In Amsterdam we stayed at Lloyd Hotel and cultural embassy… And I would love to share the story and the history behind this very interesting place with you guys.
Back in 1918 the shipping company Royal Holland Lloyd built what is today’s Lloyd Hotel as temporary accommodation for immigrants (That’s why you find an imposing ship luminary at the entrance of the hotel). The space was used from 1921 to 1936 but in this same year the KHL went bankrupt and the building was purchased by the City of Amsterdam.
From 1938 it was used as a shelter for Jewish refugees and later became a juvenile detention center. Later during the 80’s the detention center building was occupied by artists and completely forgotten, until a competition was held to decide what the building would best be used for.
It was decided that the building would be used as a Hotel and also cultural embassy and the Rotterdam-Netherlands-based architecture office MVRDV was responsible for the project.
The rooms were preserved pretty much as they used to be, except for the very nice pieces of furniture, but what is really impressive about MVRDV intervention, is the big gap on the building where a bar/restaurant + library/meeting spaces were placed.
Trough this gap you are able to cross the whole building, and interact with temporary expositions, nice pieces of furniture, and some very playful spaces as this ‘resting-jungle’. Nice place to read a book by the way!
The library lays upon the restaurant, and both spaces interact in a very pleasant way. The ‘never ending ceiling’ and the big windows from ground floor creates a very nice atmosphere.
I loved the almost ‘never ending shelves’ on the back of the bar, just as much as the gigantic ‘spider lightening display’.
When walking trough the corridors that leads you to the rooms the situation is quite different: no windows, spear light, and a feeling of being in a hospital, or an old school… Especially when you face some beautiful/nostalgic fragments from old Lloyd:
The thing is: Before staying at Lloyd Hotel, I was told that the place used to be an asylum, and I got is as a ‘madhouse’ … so: many times when walking around I couldn’t help myself from feeling at ’12 monkeys’ locations… I mean… take a look:
Nevertheless, it was an amazing experience, and I completely recommend staying at Lloyd when in Amsterdam.
It is an extra ‘time-travel’ inside your travel!
Tip.: When staying at Lloyd, it is quite logical, and also common to use the lifts or the library to cross the building upside down, but the thing is: You should take the side stairs, where besides gorgeous vitral-windows you may find this kind of ‘self-tour’ trough Lloyd’s history!
I will come back soon with extra tips about Amsterdam!