Now Booking – Dutch Treat

T: The New York Times Style Magazine

“I don’t like anonymous hotels. I want people to wake up and immediately know where they are,” says Wilfried van Winden, the architect of the new Inntel Hotel Amsterdam Zaandam. He needn’t worry. The 160-room property is probably the most memorable example of gingerbread cottage architecture since Hansel and Gretel. Its quirky façade consists of nearly 70 irregularly stacked wooden houses fastened onto a concrete cement frame.

The hotel is the latest and most high-profile building in the ongoing radical revamp of Zaandam’s city center. The Amsterdam suburb, a 15-minute train ride from the central station and a popular day trip for travelers, is better known for windmills and quaint street lined with traditional green wooden cottages. It is these old-fashioned structures that are replicated in Winden’s hotel, which as part of the redevelopment plan, will bring some much needed whimsy to that area of post-war monstrosities around the train station.

The plan’s master architect, the veteran urban transformer Sjoerd Soeters, will draw on local history for inspiration, restoring a long buried canal and creating municipal buildings that incorporate stylistic features of the traditional cottages in macro scale.