Hotel Kimpton De Witt: how Americans see the Dutch

Boutique hotel Kimpton De Witt has opened in Amsterdam. It has 274 rooms, and it is located in a lively tourist area: near the Central Station, the Church of St. Nicholas, and the Museum of Sex.

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De Witt is the first project of Kimpton, an American chain of designer hotels, in Europe. The project was led by the creative director of the company Ave Bradley. The former Crowne Plaza Hotel was rebranded and redesigned. “Each of the hotels on the Kimpton network has its own image, which reflects the specifics of the place. We always rely on the local culture,” says Ave Bradley. The first time I came to Amsterdam was more than two years ago and spent a lot of time getting to know the environment. I walked around the city all day long, sat in a café, studied the lifestyle of Amsterdammers, and tried to understand: what is truly Dutch. I saw carefree people racing on bicycles, with bouquets of flowers at the ready and small children in the back. Or sitting on a warm evening with a bottle of wine on the veranda in front of the house. The Dutch know how to appreciate simple things and make their lives beautiful.”

The design was largely determined by architecture. The hotel occupies five buildings, two of which were built in the 1980s, and three – in the XVI-XVII centuries. The old houses – small in volume, once intended for the life of a single-family – contain many authentic architectural details, such as exposed wooden beams. Two-time layers had to be linked. “I didn’t want to create a defiantly modern hotel, it required a historical layer,” says Ave Bradley. – I bought a lot of local antiques for the project. By the way, I found a great gallery.” Modern furniture, interpreting the style of Mid-century modern and the legacy of Michael Tonet, who invented bending wood under steam – such things easily get along with the old architecture. As well as actual, but not provocative art.

“For me, the palette of Amsterdam is blurry shades of blue and green, a pale tone of celery, occasionally an injection of bright sunlight or blush,” says Av Bradley. Blue in combination with white, according to critics, is also successful in that it refers to Delft porcelain. Another Dutch sign is the chairs. Gerrit Rietveld, one of the most famous architects in the country, is the founder of the De Stijl group. However, the creators did not dwell on the local flavor. Amsterdam is a cosmopolitan city. In the interiors, you can see the chairs of the English designer Nigel Coats for Gebrueder Thonet Vienna, and Italian chairs by Rodolfo Dordogne – collected the best from all over Europe.

The design of the hotel reflects a new trend. “For a long time, there was a formula according to which each number should have a set of functions. In addition to the bed, bathroom, and dressing room, there was a desk for work, a small table for dinner, and a small lounge area – usually one or two armchairs. The new trend is that specific zones are no longer needed. What if a guest orders dinner in the room? We’d rather people go out of their rooms to one of our restaurants.” By the end of the year, the Kimpton chain plans to open six more boutique hotels in the United States, work is underway on a hotel in Paris.

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