City Cruises art.jpg

Published on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hip Amsterdam hotel social entrepreneur banks on sustainability and fun


Sandra's making a big fun sustainable splash with three fascinating new ventures

 Social entrepreneur Sandra Chedi's Botel has been on the scene for quite a few years now. First the 175 room floating hotel was moored just beside the Central Station close to the Damrak, then it moved to the arty NDSM Quay. Just a free boat ride away, the quay is part of Amsterdam's funky renovations - a massive old shipbuilding works turned into a fabulous media, art and entertainment hub. Media businesses , art houses, top cutting edge restaurants, night clubs and a year full of festivals from the high culture Over the Ij festival  to the outrageous Robodok   are making it a place to see and be seen.


Sandra wanted to make a splash in the hip harbour and she thought of the 'Loft Letters' or 'Love Letters' if you will. The name of BOTEL spelled out in fascinating suites on the deck. This is what she came up with…

Five unique designer suites towering above the Botel's top deck - all with sensational view and amazing interiors, each conceived and designed by a different international designer.


B by Richard Hutton is a kids-of-all-ages paradise a halfpipe for skateboarders and equipment to skate all day and night if you want. Designed for fun for all.
O by Prast Hooft - In keeping with Amsterdam's sexy reputation O represents the French porn classic 'Histoire d'O' - an S&M boudoir with a sinful mirrored soaring bed, leather curtains and skin-colour furnishings, a shower for 3  and, of course, it's full of sex toys.
T by Arjan van Royen and Michiel Van Pelt is the Captain's Room with its many hidden gadgets - here everything is covered by impressive oak.
E by filmmaker Jord van Hollander is a film suite with a massive cinema screen and with the complete collection of the Eye film museum on stream - the ultimate movie theatre.
L by Moriko Kira   is inspired by Zen philosophy and embodies traditional Japanese serenity, space, quietness, minimalistic design an oasis of peace in the bustle of Amsterdam.


And then there are amazing beguiling 360 degree views over Amsterdam's massive harbour where everything is happening.

Loft Letters now soaring over the harbour, Sandra's taking more time on her latest project. Her new baby and latest arrival on the Amsterdam scene, WOW is a hostel, artist-in-residence, restaurant and much more, a place where tourists open to cultural exchange rub shoulders with recent art school graduates, where influencers in the community walk the halls with the cultural change makers of tomorrow.


WOW not only provides temporary homes for young art professionals but also stays for urban explorers. The building combines artists' studios and living quarters with a hostel for young tourists.



WOW offers young artists from different disciplines an inspiring environment where they can live, work, eat, and meet and exchange ideas with visitors and other artists.


The mix of temporary art-minded guests with artists-in-residence and cultural activities in and around the complex, make WOW a great base to experience Amsterdam's cultural and artistic attractions.


The hostel even has an urban farm providing many of its fruits, vegetables and herbs used in the hotel. And it's on full display in the arty inner courtyard. The quiet and intimate atmosphere makes it suitable to work or relax.


This garden functions as a laboratory for the experimentation of food production in urban areas. It inspires people to experience their surroundings differently and creates awareness of and a respect for food. In co-operation with the Amsterdam Grafisch Atelier, an ink garden will provide non-toxic material for printing processes. In typically Dutch manner a greenhouse also serves as exhibition space.


Different? You bet!


And as a hospitality professional, Sandra loves really, really  good food so it's natural that another of Sandra's social interventions is focused on Amsterdam's top restaurant scene. The idea is that restaurant guests will make a voluntary donation of one euro per bill which goes direct to Amsterdam's homeless in the cold winter months. Based on the successful London project, StreeSmart Amsterdam has been quite the thing in this city of gourmets and backed by Sandra, it has now supported by 50 of Amsterdam's top chefs - there is also a cookery book!


So fun, food art and hospitality - it shows what can be done to make the world a better place through tourism!


Valere Tjolle

Valere is editor and publisher of Sustainable Tourism 0.2 which deals with travel and tourism and climate change, overtourism, art and tourism and green destinations amongst other sustainable tourism issues.

Story Image

Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:

Email other comments made to this story

NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
Mole Poll
'WTTC names cities at risk of over-tourism' - Has this issue affected the destinations you sell?
YES 60.21 %
NO 39.79 %

Thank you for your vote


Move scroll bar (above) left to right for more videos!