Sabi Phagura heads to Holland to discover the facilities at the Ink Hotel Amsterdam and its close ties with the print and news industry
Holidays are all about creating new experiences and getting away from your everyday life. They are about having an adventure and fully immersing yourself in the moment so when you go back home, you have plenty of stories to share with you friends and family. The Ink Hotel Amsterdam lets you capture all of those precious moments and more.
It all began in 1904 when the building became the base of the Dutch newspaper “De Tijd” (The Times). It was where stories were born, written and ultimately printed. Nieuwezezijds Voorburgwal was the news street of Amsterdam, and Ink Hotel was the printing house right up until 1974. Today the building has been refurbished into 149 rooms and suites, yet traces of yesteryear can be found all over the property. Old typewriters, glass inkbottles and big rolls of printing paper capture the spirit of the past. And the man behind this incredible creation is local artist, Jan Rothuizen. The daddy of all suites is ‘The Editor in Chief’. Here you’ll feel like a boss with all the space – there is a bathtub next to the bed surrounded by an antique typewriter and loads of books. And of course, it’s situated at the very top of the hotel.
The Pressroom is the heart and soul of the hotel. This is where all the action takes place. The multi-use room functions as a lounge, a place where you can transfer into an office, and an area where you can dine all day and catch up with friends. Somehow it just works, and the atmosphere changes from morning to night.
Breakfast is all about fuelling the belly with protein-rich goods like eggs and healthy smoothies to kick start the day. But if you want extra shut-eye, you can just as easily grab packet breakfast items from the cargo bike on the Atrium.
Lunchtimes are all about tucking into sharing foods with your fellow diners. Fish, meat and veggie dishes, as well as light salads and sandwiches, are ideal whether you want to have a quick bite to eat before exploring the city, or indeed want to take your time and linger over. If weather is on your side, then I would suggest taking your food out on to the courtyard. It’s hard to believe that this quiet small yet cosy hub complete with plants and trees is just yards away from the busy street outside.
Dinner is equally good and is just as informal. Expect to find dishes from around the globe like salad with sweet and sour vegetables, steak tartare with smoked mayonnaise and mackerel and smoked salmon. There are plenty of options and the chefs place an emphasis on whipping up healthy yet hearty dishes for the more body-conscious diner. Sharing food is encouraged here, but if you’re more of a ‘hands-off-my-food’ kind of person, they will be more than happy to create individual dishes.
Drink lovers can rejoice and try local spirits like Corenwijn and Genever mixed up in fancy cocktails. The bartender whipped up such an amazing cocktail for us that it was almost a shame to drink it. Well, almost. It’s a cocktail, so it just screamed to be drunk.
If you want to immerse yourself into more of the history of the hotel, the Library Lounge is a good place to head to. Original 1904 copies of De Tijd can be admired on the wall or you take your pick of one of the many books that adorn the shelves. It’s the ultimate bookworm’s dream.
If you tear yourself away from the hotel, the buildings directly outside it are well worth a visit. The Magna Plaza, a post office turned shopping mall, the Nieuwe Kerk (new church) and the backside of the Royal Palace are within a few hundred metres distance from Ink. Venturing slightly further afield, you’ll find the Oude Kerk (old church), and dating from around the 1300s, it’s the oldest building in the city.
And a trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be the same without visiting the canal district either on bike, foot or boat. Just be sure to look up and see the beautiful buildings that scatter the city. And if you get a really good guide, they will be more than happy to tell you the stories behind them and the people that once lived there.
Room rates start at £101.25 for a Classic Room without breakfast. Unrestrictive rates start at £137.67 for a Classic Room without breakfast. For more information, visit http://inkhotelamsterdammgallery.h-rez.com/
By Sabi Phagura