For many Amsterdammers, hotel bars are the place to go out

With the proliferation of hotels, Amsterdam is flooded with awesome hotel bars. Every month a new hotel bar opens somewhere, and existing bars get a makeover. Where a hotel bar used to serve as a place for tourists to catch their breath after a long trip, today's hotel bar is considered a hip place where Amsterdammers meet, date, work, dine, drink and dance.


Today's hotel bar is so much more than a dark room with a bar and a minimal selection of drinks. Today's hotel bar usually consists of a bar with restaurant, terrace, club and rooftop terrace. And some hotels feature a rooftop terrace with pool, such as on the roof of the W Hotel and Soho House. On the roof of Ramada Apollo you can skate in winter and party in summer. In addition to food and drink, hotel bars regularly host exhibitions, club nights, live performances, fashion shows and brunch parties.

Food & Drink
When it comes to food and drink, hotel guests tend to be spoiled and picky. Men and women with refined tastes are regular visitors to hotels. To meet the expectations of the discerning hotel visitor, hoteliers often outsource their restaurants and bars to well-known restaurateurs and chefs.

Yossi Eliyahoo, owner of restaurants Momo, The Duchess, Izakaya and Mr Porter; "Hotels outsource restaurants and bars - they just don't know as much about them - and that's how cool places are created. Get rid of those frumpy hotel restaurants and bars. Partnering with well-known restaurants and chefs also gives a hotel more prestige, and higher margins. Visitors are looking for a special experience. They want to eat something they can't make at home. And they want to see and be seen."

Michelin Stars
There are 22 Michelin-starred restaurants and chefs in Amsterdam. Many of those restaurants are part of hotels. You can eat with Michelin stars at Waldorf Astoria (Spectrum**), Okura (Ciel Bleu** and Yamazato*), W Hotel (The Duchess*), TwentySeven (Bougainville*), The Dylan (Vinkeles*), Krasnapolsky (The White Room*), l'Europe (Bord'Eau*), Conservatorium (Taiko*) and Barbizon (Vermeer*), among others.

Chef Schilo van Coevorden of restaurant Taiko in the Conservatorium Hotel; "A good restaurant gives cachet to a hotel. And also attracts city residents. Guests don't want to be in a dead hotel anymore. They are looking for a place where locals also go."

When it comes to furnishing hotel bars and restaurants, nothing is too crazy. Hoteliers collaborate with the world's most famous designers and interior designers for this purpose. Andaz by Hyatt had its entire interior, from hotel rooms to hotel bars, decorated by Marcel Wanders. The owner of the luxurious Conservatorium Hotel asked Piero Lissoni to create an interior that functions as a second living room for the neighborhood. Hotel Arena asked Tank Architects to design its hotel, restaurant and club. Nicemakers turned The Hoxton into the living room of Amsterdam. Pestana's cosmopolitan look was conceived by Studio Linse. Sir Albert's interior comes from world-renowned New York-based Icrave. Concrete drew interiors for CitizenM, Hyatt and Zoku. Boat & Co's interiors were designed by London-based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. And Israeli design duo Baranowitz & Kronenberg is responsible for the restaurants, bars and club at the W Hotel and Sir Albert.

Marcel Wanders; "I see a space as a story, a piece of music, a performance. But it's never just one concept or one theme, there are at least twelve to fifteen angles being connected. Like in the Amsterdam Andaz hotel, which unites the storylines 'the creative industry, video art, library, Alice in Wonderland, the Golden Age, the feeling of home'."

Live Entertainment
More and more hotel bars function as clubs at night when DJs and live artists take over the evening from the chefs. Beginning the evening cozy with a DJ in the background, after dessert the volume goes up and the bar turns into a club. On weekends, people dance at Juniper & Kin at Qo Hotel, Soho House, W Lounge at W Hotel, Tunes Bar at Conservatory, The Butcher Social Club at Sir Adam, Canvas at Volkshotel and Izakaya at Sir Albert.

American pioneer Ian Schrager, co-owner of iconic New York club Studio 54 from 1977 to 1979, is identified by many hospitality professionals as the trendsetter and father of today's hotel bar. In the 1980s, Schrager built a chain of boutique hotels that looked more like a trendy club than hotel. The first DJs appeared in his Miami lobby, and in New York he hired top designers to design cool spaces that weren't just for hotel guests. Still today, Schrager's projects, such as the luxury hotel chain Edition, are closely followed by hoteliers.

Best Hotel Bar Awards
For six years now, the Hotelnacht organization has been awarding prizes annually for the best hotel bars in Amsterdam. A total of six different awards are presented. For best newcomer, best classic hotel bar, best creative hotel bar, best sustainable hotel bar and best hotel bar. During Hotelnacht in January, Pulitzer's Bar received the award for best hotel bar in Amsterdam. SkyLounge received the audience award. Malabar in Jakarta Amsterdam was awarded best new hotel bar. Juniper & Kin received the award for the most sustainable hotel bar. TwentySeven was awarded the most creative bar. And Juniper & Kin was named the most sustainable hotel bar.

Organizer Vincent van Dijk: "Many exceptional hotel bars were added last year. A very lively and professional bar scene has emerged here and Amsterdam can now compete with other world cities. It is striking that the theme of sustainability is becoming increasingly important. That's why we added this award category.'


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