The Coolest Hotel in Amsterdam
The LLOYD Hotel
If Amsterdam were a hotel – it would be The LLOYD: quirky and dense in history, with a different story behind every door. On a recent swing through Europe, I stayed at this red-brick giant (which I consider the coolest hotel in Amsterdam). Here’s my review.
Location and Transit
The LLOYD is a two-minute walk from the light rail station at Rietlandpark, which offers quick access to Amsterdam’s attractions. In normal hours, it takes 15 minutes to hit central Amsterdam via the metro. I appreciated being outside the city’s bustle at night, as a few hours in the Red Light District is more than enough noise for the day.
For all of Amsterdam’s bikes (and there are many), it’s not the most practical form of transit for a tourist. For one, dockless ridesharing is banned in the city (Bird, Lime, JUMP, etc.). And if you don’t know what you’re doing, biking in Amsterdam is a bit like driving in Times Square. So, ironically, it can feel like water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drive. I don’t have great metaphors, but we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.
All said, walking and transit are your best bet – Amsterdam is an excellent city for both. And LLOYD’s central location is prime.
The LLOYD’s 117 unique rooms are individually decorated, ranging from 100 sq ft to over 500. Mine had a two-story tall mirror, a grand piano, and SEVEN beds. Next door, you could find a small, budget room with a shared bath.
This wild range of rooms puts LLOYD in the unusual category of a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5-star hotel. And after touring some of the spaces, I just couldn’t shake the feeling of being in Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends. Maybe it was the room with a swing.
Whichever space you take, I found mine professional, clean – and an experience.
On the bread and butter stuff, hotel check-in was prompt. I was a few hours early, so the front desk took my heavier luggage to storage. The mattresses were comfortable and clean with bedding changed daily. I had seven, so there was somewhere to sleep every day of the week.
My shower provided hot water whenever needed – although the toilet was located in a separate room under the staircase – you expect quirky stuff like this in each room. Breakfast did cost extra, but exceeded the standard continental buffet with hardboiled eggs, bacon, and a large selection of bread, dairy, fruit, and cereal. But most importantly, bread.
For me, this is one of The LLOYD’s biggest sells. The building has its own Wikipedia page for god’s sake.
Here’s the condensed version.
The LLOYD was built as a hotel for immigrants to South America via Royal Holland Lloyd (KHL) – a shipping company. Its construction cost eight times more than estimated when it opened in 1921.
In 1936, KHL went bankrupt, and the building was purchased by the city. It soon became a refugee shelter for persecuted Jews in World War II. Then it became a prison in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.
After the war, it continued as a prison for adults, then as one for kids. Then it became an artist’s studio. Then it became the LLOYD, the coolest hotel in Amsterdam.