Posted January 26, 2016

Kimpton Returns to Its Inspirational Roots

Destinations

Night city view of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

When our founder Bill Kimpton opened his first hotel in San Francisco, it was the European boutique properties he’d seen in his travels as an investment banker that he took inspiration from. Thirty-five years later, we’re bringing Kimpton back to where it all began — Europe. Hello, Amsterdam!

Kimpton Amsterdam will be right in the center of everything we love about the city; we can’t wait to bike the canals, check out the cool new gallery openings, pop into the high-design boutique shops, and taste some of the delicious food that’s starting to define the city. Oh, and we can’t forget about the beer. There’s always plenty of beer flowing. The 270-room luxury boutique hotel will open in 2017 and feature Kimpton’s signature sophisticated and whimsical design, innovative meeting spaces, a neighborhood restaurant and bar, and a personal approach to guest service.

Amsterdam isn’t afraid to think outside of the box, and neither is Kimpton. Not only do we both love to push the boundaries, but even more importantly, we share the same cultural values of diversity, inclusion and a deep appreciation of the unique. While we get the hotel ready for you, here are five more reasons why we think Amsterdam is the perfect city for Kimpton’s European debut:

1. The history is storied and so is our building.

We love to breathe new life to historic buildings, and our Amsterdam hotel is no exception. The hotel will be renovated by a renowned local architect who has worked on monuments within the city.  While what we’re doing is pretty special, repurposing is nothing new in Amsterdam. The Dutch love to get creative — take the Royal Palace, which used to be city hall, or the surprisingly fascinating Museum of Bags and Purses, which started its life as a canal house. Popular concert venue Paradiso, built in 1880, spent 85 years as a church before squatting hippies paved the way for its current usage. It all makes for an incredibly architecturally diverse city, and we’re happy to be in such good building-preserving company.

 2. The art is nothing short of amazing.

Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

Amsterdam hometown hero Rembrandt may be known to most people as the greatest painter of the Golden Age (and one of the best of all time), but to Van Gogh, he was nothing short of magic. (“Rembrandt is so deeply mysterious that he says things for which there are no words in any language,” he wrote. “Rembrandt is truly called a magician … that’s not an easy calling.”) See the magic for yourself while viewing famed The Night Watch on display at Rijksmuseum, where the 11-by-14-foot masterpiece shows off the artist’s genius use of shadow and light. Fast-forward a few centuries at Stedelijk, a modern art museum that chronicles the best of the past 150 years with works by Cézanne, Pollock, Warhol, and others. Nearby, the Van Gogh Museum traces the development of the beloved but troubled Rembrandt-admiring post-Impressionist painter. With such a strong surrounding arts scene, the hotel is bound to have an impressive collection of its own.

 3. Good eats are appreciated.

Bitterballen

Bitterballen

When our new restaurant opens, it will join a skyrocketing culinary scene that includes a dozen Michelin-starred restaurants. Young chefs are embracing the local bounty, dishing up organic meals crafted from ingredients straight from the butchers and bakers down the street. For a peek at the past, stop by a brown café, a traditional Amsterdam pub (the name comes from the tobacco stains on the walls left in the olden days). These cozy, dark wood–covered hangouts offer local beer, genever (a spirit that’s like gin), and bitterballen, a deep-fried, breaded ball snack with a meat filling. To satiate your sweet tooth, find a street vendor selling stroopwafels, a cross between a cookie and a waffle with a caramel-like filling inside. Also be on the lookout for living-room restaurants, where chefs open up their residences for a home-cooked meal — here, you’ll get a side of conversation with your croquettes.

4. Beautiful scenes abound.

Amsterdam-_Floating_Tulip_Shop

We’re all about the visual eye candy at Kimpton, and it doesn’t get much more aesthetically pleasing than Holland’s canals, gabled facades, and famous flowers — amazingly, the country produces 70 percent of the world’s commercial blooms. Springtime brings the iconic tulips, which are so beloved in this country that they created an economic bubble in the mid-1600s, when people would mortgage their houses to get their hands on some of those multicolored bulbs. Thankfully, you don’t have to work quite so hard to see them today. Take a one-hour trip from the city to the legendary Flower Strip — regular buses run to various parts of the region, or you could try a train/bike combo — where blossoms stretch as far as the eye can see. Depending on the season, you’ll have the opportunity to gaze upon everything from crocuses to carnations, daffodils to dahlias, amaryllis to asters.

 5. There are more bikes in the city than people.

With complimentary bikes at every hotel, Kimpton has shown its commitment to two-wheeled transportation. That gesture is right at home in Amsterdam, where the bike culture is deeply ingrained in the everyday lives of the locals. Four hundred kilometers of cycling paths, flat terrain, and an enviable infrastructure make it easy to see why 83 percent of Amsterdammers cycle at least once a week (the majority of those every day). And with our hotel conveniently close to a sprawling bike parking area by Amsterdam Central Station, you won’t have any reason not to join them.

So take some time in 2016 to practice your pedaling — after all, Amsterdam awaits.

Photo Credits: Rijksmuseum: Brownpau – Flickr Creative Commons; Tulips: Jimderda – Flickr Creative Commons; Bitterballen: Takeaway – Wikipedia Commons

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