Lute Suites: Amsterdam’s Secret Indulgence

Amsterdam has long been the destination of choice for a Euro weekend getaway. Cheap flights, a host of boutique hotels and a rather relaxed attitude to, ahem, the pursuit of a good time have created a year round tourist hotspot. While boredom will never be an issue in a city that offers just about everything, there’s always the danger of entertainment overload. Enter Lute Suites, a stylish, seven room hotel offering an escape from city center madness situated within easy reach of all the action.

Located in the small town of Ouderkerk, a 15 minute drive to both Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam city, Lute balances the best of both worlds. Sitting along the picturesque Amstel river, not a garish neon sign or Bachelor party pub in sight, the Lute experience is all about creating an environment that renders an outside escapade almost unnecessary.

The hideaway is a joint venture by chef Peter Lute and interior designer Marcel Wanders, both of whom are leaders in their respective fields. Lute had originally planned to create a destination restaurant at the site, serving his celebrated French inspired cuisine within equally impressive surroundings. After a chance meeting with Wanders—whose client list includes Vitra, Mandarina Duck, B&B Italia and Thor at NYC’s Hotel On Rivington—the business concept was expanded to include a collection of impressively sleek suites.

Housed within an 18th century gunpowder factory, each suite contains a private entrance, living area and sleeping lofts with all the tech gadgets you’d expect to find (flat screen TVs, DVD players, wi-fi) along with fittings and furniture from the likes of Cappellini, Boffi, Bisazza and Moooi. The look is classic, with flashes of eclectic detail: Baroque wallpaper, gold clad ceilings, spiral staircases and contemporary chandeliers against a backdrop of clean monochrome flooring and furniture. With the much celebrated restaurant, boardrooms, self-contained suites and a quirky “Lute boat” for a lunch trip along the Amstel, Lute Suites is a good excuse to give the big city a miss.

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—Lena Dystant