’re wanting absolutely quiet and privacy, request another one.  Advice: if you want to slink in and out anonymously – this is probably not for you. Perks: the house is connected to the art cinema De Uitkijk – ask Marcel if you want to visit.

Marcel's Creative Exchange Amsterdam - Hotels We Love
The 70's inspired Style Room - the smallest and cosiest room at Marcel's Creative Exchange Amsterdam in Amsterdam (Photo © HWL)
Marcel's Creative Exchange, Amsterdam - Hotels We Love
One of the myriad of art works to be found at Marcel's Creative Exchange, Amsterdam (Photo © HWL)


Marcel’s Creative Exchange
87 Leidsestraat
1017 NX Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 622 98 34

Planning ahead: note that house is sometimes closed for periods of time during Amsterdam's biting winter when Marcel evacuates to his studio in Palm Springs.


Given Marcel’s taste for Massive Attack and Graphic Design you could fall asleep to this beautiful, hypnotic video clip of ‘Teardrop’ illustrated by Berlin-based designer & photographer Jonas Wedelstadt.