Anyone that travels frequently and especially those that travel for work, know what it’s like to stay at the big, conference-style, chain hotels of this world. They’re usually comfortable enough and ‘do the trick’ but in my opinion only those chains that make it a point to customize each of their individual properties to the city or region they serve, escape their cookie cutter image.
A look at Dutch Owned Hotels in Rotterdam
And then of course there are locally owned hotels. Not necessarily always ‘boutique’ but properties owned and operated by a local individual or family. They may run multiple hotels, in multiple cities but each has a distinct look and feel. The common denominator being a warm and honest mission to be the traveler’s ‘home away from home.’
The city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has a number of striking properties that fall in this category. Here is our list of five Dutch owned hotels in Rotterdam:
What better way to start our list with an actual ship? The ‘Grande Dame’, as the ship is lovingly known was christened in 1958, the era where the bulk of transatlantic travel was still done by ship. For 10 years her owner Holland America Line, had her sail between Rotterdam and New York, until commercial air travel on the route became the predominant mode of transport. After serving as a cruise liner for 32 years the ship changed ownership a number of times before she was finally purchased by WestCord Hotels, who had her renovated to serve as the unique hotel it is now, permanently moored in Rotterdam.
We had the pleasure of spending the night aboard this beautiful, iconic ship in 2015, and we were mesmerized by the romance of her interior, her lido deck, and her beautiful bow. Despite being a modern hotel with modern amenities, staying on this ship will invoke visions of a time when travel seemed romantic and grand, and really make your stay in Rotterdam extra special.
ss Rotterdam, 3e Katendrechtse Hoofd 25, 3072 AM Rotterdam, Netherlands. Website
Many architecture students flock to Rotterdam to admire the city’s remarkable structures: the flying saucer shaped roof of the Blaak train station, the centre-George-Pompidou-like design of the public library, the iconic cube houses on stilts, and one of the newer additions, the multi-functional, multi colored arch shaped canopy that is the ‘markthal’. Literally right around the corner of this cluster of sights you’ll find one of Rotterdam’s oldest port inlets, the ‘Oude Haven’. Barges ‘docked’ here as early as the year 1350. Lined with cafes, bars and restaurant patios, the area now is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
This is where you’ll find another Dutch owned hotel in Rotterdam, the citizenM hotel. The glass and steel façade hardly screams that this is a hotel, but once inside you’ll recognize what a great job the designers have done in combining a welcoming atmosphere with modern functional design. Our friends went on a weekend trip to Rotterdam and kept raving about their stay at citizenM. On our list to try for our next trip home!
citizenM Rotterdam Hotel, Geldersestraat 50, 3011 WZ Rotterdam, Netherlands. Website
Hotel New York
Owned and operated by the same company that owns the SS Rotterdam, Hotel New York is another very characteristic building. Formerly the head office of the Holland America Shipping line, the building prominently sits at the top of the Wilhelmina pier. This is where thousands of European families boarded a vessel in search of better economic times in the United States of America. Hotel New York is the epitome of a Dutch owned hotel in Rotterdam.
The hotel, and its excellent restaurant have been beautifully repurposed without losing the nautical heritage of the building. The hotel is served by ‘watertaxi’ and I cannot think of a more pleasurable and quintessentially Rotterdamer way to cross the river Maas. Even when we don’t have the opportunity to stay the night, we make it a point to visit Hotel New York every time we visit the city.
Hotel New York, Koninginnenhoofd 1, 3072 AD Rotterdam, Netherlands. Website
Repurposing old warehouses and other industrial structures is part of the revitalization of many industrial cities. I for one love the combination of modern, urban design with the history and character of those buildings and their original purpose. Many moons ago I – fresh out of business school – had my first job interview at a shipping and logistics company at the Lloydkwartier area of Rotterdam. My new leather shoes killed me as I walked the cobble stone streets past warehouses, trucks, and a power plant.
Fast forward to 2017 and an amazing stay at the uber cool Hotel Stroom. ‘Stroom’ means ‘(electrical) current’ in Dutch as this is part of the old power plant that has been transformed into a hotel, brasserie, and bakery. The hotel has studio rooms (some split level) and amazing urban lofts. Our urban loft had a beautiful long wooden conference table with an old (yet functional) typewriter on it, a design fridge, stylishly colored exposed ventilation ducts, floor-to-ceiling windows and classic rotary dial phones. Good thing it did not have a full sized kitchen or we would have never left and permanently moved in. Seriously, Jessica would’ve in a heart beat. Jokes aside though, Stroom is one of the great Dutch owned hotels in Rotterdam.
Stroom Rotterdam, Lloydstraat 1, 3024 EA Rotterdam, Netherlands. Website
Part of the Dutch Inntel Hotel group, Mainport Hotel is their very sleek and very comfy 5-star design hotel. When looking for luxury hotels in Rotterdam, this makes the top of our list. The term ‘Mainport’ refers to the fact that Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port and as such welcomes visitors from all of the world’s continents. The hotel’s interior design reflects this perfectly as every floor of the hotel represents a different continent. Five star hospitality stands for luxury, comfort and high-end amenities.
If you have the chance, stay at one of the rooms with an in-room sauna, or alternatively book a session at the award-winning spa , ‘Spa Heaven’. This Dutch owned hotel in Rotterdam is perfect for business travelers or tourists looking to be pampered yet be in walking distance of downtown’s main attractions. (Kunsthal museum, Erasmus bridge, Markthal, Cube houses). Read about our stay this summer in our earlier post.
Mainport Hotel Rotterdam, Leuvehaven 77, 3011 EA Rotterdam, Netherlands. Website
If you want a deeper look into the culture of the Netherlands, consider staying at one of the many Dutch owned hotels in Rotterdam. If you are a lover of great design and hospitality, you will not be disappointed.