The stylish, canal-side hotel embodies everything we love about the Venice of the North.
Written by Lydia Geisel in partnership with Domino Magazine
A sophisticated fusion of Art Deco glamour and 1970’s opulence, The Apollo Hotel Amsterdam, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel is arguably the best place for design enthusiasts to stay in the Netherlands. Following an extensive, year-long renovation led by renowned Belgian designer Will Erens, the Apollo Hotel joins Marriott Internationals’ Tribute Portfolio hotels, a collection of design-focused destinations that offer all the makings of chic accommodations, without compromising the character and feel of a boutique hotel. The Apollo’s prime canal-front location and overall sumptuous sensibility are just two reasons we’re adding the Amsterdam stay to our travel bucket list.
“With its unmistakable indie vibe and characteristic free spirit, Amsterdam is an ideal location to debut the first Tribute Portfolio hotel in Holland,” says John Licence, Vice President of Premium and Select Brands, Europe for Marriott International.
Situated in the city’s desirable Old-South district, the waterside hotel holds 223 rooms and boasts two restaurants: Bodon, La Grande Brasserie—a vibrant eatery offering classic French cuisine—as well as a spacious outdoor restaurant along the harbor. Built for the 1928 Olympic Games, the Apollo’s century-old bones served as an ideal foundation for Erens and his design team, who decided to honor the property’s colorful past with evocative textures and antique finds.
“Amsterdam is a city that collapses creativity and style. Our challenge was to design something never seen before, while still keeping the avantgarde Amsterdam lifestyle in mind,” Erens, founder and creative force behind Too Many Agencies, tells Domino.
Featuring an eclectic combination of materials, colors, and styles, Bodon, La Grande Brasserie perfectly sums up the Apollo’s nonconformist mission. Velvet furnishings, saturated hues, and decadent gold accents give the room a flavorful punch. “Amsterdam is the city where everything is possible and where unusual combinations are accepted,” explains Erens. “So does this interior.”
Crafted from handmade Tiffany glass, the panels along the ceiling serve as a colorful contrast to the restaurant’s black and white floor, and they are just one of many vintage details in this dynamic space. Elsewhere, an original Parisian patisserie bar and decorative lamps recovered from original brasseries in France contribute to the haven’s decade-inspired ode to design.
For The Living Room, by Bodon—a 24/7 tea and cocktail lounge just off La Grande Brasserie—Erens turned the clock back 50 years to a time when the Apollo hosted one of the quirkiest and most famous bars in the Netherlands in its basement. “I was imagining a kind of ‘70s kitschy interior, with a lot of mess and bling,” the designer says on selecting materials for their associations. “That’s why I went for the palm trees—thinking enamel-meets-Palm Springs.”
While guests won’t find burnt orange shag rugs or sunken sofa pits in this ‘70s-inspired setting, they will find a sense of comfort in a marble-clad fireplace, colorful furniture, draped chandeliers, and SoCal-inspired decor.
“It was just a matter of being brave. To think out of the box and still keep functionality as a priority—daring to combine complete opposite styles with comfort and function,” Erens says.
Equally fearless in style, the guest rooms and suites continue to tell the hotel’s tale through a variety of textures, patterns, and quirky details. Rich velvet accessories, dark marble accents, and sculptural light fixtures (including gilded palm tree sconces) are just a few elements that lend a chic style to each and every room. Pops of wallpaper and copies of famous European paintings help introduce a personalized feel to the rooms.
Both the bedrooms’ interiors and their sweeping views are intended to highlight the beauty of the city. In some accommodations, private balconies offer unparalleled city and canal views—steering travellers away from their stylish sleeping quarters.
In the striking en-suite bathrooms, deep hues, glazed tiles, and hints of Tiffany glass ensure a unique experience.
Nestled in Amsterdam’s Old-South (or “Oud-Zuid”) district, The Apollo Hotel Amsterdam, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel sits within walking distance of the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Vondelpark, and some of the city’s most famous shopping streets. As the Netherland’s first Tribute Portfolio Hotel, the Apollo’s boutique beginnings and style-focused approach to canal-side make it stand out from the crowd.