By Rachel Ang
By Rachel Ang
This month sees the youngest incarnation of the Hoxton open its doors to Herengracht, Amsterdam. This renovated sliver of five historic townhouses situated between two canals has been painstakingly restored and updated – a sharp, handsome younger brother to his forerunners in Shoreditch (born 2006) and Holburn (2014), London.
Like its older brothers, this newest Hoxton is ensconced in a fine location: on Herengracht, one of Amsterdam’s three largest canals, a 20 minute walk from Central Station and close to Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, and the Van Gogh Museum.
The original building was designed by Dutch architect W.J.M. Poggenbeek, and the ornate red and white brick facade has been looking over the water of Herengracht since 1895. For this reincarnation, the building has been renovated by interior designers Joyce Urbanus and Dax Roll of Amsterdam-based studio, Nicemakers, who have achieved an easy balance between the houses’ original splendour – exposed beams, restored ceiling details and dark herringbone timber floors – and fresh new accents of Delft blue and crimson, highlights of bronze, copper, and classic modern fittings and furnishing, including 50s Danish furniture.
The 111 rooms available fall into three categories, spanning ‘shoebox’ (strictly for the single traveller) to ‘roomy’, and facing the Herengracht, Singel, or courtyard. Additionally there are three unique ‘concept’ rooms: Tubby, Floral and Fruity. Tubby is named for its bathtub (mere metres from the bed – true luxury) rather than its girth. The Floral rooms are an adventure into the ornate, featuring hidden doors and shimmering walls lined with gold leaf. The grandest rooms in the house are the Fruity – originally the quarters of a 17th century mayor, they are more than fit for a prince (or princess). The most astounding element here is the restored monumental golden ceiling – wake up to it in the morning and you might think you are still dreaming.
The public spaces of the Hoxton – the lobby, bar and Lotti’s, an Italian restaurant, are designed to feel relaxed and unpretentious – living rooms for both guests and locals. The Hoxton also boasts a space for private functions called the Apartment, a gym called TrainMore, and a fleet for bicycles for guest use.
The Hoxton prides itself on being a no-bullshit alternative to most hotels – reasonably priced rooms, no expensive minibar and no hidden charges. One small yet remarkable detail: each guest gets an hour of free phone calls to anywhere in the world. And guests can receive a ‘breakfast bag’ at their bedroom door each morning, with juices, pastries and yoghurt. Rise and shine.
1016 BJ Amsterdam,
Photography, Alan Jensen