Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy

New East, Amsterdam, Holland Book from Eur52

A building with a chequered career reinvented as a wonderful hotel by some of Amsterdam’s leading architects and designers - a complete one-off
Many hotels claim to be unique. By comparison, Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy makes the rest blend quietly into the background. For this hotel is one big shackle-free experiment, with ‘wow factor’ in bucket loads. On first impressions, the interior is more design gallery than hotel. But look closer, this is very much a place to stay, offering a wide spectrum of rooms from small and simple to large and comfortable. Form and function do indeed work in tandem here.

From the outside, the building is a foreboding monolith. Built in the 1920s in Amsterdam’s now up and coming docklands, it has served as a migrants’ boarding house, detention centre, young offenders’ prison and artists’ squat - all acknowledged in the design of the hotel, with the architecture acting as a kind of exorcism, freeing the building from its old role as oppressor. As for the facilities, you have everything from the sublime (mezzanine bed spanning 4 metres, above a concert piano) to the ordinary (functional, starkly white rooms flooded with light). So your experience depends very much on the room you choose.

Highs

  • Stunning architecture and installation art
  • Very friendly staff, and a complete lack of snootiness
  • The restaurant space is fantastic, and the food is pretty good too
  • A good option for families, with spacious rooms and a play space above the restaurant
  • Great value, especially out of season

Lows

  • It's situated 5-10 minutes outside the city centre in the old docklands area
  • Be aware that the rooms' "star" ratings are the hotel's own grading system, not a promise of 5-star luxury
  • 1-star rooms have shared bathrooms, and some others have open-plan bathrooms in the bedroom
  • Some rooms have a (deliberately) stark boarding-house feel to them which I personally did not like, but others may
  • Service can be a bit slow

Best time to go

Spring is the best time to visit Amsterdam. The tulips are out, the days are often sunny and the summer crowds have not yet descended. In July and August it can get hot and humid, with mosquitoes breeding in the canals - though if you like the buzz of a crowded city, then this is a good time to visit. Winter in Amsterdam can be bitter.

Our top tips

The claim is that the hotel is for all types and all budgets; prices range from economy to luxury, while the restaurant, the library and convenience store are open to everyone (including non-guests). Although this is true to some degree, the design concept and styling means that a large proportion of the guests are creative types.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 117
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Music room
  • Board games
Room: 5-Star Room

Rooms

Describing the rooms at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is no simple matter. There are a lot of them, and no 2 are exactly alike. Rooms are numbered by stars (not to be confused with hotel stars system in more traditional sense). There are 1-Star Rooms with simpler facilities right up to more substantial 5-Star Rooms (the Lloyd prides itself on catering to all types and all wallets). The difference in price is linked to the size. The cheaper rooms begin to look like very good value for money when you consider that the full whack of hotel facilities is included (free WiFi, 24-hour room service, access to the art library and cultural embassy).

Strewn throughout are artefacts and works of installation art from the best of Amsterdam’s designers, architects and artists. There are antique trestle tables from Lithuania, unusual lamps, fold-away bathrooms, bespoke curtains and ‘soft knobs’ for hanging clothes. A few of the more outlandish features in the most expensive rooms include a grand piano, vast bathtubs and a couple of palatial beds that can sleep 7 people (that’s 1 big duvet), as well as three rooms which have a swing.

Despite being so tiny (they’re more like sleeper cabins than hotel rooms) the cheapest 1-Star Rooms are nevertheless attractive, highly functional and achingly hip. Put together by a well-known Dutch designer, these rooms make great use of minimal space, with raised beds (stow your luggage beneath), funky hooks on the wall in place of wardrobes, and magnetic lamps that can be moved about on the metal-plated walls. The original tiles add a colourful touch, while the curtains are works of art in themselves. Bathrobes are provided for your stroll to the shared bathroom.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy has an all-day restaurant and snack bar set in the extraordinary open space on the ground floor. There's a wide range of dishes, from classic pasta and sandwiches to oysters for the adventurous. The hotel prides itself on using animal-friendly, low-food-mileage suppliers: the eggs are on your plate less than 10 hours after being laid, fish is bought straight from the boat, and the handmade pâté de campagne with pistachio nuts is delivered on a bicycle! The three course menu is a steal at EUR30.

Breakfast is an expensive but expansive spread of fruits, cereals, pastries, cheeses and cold meats. The fresh baked baguettes are to die for, and with so many savoury options it can last you through till the evening.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Explore the hip new Oostelijk Havengebied quarter, Amsterdam’s ‘New East’, in which Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is located - which features narrow streets, low-lying canal houses, flash new apartments, design stores and cutting edge architecture

  • Dine at nearby ‘Fifteen’, the Amsterdam incarnation of Jamie Oliver’s project to inspire culinary excellence in disadvantaged young people

  • Jump on tram 10 for a loop of the grand canals. Stop at Museumplein for a tour of the city’s great museums and art galleries

  • Visit NEMO, a modern museum of science and technology set in the middle of Oosterdok in a stunning building designed by Renzo Piano (it looks like the prow of a ship)

  • Wonder round a full-size replica of the Amsterdam, one of the East India Company’s ships, which is moored up at the Scheepvart (Maritime) Museum

      Activities on site or nearby include:

      • Boat trips
      • Cycling
      • Historical sites
      • Museums / galleries
      • Nightlife
      • Private guided tours
      • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children are welcome, and the friendly, unfussy atmosphere makes it easy for parents to relax and kids to make new friends. Cots are free, extra beds are available for a supplement in the larger rooms.

Amsterdam is a great city to bring children to: there are plenty of exciting things for all the family such as going on a canal cruise, visiting a working windmill or historical dungeon. And the renowned museums all have special kids activities. The city is easy to get about and children will love being by the canals.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Two rooms can interconnect. The 3-Star Room has space for 3 adults, while the 4-Star and 5-Star Rooms can accommodate 4-5 people in total. Three rooms have a swing! The 3-5-Star Rooms have bathtubs and two of the 5-Star Rooms have a 7-person bed!

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request, and some baby items can be purchased from the hotel shop

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

There are kid-friendly dishes on the menu such as pasta and burger and fries, and children pay half-price for dishes

Kids Activities on site:

  • Play space with games and toys on the second level above the restaurant, plus computer for kids to use

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Ship museum
  • Several playgrounds nearby
  • Science Centre NEMO
  • Canal cruises

Families Should Know:

There is a road in front of the hotel but it isn't too busy. Behind the hotel is a terrace and basketball field

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
  • Shops: 1 minute
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
8/
Overall

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