We stayed 3 nights, on a complimentary bases, so I guess I shoudn't complain, but honestly, people should know what this hotel is like before they decide to go.
I'd certainly not recommend it if you are bringing your loved one for a romantic break. I would recommend it, if you are into modern art and design and love "interesting" history of buildings etc. I'd also recommend it if you love to be offended, insulted, ignored and mistreated by hotel staff. You will be then pleasantly surprised by the range of bodylanguage, face pulling and tones of voice, rolling eyes, tutting, or staff raising your voice at you.
Sadly, customer service is where this hotel badly let us down. Pretty much all staff need a good intensive course in customer service. Be careful as on arrival you might miss the smallest reception area in the world - something resembling a shower cubicle, painted yellow from the outside, paint peeling off in places. But I guess you won't really miss it, there will be a good few clients stood queueing and being insulted by the reception staff already, not knowing where to stand or sit as the reception area is in a narrow corridor, exactly at the spot where you should also be accessing the hotel's restaurant.
The girl who checked us in rolled her eyes, and scowled in a really abrupt and bold way at the other customers while I was waiting. It just made me wish I never came to Amsterdam. First finding my, and other customers' names' on the reservation list... is my name spelled with a K? "yes K for cat"? Erm well not quite... "NO IT IS NOT YOUR FIRST NAME I WANT. LAST ONE!!" and "Jeeesus, I am doing it NOW!!". I was shocked. Really shocked.
I understand this is probably the world's first hotel to offer a range of 1 to 5 star rooms. Good on you, interesting! Sadly, the service you will get will be the same regardless of which room or how much money you pay, or how you therefore expect to be treated. We were a "right pain in the a*ss" cos we asked other questions.. as I politely explained I was writing about the hotel for a newspaper so I expected a press pack to be waiting for me. After a search and being told there wasn't one, this repeated 3 times, but I insisted, as I really needed this, so in the end the stressed girl walked off and came back with a press pack about the hotel (in Dutch!?), which needed exchanging later, underdstably for one in English.
The girl was trying to sort out request of another two customers as well as a group cheking out... My patience and understanding wasnt however appreciated, when I asked if I should wait, or perhaps come back later, she snapped at me. I am serious, snapped. Sadly, I also wanted to ask about an iron and ironing board, as we were due to go out shortly to a restaurant where we had a meal booked. She snapped at me again, because I asked if she knew how long it might take.
It is such a shame that I was simply left feeling like every single thing was trouble, anything I asked, or perhaps would like to ask.
Nobody tells you anything about the hotel, its service, Cultural Embassy, which the hotel is known for, or even where to get your breakfast. So off I went into our room. Apparently a "4 star exceptional room", this must refer to the design I guess in some strange waym, or perhaps just the size of the room.
Despite being a couple, we had two single beds, so soft I did my neck in while sleeping two out of the three nights. Luckily, our bathroom wasn't in a middle of the room unlike some of other customers, but slightly separate, in a kind of half circle alcove without a door. Pretty spacious, and so was rest of the room. So those were the good points.
The funkiest green-red-white flower deisgn carpet I've ever seen and the white whooden blind shutters on inside must have been the main feature. It also had the smallest TV I have ever seen (not sure if this is also somehow part of the 4 star design), but we weren't interested in TV, so whatever, really. It just made we wish the TV simply just wasn't there. I guess something must have happened to the original bigger one, which explains the spare TV remote control I found under my bed.
Interesting lamps, beside tables and one white painted wooden chair - this must be some of the design specimens that are scattered throughout the hotel, its rooms and corridors. We weren't that keen on those funky wooden window shutters by the time the light came through them come early morning - there were no curtains to block out the light.
Our ironing board and iron turned up soon, that must be the 1 star one, as the cover was detached and slid up and down, and iron churned out strange dry white crystals. Better than nothing, I guess. Getting ready was difficult as the only mirror was the small one in the bathroom above the sink. So we took turns to jump up and down in front of it to check out our outfits. (At least we had a laugh, I guess)
Breakfast area is a huge tall ceiling bright room with a range of seating from comfy sofas to a communal bar style canteen type. Food offered was far from a good range, but enough to set you up for the day. (just because there is yoghurt one day, doesn't mean you should expect it the next day).
You were also "stalked" by an "Ann Robinson lookalike" who kept frowning over her glasses, checking out and following customers and slipping them little pieces of paper to fill out, to establish who they were and if they were indeed entitled to their morning food. No good morning, no smile, no welcome. One gentleman stood over the empty tray of cheese and dared to ask, so "Ms Robinson" brought out another, but surely, she really didn't have to comment this by loudly calling over his shoulder "More cheese! just in case you haven't got enough!".
So despite originally planning to speak to the manager about a possible tour of the hotel (to help me when writing the article), I resorted to avoiding any unnecessary contact with staff, after the rudeness experienced on the first night. I guess it shouldn't have been a surprise when returning to the hotel at night we walked into the bar/restaurant area for a drink and asked the waiter if it was open, only to be given a bold, blank faced, answer: "FOR??". "A drink, please?"... Yes we can? Phew.... thank you...
Room service .... A lady walked in on us one morning without as much as a knock on the door. Nevermind. Next morning she must have decided we didn't need our soap and shampoo topping up because we still had some pieces of the tiny soap left over from yesterday. We still managed to use some of it before it melted into non-existence. The toilet could clearly wait to be cleaned til the week after. Nevermind. Enough of that though, I feel really tight now for stating the negatives. But I do feel the service was terrible.
So on to the good points - the hotel has a fascinating history, it used to ba a way station for migrants leaving Europe, as well as young offenders instute, a prison etc.... with all of this incorporating into this design, and interior. Many of the original elements, parts or layout have been therefore preserved and reused, despite sometimes lacking in functionality. This hotel is to be marvelled at almost like at a design museum, so we did make sure to go for a walk around its corridors and staircase with photographic exhibition of the ongoing work. It is unique, apparently no one of the 117 rooms (or so) is the same, each different. One has a grand piano, and a bed that sleeps eight...
It is fascinating to look at, but a little harder to enjoy as a guest. I wish the management would reconsidered the tiny reception area, and some staff training. The treatment of the customers I witnesses, just is not acceptable.
Since we have been back, the management have apologised to us and sounded pretty shocked and surprised to hear what the experience we have had. They said they take the issue seriously and will be looking into it. I am glad, because the unusual and unique place this hotel is, if only a few people made us feel a little welcome, smiled and controlled themselves from snapping and raising their voice at customers, we could have had an unforgettable experience - in a positive way...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy in Amsterdam is the first one-to-five star design hotel in the world. Created as a home for travellers of all stripes, we believe in sharing cultural luggage - yours and ours. Located in a transformed historic building with 117 rooms, the Lloyd Hotel is an icon of Dutch design. More than 50 designers and artists are involved in the hotel. Our Cultural Embassy presents ongoing exhibitions, talks and events every month, available to all guests. Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy is located 900 metres from Pakhuis de Zwijger. Bimhuis concert hall is a 15-minute walk away. Guests benefit from a terrace, an excellent restaurant and free WiFi. Coffee and tea making facilities are available to guests throughout the hotel. The Cultural Embassy of Lloyd Hotel is present throughout the building. Cultural events are hosted and mezzanine platforms are used for exhibitions, meetings and events. The Lloyd has a variety of meeting room facilities and a library for smaller groups. The restaurant focuses on carefully sourced local ingredients and serves a range of sandwiches, light meals and an extensive breakfast buffet. There is also a shop selling delicatessen-style foods and designer gifts. Guests who wish to explore Amsterdam by bicycle can rent one from reception. The Rietlandpark tram stop is 200 metres away and offers services to Amsterdam Central Station within 10 minutes. Anne Frank House and Dam are both within a 10-minute walk from the Station. Leidseplein and the Jordaan district can be reached by taking tram 10. Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is 1.5 kilometres away. The Lloyd Hotel's neighbourhood is a great choice for travellers interested in city walks, architecture and cycling. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam