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Jan Luyken Amsterdam: A True Home-From-Home Hotel

Quietly confident, one of Amsterdam’s newest boutique hotels, Jan Luyken, seems to embody the mindset of the city it calls home. 

Laid back and effortlessly cool, this hotel is not only subtle yet stylish, but is located in a truly enviable location: it’s one block away from some of the city’s most famous museums in one direction, and one block in the other direction to Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat, Amsterdam’s high-end shopping street home to Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton – and all the others. 

Many hotels label themselves as a ‘home from home’ but Jan Luyken Amsterdam manages to make it feel real.

The Vibe

In Amsterdam, every street tells a story of old versus new. It’s a city where tales of Dutch Masters such as Rembrant and Veermer are told on one corner and met with cool, creative design stores next door. The same is true at Jan Luyken, where three 19th-century townhouses – once residential homes by architect P. van der Vliet – have been transformed into an utterly modern approach to hospitality.

Having undergone a multi-million pound makeover, Jan Luyken Amsterdam has carefully created a space that is modern, but that retains a sense of its own history. Look out for Art Nouveau touches throughout, starting before you even enter; tiled mosaics from the period grace the walls beside the hotel’s main door. 

You won’t find a stuffy reception desk here, check in is led by trendy staff on floating iPads and digital keys are offered, allowing you to simply swipe into your bedroom using your mobile phone. In place of a traditional reception, you’ll enter the hotel into a lounge-like area that feels akin to a private home, and check-in can take place anywhere; perhaps in the library over a complimentary glass of wine, or in the small garden on a sunny day.

The Rooms

Across its three townhouses, Jan Luyken is home to 62 rooms, ranging from snug singles for one person to private studios for four. Decor is inherently Instagram-friendly, with graphic wall prints, floor-to-ceiling black-out drapes and soft furnishings from Amsterdam-based brands Elle La and Studio Bonnie Barlag. Some rooms come with statement pieces including large, arched, houndstooth headboards and gold-fringed lampshades as well as copies of design magazines strewn about. Bathrooms are equally up-to-spec, with clean, white fittings in some and moodier green tiling in others, all boasting products from CODAGE.

The Food + Drink

There’s no formal restaurant here; instead, for breakfast, it’s a self-serve style selection of freshly-baked bread and pastries, salmon, cheese, overnight oats, fruit, and the like. As the day moves on, so does the ever-changing spread: cakes appear mid-afternoon, and antipasti arrives come evening, alongside jars of fizzy sweets. All food is included in your hotel rate, as are as many cups of tea and coffee or glasses of soft drinks, wines and spirits as you can handle, which are also self-serve. In keeping with the informal vibe of the entire hotel, you can eat and drink it all wherever you like – be it in the elegant library space, outdoors on the patio, or in your bedroom. Try some of the Bols liqueurs and spirits on offer, before taking the two-minute stroll to the House of Bols Cocktail Experience, just around the corner.

The Little Extras

The gym may be small but, like the rest of the hotel, it’s stylish – with environmentally-conscious produced wooden weight-training and cardio equipment by NOHRD. Hand-picked vintage and modern pieces dot the entire ground-floor space, where one room blends into the next, and range from coffee tables to artwork, vases, figurines and other trinkets. Most can be found in the library, a relaxed space for dining, working or whiling away the hours over conversations with your own party or other guests. The entire ethos here is truly to make you feel at home, and the communal spaces paired with help-yourself refreshments go a long way to achieving it.

The To-Do List

The well-curated clash of old and new found at the hotel is reflective of that found across the city. Steps from the hotel, in Amsterdam’s Museum Quarter, you’ll find galleries showcasing the works of Dutch Masters – including the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum – side by side with modern greats, including Banksy, Warhol and Basquiat at Moco Museum

Make like the Dutch and hop on one of the hotel’s bikes to explore the local area, Vondalpark is nearby, or use the city’s many cycle paths to navigate towards Jordaan, home to Anne Frank’s House, a Saturday flea market, a tulip museum, a cheese museum and of course, the canals lined with 300-year old houses. Be sure to stop for coffee and pastries as you explore: Saint-Jean Bakery, Kessens and Bbrood are all good options. Come evening, Moeders (Dutch for mothers) is the place to go for a true taste of traditional Dutch dishes. 

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