Holland’s hippest city now has a W. Not often first to the party, but definitely never the last either, Starwood’s millennial-friendly brand is smack in the thick of the Dam Square action.
While upper-end luxury brands may choose the quieter refinement of the canals – Prinsengracht and Herengracht generally being the favourites – W never shies away from opening its doors right in tourist central.
Marking its arrival, the brand sent a giant inflatable red W floating around the canals, to also promote Wet, hailed at the city’s first rooftop pool. The giant W made its way along Singel canal from Koningsplein to Oude Spiegelstraat stopping off in front of the old telephone exchange building that has been converted into the home of the new W.
The 238-room W spans two buildings that used to house the Telephone Exchange and KAS Bank. Rooms start from €350 per night and inside the hotel are two restaurants - The Duchess and Mr Porter – as well as an Away Spa, fitness centre and X Bank, a creative incubator concept space designed to connect local design, fashion and music talents.
From October, the 172 rooms in the Exchange building will be ready, while the remaining accommodation in the bank wing and the Away Spa will be available from December.
Guests will be able to enter their rooms using SPG Keyless, heralded as the first keyless entry system in the hospitality industry, allowing guests to use their smartphone or Apple Watch as a room key.
Amsterdam’s hotel scene is buzzing at the moment - the Hoxton also having opened this year. The two contemporary arrivals join a flurry of international luxury debuts in the past couple of years, such as Waldorf Astoria and Andaz, who live in the city alongside established luxury favourites such as Blakes and the Sofitel.
Steigenberger Hotels has chosen to debut its third brand, Jaz, in the city, with the opening of a music-focused 258-room (11 of which are suites) hotel in September.
And there has been much talk of the arrival of Zoku Amsterdam - loft-like suites designed with communal living in mind but under the umbrella of a hotel and with the potential for extended-stay bookings.
Instead of putting the focus on the bed at Zoku, interior design firm Concrete is creating public and private areas and making the kitchen table/work space the gathering point. Beds at Zoku are screened off with wood slats and accessible via a retractable stair, while adding to the feel of a rented apartment, art on walls can be personalized. Zoku will arrive in Amsterdam next year.