Categories: Travel

And Breathe! A beautiful designer hotel and oasis in the heart of Amsterdam

At The Idealist we love to take a peek inside designer hotels and steal some ideas for our own homes. Michaelis Boyd, whose residential designs we’ve also featured have brought their beautiful aesthetic to this amazing space.

Nestled amongst the foliage of a living wall at the hotel’s entrance are the words “and breathe” in playful neon pink letters. This epitomises the spirit of the new the Kimpton De Witt Hotel in Amsterdam by Michealis Boyd, a design-led architectural practice known for their simple, elegant and creative approach to architecture.

Founded in 1995 by Alex Michaelis and Tim Boyd in Notting Hill, London, their work has ranged from contemporary additions on historic houses to new build residential projects whilst gaining a strong sector of the luxury residential market. Together with Ave Bradley, global senior vice president and design and creative director of Kimpton Hotels, inspiration came from the playful design approach of Kimpton, contemporary architectural principles and a nod to traditional Amsterdam.

Located in the heart of Amsterdam’s vibrant streets, the Kimpton De Witt hotel is within walking distance from the Centraal station yet once inside it feels like you are a world away from any city centre. The reconfigured ground floor provides a new entrance and a visual connection to the street with the feel of a retreat once inside.

A link to the natural world

There is a strong botanical link within the hotel evident by the living entrance wall, interior timber wall panelling and flooring and the new garden room situated at the heart of the building. This former lounge has been turned into a new garden room bringing daylight and fresh air into the centre of the hotel acting as a terrace to the House Bar nearby.

Interior accessories also reflect the natural world through deer elk and bee door knockers on the bedroom doors and bird pendant lights, all with a hint of the trademark Kimpton playfulness.

Making an Entrance

The reception area has striking graphic blue and white floor tiles inspired by the traditional Dutch delft tile and designed by Michealis Boyd. A ceramic tiled fireplace takes centre stage behind reception, a focal point of the banquette seating surrounding it complete with blankets and cushions creating a perfect place for reading and relaxing.

Living Room and Courtyard

The living room can be found next to the House Bar complete with an external courtyard featuring cascading plants, festoon lights and swing chairs enclosed within full height steel framed glazing. In the summer the courtyard can be opened allowing the light and fresh air to permeate through.

“For this project, we feel that we have transformed a quite dreary existing building into something fresh and vibrant.  A key architectural element is the new courtyard that brings fresh air and daylight into the heart of the hotel – it’s a wonderful space to sit and enjoy on a sunny day.” Alex Michaelis on design of Kimpton De Witt Hotel, Amsterdam.

House Bar

Located within the historical Queen of Holland building, the House Bar has been painted a dark glossy teal colour and the space features original beams and timer wall panelling creating a dramatic and intimate space. Michaelis Boyd designed a bird motif wallpaper to run between the ceiling beams playing homage to the traditional painted murals that date back to the Dutch Renaissance era.

Guest Rooms

Smooth oak floors and colour blocked walls run throughout each of the 274 guest rooms, which are furnished with marble topped bedside tables, luxurious velvet fabrics and custom designed brass hanging rails. The bathrooms all feature bold and bright geometric floor and wall tiles.


Kimpton de Witt Hotel Amsterdam, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 5, 1012 RC Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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All photos courtesy of Kimpton de Witt Hotel.

Helen Baker: Helen is a fabric designer and lives with her husband and two sons near Bath. She grew up by the sea in Cornwall and is reinventing a modern coastal look of interiors with her debut collection in a minimal graphic design inspired style. Passionate about pattern, Helen is constantly capturing images on her phone for potential design inspiration.