Place with a soul, which truly makes you curious.
Imagine spending a night in a listed monument from 1921 soaked in history.
Mysterious. The first thing that comes to your mind, when you happen to walk through the hallways of Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy. Even though a fair part of the building remains in the classical style from the twenties, you never know when you come across a contemporary art piece or design installation.
Besides temporary exhibitions, which might wait for you at many parts of the building, there's also a permanent one called "Lloyd History". You can get to know its background through not only photographs but also letters, poems, preserved objects and even a movie from 1928. So what's the story?
Lloyd Hotel was founded by a shipping company called Royal Dutch Lloyd in 1921, as a hotel for migrants on their way to Brazil. The building is located at the Oostelijke Handelskade, the quay where the ships of Royal Dutch Lloyd were departing.
But that's just the beginning.
In 1935 the shipping company went bankrupt. As you know, a few years later the Second World War started, which resulted in a transformation to a refugee center for Jewish people. However, this lasted only till 1941, when the building was converted into a prison during the occupation. After the war, it remained a detention center for many years.
The big change happened in 1990, when artists started to rent out the spaces of the hotel in order to start their own studios over there. Interestingly, they not only worked, but also lived there.
Finally, in 1996, the municipality organized a competition for new plans for the hotel, which eight years later resulted in the opening of the current Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy.
The new standards
Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy happens to be the first hotel in the world offering rooms in five categories, ranging from 1 to 5 stars.
As each of the 117 rooms differs in size and interior design, it shouldn’t be surprising that over 50 designers contributed to this project.
Everyone in the hotel has access to tea and coffee spots located in hallways of every floor.
As there are no special floors dedicated to a specific class category, there is a large chance that people from different social backgrounds mingle with each other.
The idea of giving something in common to people with every budget might actually make the stay even more interesting.
Not to mention the incentive to leave your room and maybe get lost in one of the classical hallways and get swallowed up by its history.
The Cultural Embassy is present throughout the building. It provides a continual program of which the main establishment is to not only host but also initiate cultural events.
Due to that, there are big chances that during your stay you might get to come across a freshly opened exhibition, presentation or art performance, as well as a lecture or even a concert.
The hotel's library does not only look impressive. It's an immense source of books covering all kind of fields and topics. I spent a few hours over there and the truth is, once you discover some of the unique copies, time all of the sudden doesn't matter that much.
A small tip - if Amsterdam welcomes you with its favorite weather (read: rain), you know where to go. Thank me later.
This place can be definitely recommended to those who are interested in a modern and contemporary art, but also look for a place with a soul and a background worth exploring.