Planning a trip to Amsterdam? Whether on business or leisure, you'll likely be looking to stay in the centre in order to get the best of this city that is filled with history and culture. Set in the heart of the old city, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center offers that perfect central location, right on the canals. But that's just the start: what you may not know is that the hotel itself has also seen its fair share of the rich history that shaped Amsterdam. Read on to uncover the secrets of the the Radisson Blu Hotel (and perhaps learn a bit of Dutch history along the way).
The majestic building that houses the hotel dates all the way back to the 17th Century. If you’d visited then, you’d have been in for a treat; its original uses were as a sweets bakery and a brewery, catering to the two of Holland’s favourite pastimes. However, in 1755 an enterprising hotelier (perhaps a forbear of the Radisson family) took over the building and turned it into a 30-bedroom hotel and auction room.
It remained a hotel until 1838, when an unknown entrepreneur decided to try his luck on turning it into a casino. Not gambling on the Dutch reluctance to risk their hard-earned Guilders, his venture soon collapsed, making way for a cigar factory, then the famous Proost and Brandt paper factory. The fire that followed in 1883 was almost a foregone conclusion given the nature of the previous two occupants, after which the building was taken over by the N.V. Building Society ‘Het Wapen van Amsterdam’ (that’s ‘The Coat of Arms of Amsterdam’ to non-Dutch speakers) in the year 1901. After just under 90 years under their ownership, the historic building returned to its past as a hotel under the ownership of Radisson Hotels.
Welcome to Het Wapen van Amsterdam
Any breath left after that whistle-stop tour through history? Then let’s climb the stairs (or indeed enjoy the very modern convenience of the lifts) to the top floor of hotel to enter the hotel’s crowning glory ‘Het Wapen van Amsterdam’, the room with a view not just over the fair city of Amsterdam, but over the last three centuries.
This unique space for business gatherings, meetings or conferences seats up to 180 guests for events with a difference. But perhaps it’s the links with the past that will make it stand out on your business agenda for delegates and invitees.
As part of the main hotel complex, the venue offers all the business benefits of being close to main arteries, handy for Schiphol and nearby Central Railway Station, plus the hotel’s very own garage and valet parking service. Not forgetting, of course, the private dock on the nearby canal that’s always available if you’d like your guests to arrive in the more traditional Amsterdam style.
Steeped in history, equipped for the 21st century
Don’t worry, all this history doesn’t come at the expense of modern convenience and the latest business facilities for your conference, meeting or event. You’ll find fast Wi-Fi wherever you need it, up to the minute audio visual facilities to add impact to your presentations and every other business service you’d expect from one of Amsterdam’s most fascinating and historic business event venues.