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The other night during a party for the 2015 LE Miami Conference, a high-energy trade show for the luxury and lifestyle travel market, W Hotels offered a sneak peek into the clever humor of their most anticipated hotel opening--W Amsterdam.
Tucked away on the property of the W South Beach (arguably one of the best Ws in the world), a human chess board was set up, with the "pieces" dressed in high fashion as characters from Amsterdam's history with one carrying an interesting flag, featuring a crest and the letters, "W XXX." This same logo was found on the chess board as well.
The meaning behind this is not too hard to figure out. XXX has been the symbol of Amsterdam since 1505 and well, we all know what the W stands for--exciting and energetic hotels.
Indeed, Anthony Ingham, global brand leader for W Hotels, explained that the live chess board was the "first activation of the 'W + Amsterdam = W XXX'." Meaning we will see more of this symbol leading up to the hotel's opening on September 21.
New Hotels For / Amsterdam Hotels / Hoxton Hotels / W Hotels / Element Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Generator Hostel / Pestana Hotels / Hyatt Regency Hotels / NH Hotels / Sir Hotels / Soho House Hotels / ZOKU Hotels / → All Tags
Every month, we tell you which hotel openings you need to know about (and which, inevitably, miss their deadlines). While we have a healthy list of arrivals around the world, there are a few places that are either consistently popular or having a bit of a hotel moment, so “new hotels for…” gives you a rundown of the openings you will want to know about for a particular destination. Even on our Master List of Hotel Openings we highlighted Amsterdam as enjoying a bit of a renaissance – and so much has happened since then. Last year, Waldorf Astoria was the talk of the town, which followed the likes of Andaz and the Conservatorium. But in 2015, and the next few years, the Dutch capital is picking up steam, adding a range of interesting hotels. Tallying them up quickly took us to 12, and there will be more:
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In a time when the behemoth hotel operators are launching new brands to target millennials, (see Moxy, Hyatt Centric, Canopy, Radisson Red, Vib, Venu etc.) one hotelier is thinking outside the box in an effort to disrupt the home-office concept.
ZOKU, a new hotel brand created by ex-CitizenM founder Hans Meyer and co-founder Marc Jongerius, is ready to shake up the hotel industry yet again with a revolutionary new concept which shifts the focus from the bed to the living and work space.
The ZOKU loft hotel room revolves around a central feature which will be a four-person table that can be used to work, dine and entertain, or just hang out. The interiors will be customizable in addition to a retractable staircase, a lounge area, a kitchen and a funky yet functional storage area. While the concept caters more to long-stay guests, visitors can stay anywhere from one night to three months.
All ZOKUs will have an open-plan communal living and co-working spaces to highlight and encourage interaction and networking. Additional features include free and fast WiFi (Thank God!) and a 32-inch LED TV with BYOC (Bring Your Own Content!) The concept replaces the traditional hotel staff with Sidekicks, employees who are globally centered yet rooted in the local scene. They connect guests to any and all services, which range from housekeeping, bike rentals, laundry, and meeting room services.
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Is Amsterdam on your travel itinerary this summer? You may want to reconsider your hotel choices, as there will be something new to try: The Hoxton Amsterdam beat our estimate of an opening in September (along almost-neighbor W Amsterdam) by unleashing reservations from July 13.
Officially, rates start from €89, which currently comes out to a clean $100. Playing around with dates in the second half of July, a Saturday night seems most expensive, with rates from €159 ($178) a night, while on Sunday, we even spy a “Shoebox” for €69 ($77) a night. We’ve heard of dorm beds in an Amsterdam hostel going for more than that. All in all, depending on the size of the room you pick, you should be able to get an average of around $150 a night, which is outstanding value.
This is your Friday trivia question: What is Benelux?
Answer: It may sound like a butter-substitute spread, but it’s the abbreviation given to Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, three neighboring countries that aren’t always known for being the life and soul of the party (you might say boring, we would say underrated).
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The hotel news and gossip out of Amsterdam just keeps coming in: perhaps sensing we were somewhat disappointed with Hotel Pulitzer picking Preferred’s LVX Collection after leaving the Starwood fold, a kind tipster dropped us a link to a possible hotel project further down the city’s Prinsengracht canal in the former Palace of Justice.
Dating back to 1664 and 1864, the 15,000 sq m (161,000 sq ft) building was put up for sale earlier this year by the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (the Dutch government’s real estate agency of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations), complete with glossy interactive pdf that shows how the vast building could be put to different uses – including conversion into a luxury hotel, reportedly one of the last ones the city will allow within its historic core.
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W giveth, W taketh away...
Opening date will be Monday, September 21, with a “Cozy Exchange” room (from 22 sq m / 237 sq ft) setting you back a clean €450 ($478) a night. Prepaying shaves just €10 ($12) off a night, which doesn’t really seem worth it for the flexibility you sacrifice. The “Exchange” reference we presume means the room is located in the 1903 Telephone Exchange building, as opposed to the former bank just across the street (go here for exterior shots of both).
From Cozy, the order is up to Wonderful and then Fabulous rooms, with Cool Corner, Studio, and Marvelous Suites before you get to Wow and Extreme Wow Suites – which we saw those renderings of. The Extreme Wow Suite gives 112 sq m (1,206 sq ft) of space and runs at €2,162 ($2,292) a night.
Actual photography of the rooms and suites is still to come, but we’re kind of surprised to read the intro text on the homepage of the hotel refer to the ability to “recharge with our W signature bed and a peek-a-boo shower”. Is that becoming an actual industry term now?
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On the ever-expanding bandwagon of hip, urban lifestyle brands, Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts is officially getting on the bus with Jaz in the City, opening September 1 in the hipster city of Amsterdam.
This is the third brand for Frankfurt-based Steigenberger Hotel Group (after Steigenberger and InterCityHotel) who are mostly "Hotels made in Germany," with expansion planned in other parts of Europe, Egypt, China and the Middle East. Plus more in Germany.
For the Jaz in the City debut in Amsterdam, expect to be immersed in eternally hip Dutch culture and in particular, the music scene. While the Jaz web site has few renderings at the moment, when you "get down" to it, the overall message is pretty clear. Get down.
We said last week that Amsterdam was having a hotel moment, and the race between two of its biggest arrivals this year, only a few minutes’ walk between them, is officially on. The Hoxton was first with a select few photos of some its very handsome rooms projected for “summer” this year. The W countered with a slew of renderings and a “September” opening.
Both have been withholding reservations so far, but The Hoxton has gone out and put the countdown right on its website, with now less than 50 days until bookings open. In fact, unless our math is way off, reservations should open on April 1. We’ll assume that’s not a joke, and further assume that The Hoxton will open first and at cheaper rates, unless the W pulls a rabbit out of a hat (on the rates front, we don’t think that will ever happen).
It’s rendering time! Having semi-stalked W Amsterdam for well over a year now, with our latest look at the hotel just behind Dam Square showing discreet signage in place, the moment is here: an impression of what will be inside the 238-room hotel.
Take a gander at what is labelled as a Wow Suite above. There’s a lot to look at, but we're digging the 70s Amsterdam vibe, with the corner fireplace, the carpet, the dual-faced sofa, and the yellow / white / grey / black in the modular bookcase. Then there is the circular bed, with what looks like a sheer curtain that can be drawn around it. We’re not sure if that’s actually a balcony or just a ledge for the plants, but given what we’ve seen of the two buildings, we doubt there would be the kind of rooftop views the rendering would suggest. Keep reading for so. Much. More.
Soho House Chicago
Amsterdam has quietly been upping its hotel scene in the past few months.
Recently, we've told you about the upcoming Generator Hotel/Hostel, The Hoxton, two new Sir Hotels, the Hyatt Regency, The W and Element Hotels, and the millennial-friendly Student Hotel. That's in addition to recent notable openings like the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam (last May) and the Andaz Amsterdam (late 2012.)
And now comes Soho House.
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If you’re expecting jewelry based on that title, we’re sorry for misleading you – we’re talking diamond shapes in the exterior cladding the future Hilton Schiphol Airport gradually takes on as the hotel, right next to its predecessor, is being built.
This video, from the architects behind the 433-room hotel, gives a glimpse of the construction that helps put Hilton front and centre in the European airport hotel game. Due to be completed by the end of the year, you get a sense of the vast atrium (above), which will have daylight stream in through the glass roof.