The Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is the first one to five star design hotel in the world. It was created out of a curiosity to explore the cultural luggage of guests, a longing to make a connection between Dutch culture and theirs and a zest for making visitors feel welcome.
Initiators of Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy are Otto Nan, an art historian who organized parties in warehouse Vrieshuis Amerika in the 90ties, Suzanne Oxenaar, independent curator and cofounder of restaurant Supperclub, Liesbeth Mijnlief, who had set up restaurant Amsterdam and Werkendam prior to that of Lloyd Hotel, and Gerrit Groen, tax expert at Ernst & Young.
A building soaked in history
Royal Dutch Lloyd built Lloyd Hotel along the IJ-quay, from which their ships departed. The hotel – which could bed 900 people - had rave reviews at the opening in 1920. The eclectic architecture of Evert Breman was considered impressive.
Emigrants arrived at the neighbouring Quarantine building, where they had a medical check up and a shower. A film of this procedure was made by the Amsterdam Health Service in the '20s. They stayed in Lloyd Hotel for a few days, before departure. Royal Dutch Lloyd went bankrupt in 1935.
After the Royal Dutch Lloyd shipping company stopped using the building, Lloyd Hotel served as refugee centre, detention centre, juvenile detention centre and artist studios.
In 1996, the municipality organized a competition for new hotel plans. The Eastern Docklands were to become a prestigious area for living and working, with work by the cream of Dutch architects. Lloyd Hotel – by now a monument - reopened on 11 November 2004 as a 1 to 5 star hotel with a Cultural Embassy.