There's something so wonderful about exploring your city in a completely new way. On a recent trip back to Amsterdam from London (we've been back every month because it's just too hard to stay away!) we had the chance to stay at the city's new hotel concept, SWEETS hotel. Amsterdam's unused bridge houses have been turned into independent hotel suites that accommodate two lucky people - and it's just as great as it sounds. If you're into the 'tiny house' movement at all, then this is definitely up your alley. Compact but clever, these hotel suites have everything you need. And the experience is one you'll never forget.
The bridge houses, occupied by bridge keepers for 100 years, had become redundant with the introduction of a centralized bridge control system. So the idea was to transform them into hotel rooms, introducing travelers to new neighborhoods and unexpected experiences in the city. This is exactly what it was for us; we had biked down the Buiksloterweg and over this exact bridge many times to get up north but it was a whole other experience spending the night in the Buiksloterdraaibrug house. The room was decorated simply, we loved the wooden accents, and it had everything we needed, from coffee and tea to bathrobes and slippers, a deck of cards (who needs a TV anyway?) and even a neighborhood guide on the complimentary tablet.
We arrived in the late afternoon as the sun enveloped the house in a warm glow. From the bed, we watched the boats pass by and even had a friendly encounter with a group of neighborhood kids who were brave enough to jump off the bridge into the cold water below. We had made reservations for dinner at one of our Amsterdam-Noord favorites, Hotel de Goudfazant, and biked slowly along the quiet, characteristic Buiksloterdijk, admiring the old Amsterdam houses and day-dreaming of a life so close to Amsterdam yet so far from the hustle-and-bustle. Dinner was lovely and ended with ever-so-sweet desserts (chocolate fondant and raspberry ice cream for him and meringue and rhubarb compote for her) that were so fitting for our night away.
SWEETS hotel is an initiative and co-creation of the Amsterdam-based architecture office Space&Matter, project development partner Grayfield, and the founders of the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy. Find out more about the hotel concept here, and book your stay on their website. Thanks for having us, SWEETS, we'll be back soon!