1. Breman Brasserie at The Hoxton Lloyd, Amsterdam
    Photograph: The Hoxton
  2. Breman Brasserie terrace at The Hoxton Lloyd, Amsterdam
    Photograph: The Hoxton
  3. Bedroom at The Hoxton, Lloyd Amsterdam
    Photograph: James Manning for Time Out
  4. The Hoxton Lloyd, Amsterdam
    Photograph: The Hoxton
  5. Barbue at The Hoxton, Lloyd Amsterdam
    Photograph: James Manning for Time Out
  6. The Hoxton, Lloyd Amsterdam
    Photograph: James Manning for Time Out
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Review

The Hoxton, Lloyd Amsterdam

5 out of 5 stars

An alternative Amsterdam stay in a chill and underrated neighbourhood.

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Time Out says

Think Amsterdam, think canal houses, coffeeshops, stag parties and hordes of tourists… right? Well, there is another side to the Dutch capital – and this is a great base to start digging into it.

In some ways The Hoxton, Lloyd is a stark contrast to the original Hoxton, Amsterdam, which is still drawing crowds in the most photogenic bit of the city centre. This time, the hip London hotel brand has pitched up in the redeveloped Eastern Docklands – think Amsterdam’s answer to London’s Royal Docks or New York’s Brooklyn Navy Yard. A calmer vibe prevails out here, and there are excellent transport links to other less touristy bits of the city, as well as Centraal station (just a seven-minute tram ride away). It’s a surprisingly excellent neighbourhood to stay in, an escape from the crowds – and maybe some of the expense – of the city centre.

Instead of canals, there are vast former docks that now host houseboats and watersports; rather than narrow Golden Age houses, you’ll mostly see new blocks of flats and converted warehouses; and (beyond the hotel, anyway) you’ll probably spot more seabirds than tourists. The tranquillity is a welcome change.

And in case you were worried about a lack of history or gorgeous architecture out here, the Lloyd hotel building has both in spades. It was originally built in the ’20s for a shipping company (the name is a reference to the Lloyd’s maritime insurance market in London) and used to house poor emigrants, mostly Jewish Eastern Europeans, waiting to board a ship to South America.

It was later a Nazi prison, a youth detention centre and artists’ studios, before being turned back into a hotel in 2004. And it’s a (nationally listed) art deco marvel of a building, moving on – much like Amsterdam itself – from the darker chapters of its past into a hip, modern future. The Lloyd today is light, breezy and uncrowded, with lovely art deco tiling, high ceilings and a sprawling, south-facing terrace. A lot of love and design work has gone into the latest renovation, including playful, accidentally-on-purpose-Wes-Anderson details like an abundance of quirky retro signage.

Like other Hoxton hotels I’ve stayed in, the rooms here are comfy, hip and slick, without too many frills. There are no bath tubs, robes or slippers, housekeeping comes every other day, and instead of a paid minibar you can buy beers and snacks at reception. But my room was clean, stylish and quietly, colourfully luxurious, with a comfy bed and plenty of space for bags and bits.

Also like other Hoxton hotels, food and drink is a big draw here. The Breman Brasserie is worth a visit even if you’re not a hotel guest, with a stunning interior: art deco chandeliers, green banquettes, sunny walls and houseplants. The menu is inspired in part by the building’s history, with Ashkenazi Jewish and Argentinian classics sitting alongside brasserie essentials (the cheeseburger is A+) and a raw bar of Dutch seafood. The quality of the breakfast, featuring latkes, bagels and pastrami, is especially high.

Breman’s sun-soaked terrace is worth a special shout if the weather is playing ball. And if not, you could do a lot worse than curl up in the gorgeous, wood-panelled Barbue bar, converted from the hotel’s old booking office.

Neighbourhood

The tranquil Eastern Docklands feel a world away from the chaos of the Red Light District. And although there is undeniably less stuff to do around here, a pair of tram stops right by the hotel will whisk you into the thick of it at Centraal station, or around the outside of the city centre to some of Amsterdam’s coolest neighbourhoods – Zeeburg, De Pijp, Oud-West – or the Museum Quarter. In the other direction, you can hop a free ferry to the post-industrial playground that is Amsterdam Noord. Want to explore like a local? Hire a Hoxton bike – it’s free for the whole of your stay – and hit up Amsterdam’s 320 miles of cycle lanes.

Nearby

De VerbroederIJ: for beach-bar vibes, Sunday-night jam sessions and delicious home-style meals with fresh veg from the on-site farm. Say hi from us to the massive resident pigs, Barry and Rosita.

Plantage: for gorgeous green space at the venerable Hortus Botanicus garden and Artis zoo, plus the nearby Oosterpark – all just four tram stops from the hotel.

Vuurtoreneiland: for a properly unique dining experience on an island just outside Amsterdam. In the summer you eat in greenhouses, and in winter in a cosy underground bunker. Board the daily boat from the Lloyd’s own embarkation point, just over the road.

Time Out tip

Hotel check-out is at noon, but if you book on the Flexy Time scheme you can arrive and leave whenever you like, right up to midnight.

Details

Address
Oostelijke Handelskade 34
Amsterdam
1019 BN
Transport:
Tram 7, 26
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