How’s this for a name: Hotel Not Hotel. Wait, what? I’m confused. Is it or isn’t it? Well, the short answer is that yes, it is. But it’s not quite that simple. Hotel Not Hotel is a hotel with quite a difference, as you’ll see as we take a tour around the interior of the Amsterdam building. Collaboration-o, a group of designers form the Design Academy Eindhoven, have let their imaginations run amok within the spacious walls of Piri Reisplein 34, taking the concept of individually-designed boutique rooms several stages further than simply varying the colour scheme or sticking in some mismatched chairs.
The rooms at HNH sit inside the building’s superstructure like stand-alone cottages, and bear almost no relation to each other in their layouts or furnishings. Take for example the little semi-detached rooms that make up the Crisis Free Zone. One red, one blue, both bedecked in busy wallpaper, enough room for the bed and nothing else, and fronted by a wonderful carved wooden archway of hearts and skulls, the facade of the rooms themselves equally ornate with an almost church-like window/steeple arrangement. Then there’s the Crow’s Nest, which offers an unusual vantage point of the rest of the hotel through its scaffolding platform on the room’s roof. A secret room hidden behind a bookcase, another fashioned from an antique tram trolley… what will you discover next? Great fun.