A hotel with multiple layers of interest

As my profession involves a lot of travel, I try to use it as an opportunity to see as many new hotels as possible and share my impressions about some of them.

I recently stayed at Andaz Amsterdam, Hyatt’s luxury brand of boutique lifestyle hotels noted for having design ambitions beyond the expected. Each Andaz is located in a distinctive neighborhood, often within repurposed buildings, and has a unique, highly creative style.

In Amsterdam’s historic Prinsengracht area celebrated for its canals, fashion houses and art galleries, the former public library has been transformed into the Andaz by Marcel Wanders, a “pop star” of the design industry. I’ve often admired the furniture pieces he has created but, until seeing this property, I hadn’t felt he had actually designed a hotel. Although you may already know this, Marcel Wanders is the interior designer behind the Kameha Grand Bonn, which to me looks like a showroom of MOOOI products alongside multi-patterned and multi-coloured surface treatments.

However, the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht is a great hotel — both for its design as well as its exciting F&B concepts. Here in his hometown, Marcel has created a wonderful, imaginatively themed place whose multiple layers of interest make it a joy to stay in. His design incorporates contemporary local artwork and numerous references to Amsterdam’s cultural scene — a modern interpretation of the city’s heritage presented with real flair and wit.

Maybe it is simply a matter of personal taste. Marcel’s “Alice in Wonderland” style, which he also employed in the award-winning Qasar Istanbul, is loved by many, but for others (like me), it is overly decorative, out-of-scale and far too kitsch!