The city of Amsterdam, a place with an open mind and open door policy where hiding is not an option, has always been a cultural Mecca for forward thinkers. W Amsterdam is no exception, with an avant-garde design that draws inspiration from the Dutch history and all-inclusive nature that still thrives on the city streets. Inside the new hotel, icons of connectivity are everywhere, from the beehive design details to the open Living Room floor plan.
We talked to W Design Leader Ted Jacobs about the secrets behind the hotel’s design elements and got an inside perspective of the best art and design spots to see during your stay in Amsterdam.
“As the design of our hotels is driven by research in to the historical, physical, and social insights into the location, I’d have to say the bar and the central seating in the Living Room are personal favorites of mine. Dam Square, the historical center of Amsterdam is defined by a central National Monument and surrounding iconic steps. Being half-Dutch and traveling to Holland often, I remember walking through this square in the 1970’s and seeing the hippies hanging out. This square throughout its history has been a destination for locals and travelers alike to hang out and watch the world go by.”
The honeycomb pattern of the beehive greets you at the W entrance, acting as a symbol of the interconnectedness of Amsterdam’s close-knit community that continues throughout the hotel. With open-stair seating and a communal bar, there is a hive mentality where all are on the same level, with geometric textures throughout the hotel linking each space together.
Inspired by the voyeuristic nature of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, subtle details around the hotel give us that funny feeling that someone is watching. From the graphic pillows, to the etched notes in the shower, to the diving bars that separate the lounge, W Amsterdam has blurred the line between public and private in unpredictable ways.
Old Walls, New Tricks
Built inside the historic Kas bank in Dam Square, W Amsterdam mixes the old with the new in every form. Whether it’s swimming on the rooftop with a view of the old city, eating modern cuisine in old royal Dutchess restaurant, or checking out cartoonist Pera’s images of Amsterdam icons in every room, the juxtaposition inside the hotel is as vibrant as it is outside.
Ted’s Insider Tip for Amsterdam:
“Anyone visiting Amsterdam has to go to Vlaams Frites Huis (French fries) on Voetboogstraat. It’s been there since 1957! Also, The Van Gogh Museum is pretty amazing. Also, take a few minutes early in the morning before the tourists invade the Rijksmuseum and just stand in the room with Rembrandt’s Night Watch.”