One of his first achievements as managing director of De L'Europe was the renovation of the hotel. With this, Edward Leenders wants to herald a new chapter for the hotel: the era of Original Amsterdam Luxury. “We want to give our guests the most valuable experience available in the city.”Text: Bart-Jan Brouwer | Online editor: Natasha Hendriks
Image: John van Helvert

Freddy's Bar

Edward: “We turned Freddy's Bar into a nice sitting room, with leather sofas, chairs, tables, table lamps, plants, carpet and photos from Foam on the walls, with which we have entered into a collaboration. Other than that, the bar has remained the same, apart from painting the ceiling and the benches we put in it. That's what we wanted: Freddy's, we didn't have to touch that. The pianist is also still there. What has been adjusted: entering the bar through the hotel is now via a door. At first it was an open entrance, with the result that when it was cozy in Freddy's, that conviviality expanded into the hall, which is also the entrance for guests of the Bord'Eau located directly next to the bar. I thought it was important for the arrival experience of those guests that there was more separation between the bar and the hall.”

Restaurant Bord'Eau*

Edward: “The gold and dark of Bord'Eau is gone. The interior is now calmer, more neutral, beautifully classic and in line with the cooking style of chef Bas van Kranen: very much based on nature. You can see this on the walls and ceiling, where clouds and blue skies have driven away the gold of the past.”


Edward: “Almost everything in the lobby is new, from the ceiling with double Amsterdam skirting boards to the wooden floor. Only four of the six chandeliers remain. The walls in the lobby, where enlargements of paintings from the Rijksmuseum used to hang, now display paintings that Mr. Heineken once purchased. All with a story. The bar that used to be here is gone. In the evening, a large champagne cooler with glasses will be placed in the lobby's Library Bar. From there it is served – and not just champagne. We deliberately did not opt ​​for a static bar. You can order something anywhere in the hotel. If you are leafing through a book at MENDO and want something to drink, you can use a butler bell. My favorite spot is in the Library Bar: a solitary chair with a view over the water, perfect for when you have a moment to think. We are so lucky with the depth of the view we have, from here to beyond the Stopera.”

Brasserie Marie

Edward: “The brasserie named after Gerard Heineken's wife radiates her love for the colorful French Riviera and botanical gardens. We have kept the walls and mirrors, almost everything else is new. The chairs, the floor, the lighting... The ceiling was dark, it now has a typical Parisian ceiling. A beautiful place with a view of the Munt and the boats that pass by.”

Wing 't Huys

Edward: “The new 't Huys wing is accessible to everyone. All 'houses' there are connected via the covered courtyard d'Tuyn. I wanted people to be able to experience the connection with the city, the energy of Amsterdam, more strongly here. I talked about this with Joyce and Dax and they introduced me to Roy Rietstap, owner of MENDO. After eighteen years on the Berenstraat, this 'candy shop for book lovers' is now located in our former Johannes van Dam room. During the day it's a bookstore, but at night the space is still available for dinner parties – one plus one equals three. The Italian restaurant Trattoria Graziella is the third 'house'. I came up with this together with one of the greatest chefs in Italy, whom I know from the five years I lived in Florence.. What should the taste be? What should the feeling be? A certain performance emerged from that. It is of course part of De L'Europe, but it also stands alone, with its own entrance.


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