Netherlands' historical buildings provide setting for new hotels

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NEW YORK -- In the Netherlands, you could say that what is old is new again.

Recently, several new hotels have opened throughout the country in renovated historical buildings.

The following is a rundown of some of these hotels.

  • When the owners of the Hotel New York in Rotterdam took over the former headquarters building of Holland America Line, they decided to keep as much of the building's architectural detail as possible.
  • During renovations, the facade was barely touched, and the building's towers, balconies, dormer windows and decorations are the same as they were when the structure was new more than 90 years ago.

    Inside, there are massive steel pipes jutting from walls and ceilings, intricately designed iron railings on the stairs and white-and-black tile on the floor and walls.

    Although the building looks rather imposing from the outside, its insides house only 72 rooms on three floors.

    Rooms are large, with king-size beds, desks and chairs and separate sitting areas. Each room is decorated in a whimsical style.

    One room, for example, was furnished with reproductions of Andy Warhol's paintings of Marilyn Monroe, a table with a chessboard surface and nautical knickknacks.

    The hotel's cafe-restaurant, with its tasty food, large selection of menu items and lively bar, is a popular dining spot for locals.

    Rates start at $80 per room, double.

    Hotel New York
    Phone: (011) 31-10 439-0500

  • The first Blakes outside the U.K. opened last spring in Amsterdam. The 28-room Blakes Hotel Amsterdam is located in a 17th century building with a courtyard in the heart of the old city by the Keizersgracht canal.
  • A five-minute walk will take visitors to Dam Square in the center of the Dutch capital and to the restaurants of the Leidseplein; the Anne Frank Museum is also nearby.

    Blakes' biggest selling point is its "stylish intimacy and rooms decorated with theatrical flair," according to the hotel.

    Blakes features a restaurant, a lounge with a bar and a small meeting room.

    Rates start at $275 per room, double.

    Blakes Hotel Amsterdam
    Phone: (800) 525-4800
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.slh.com/blakesam

  • The province of Utrecht has its first five-star hotel -- the Grand Hotel Karel V. The hotel opened in September in a historical building that dates back to the 14th century and is surrounded by a large city garden.
  • Of the hotel's 91 guest rooms, 43 opened in November, with the rest scheduled to be ready by spring 2000, according to the hotel.

    The hotel is within walking distance of the central station in Utrecht, the Jaarbeurs Congress Center and the city's entertainment district.

    Facilities include a fitness room and sauna, a formal restaurant and a more casual bistro, bars and meeting rooms.

    Rates start at $200 per room, double.

    Grand Hotel Karel V
    Phone: (011) 31-30 223-2484
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.karelv.nl

  • Clients can spend a night in the Paleis Het Stadhouderlijk Hof in Leeuwarden, a converted palace that was once the residence of one of Queen Beatrix's forefathers.
  • Twenty-eight of the royal rooms of the historical building, which dates back to 1587, were converted into spacious suites and apartments; four feature Jacuzzis.

    The hotel has a bar in the medieval cellar, a sun room, various dining rooms and a court garden with a terrace.

    Rates start at $90 per room, double.

    Hotel Paleis Het Stadhouderlijk Hof
    Phone: (011) 31-58 216-2180
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.stadhouderlijkhof.nl

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