It’s inexpensive, a free ferry-ride from the city centre and bang right in the middle of the trendy NDSM Docklands area. The Amstel Botel is a floating 3-star hotel in the IJ harbour. If you have been to Amsterdam before you may have seen the big white ship with its prices painted on the side at its old location outside Central Station.
Great if you want to be gently rocked to sleep by the river waves as the large ships pass. Now there is an extra reason to want to stay at the Botel. You can sleep in the big red Loft Letters on the deck.
The placing of these huge red letters on top of the Botel was the idea of MMX architects in cooperation with Jord den Hollander. They symbolise the huge chimneys of the ocean steamers that marked the last stages of shipbuilding back in the days when the wharf was a working dock. Each letter has been designed by a different interior designer. So let’s start with the B by Richard Hutten containing a half pipe with complimentary skateboards. There are two mezzanines for the sitting area and beds.
Think that is special, your jaw will drop open when you enter the O by Ronald Hooft inspired by the 50 shades of Grey of the 1950s L’histoire d’O The circular bed is reflected in the ceiling mirror and it that is not enough to arouse you then there are a few SM attributes attached to the bed.
The T by MMX architects is the Captain’s Room. The oak interior contains a meeting room with kitchen and fold up bed. It is the most compact and at the same time spacious room with a trapdoor to the staircase which leads straight to the lift.
The E has been made by architect and film maker Jord den Hollander, who always wanted to build a cinema. Now he has realised that dream albeit a mini cinema for two. Programming of the big screen visible from both bed and bath is in cooperation with Eye Film.
Lastly, my favourite. The Zen room in the L by Moriko Kira. This beautifully minimalistic space complete with tea ceremony is perfect after a hard day’s sightseeing!
A few years ago, the Botel relocated to the NDSM Docklands, which has undergone quite a transformation in the last 20 years – from derelict docklands to hip media wharf. The hotels boasts a good hearty breakfast and the nicest pies. There are also plenty of restaurants within a stone’s throw (Pllek, IJkantine, Noorderlicht, Pollux, Brrood), two art galleries, a regular indoor market and regular festivals and events organised nearby. The ferry runs till around 3 a.m., but the Botel provides a free minibus service from North Amsterdam’s main Buiksloterweg ferry which runs all night.
NDSM Pier 3,
1033 RG Amsterdam
tel: 0031 (0)20 626 4247
The Loft Letters are open for booking from 2 July 2015.