A couple of weeks ago I went to Amsterdam. It has only been two months in the City and already I feel like a foreigner in my own hometown. I played tourist. I hauled around my camera from one place to the other. I completely blended in with the other Asian tourists carrying ginormous cameras. Of course my Longchamp tote didn’t help either (in case you haven’t noticed – nearly every Asian carries a Longchamp tote).
When I arrived at the INK Hotel in Amsterdam I was finally able to get a little bit of piece and quiet. In the middle of the city center, amidst the hectic streets of little Mokum, I sat down at the hotel’s lounge and restaurant Pressroom. If ever you are in need of a good cup of cappuccino, do stop by (and tell them I sent you).
It was nice to be back in Amsterdam again. I had never realized how compact the city really is until now. You can get anywhere in the city within half an hour. I had missed the warmth of the city. Not that Amsterdammers are the friendliest of people – quite the contrary. We’re direct, we’ll say anything to you in your face even when it’s rude. And it’s not even Amsterdam – it’s the whole of the country. But then, everybody is so open, we don’t hide anything.
And nothing beats a city where you are able to run into people you know. K and I were sitting at the Pressroom bar at night, enjoying the hotel’s signature cocktails – INKredible, aptly named – when suddenly we see two familiar faces walk in the door. Sure, it wasn’t a Casablanca moment – but of all the cocktail joints in
the world Amsterdam…
Even though my room was on the street side of the hotel, a busy street mind you, I slept like a (pretty) baby. I packed my bags again the next morning with a sense of serenity and satisfaction. I could waste hours and hours at the hotel writing, reading and dreaming. It’s part of the hotel’s vibe – a place where stories are written. Mine has yet to unfold and I’m curious to see what’s next. For now, I don’t think I’ll be able to let go of Amsterdam just yet.
INK Hotel by MGallery / Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 67
Shortlisted for the European Hotel Design Awards 2015 in the categories Interior Design Bedrooms & Bathrooms en Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas, to be presented on 23 November at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London.