Browsing Tag



Beautiful Amsterdam

jordaan area in Amsterdam photographed by pia jane bijkerk

If you never went to Amsterdam, you are missing something. The gorgeous has its share of cool modern design shops, you eat well and it is an urban area where you will feel in vacation. It has been a while since my last visit. Looking at these beautiful pictures taken by Pia Jane Bijkerk, show me how much I miss the European city vibe.

Pia is a known interior and food stylist who currently divides her time working and living between Sydney, Paris and a houseboat in Amsterdam. What a good lifestyle! Naturally, Pia talked about these 3 cities in her blog. I guess it will become one of your favorite blog. I added Pia’s blog to my daily fab read blogroll.

Taking about blogroll, I discovered Pia’s blog while commenting about stylish lampshades on Design Hole.

+ photo by Pia Jane Bijkerk


citizenM Amsterdam City is opened

toys for kids and adults at citizenM amsterdam city

I told you last year about citizenM hotel at Schiphol Airport, now you can stay at the hotel in the city. The rooms are small but the rest of the hotel offers plenty of attractive features for lovers of modern design. You could lounge in brand new Vitra furniture including the legendary Marshmallow sofa by George Nelson.

lobby and restaurant at citizenm amsterdam city

citizenM Schiphol is 10th the Conde Nast Traveller 2009 hot list of best new hotels in the World. With free wifi and public Mac computer stations, I would enjoy staying there a few days. Special rates are in effect for the launch at the Amsterdam city hotel. Special opening rates are 99 euro (normally 129 euro) during the week and 79 euro (normally 99 euro) on weekends.

Self-served Check In

self-served check in counters at citizenm

This is an innovative approach in the hotel business. You check yourself in at any of the citizenM hotel. An innovative touch screen terminals give you access to your online booking where you can enter your personal preferences, such as lighting, music, temperature and wake-up call. Your room will be automatically adjusted to your liking. Do not worry, citizenM Ambassadors are there to give you a hand.

After your stay, your room key doubles as a luggage tag. It becomes your proof of membership in the citizenM community at citizenM hotels worldwide. This is a cool concept!



Unique eating experience at studio-restaurant Proef

I watched with delight Chef Abroad hosted by the Canadian Chef Michael Smith has he finds a culture that has lost touch with its traditional food ways in Amsterdam.

ham man designed by Marije Vogelzang :: proef in amsterdam

I adore Amsterdam. It has been over a decade since my last visit which was a couple years after I graduated from interior design. Shopping in Amsterdam is a treat since you discover amazing design products. The sad thing for us is that almost none of Dutch design product is exported.

The Netherlands like to push the envelop of design. This is what eating-designer Marije Vogelzang of Proef does in her designs studio-restaurant in Amsterdam.

Marije is an artist who plays with edible food. Her creations are meant to be eaten. She wants us to take conscience of where our food comes from. Her Ham Man filled with pieces of ham on a stick illustrates one of her display techniques.

Other times, Marije Vogelzang works on ways to rediscover a forgotten vegetable. Some dinner menus are declinations on an ingredient where one ingredient is eaten 7 ways from appetizer to dessert.

proef events

She uses how we perceived eating and etiquette to stimulate people interactions at the communal dinner table. For example, she gives two half-plates to every guest with the same food on both plates. Half the people receive two plates of smoked salmon; the other half gets two plates of lemon. People have to exchange plate to assemble the dish. Another event was a picnic where half of the guests received the food and the second half got the tableware.

As a designer Marieje explores food through 8 factors: senses, nature, culture, society, technique, psychology, science and action.

If you are curious to have a look at her spectacular eating concepts but do not plan to go to Amsterdam in the upcoming weeks, get her book Eat Love where she explains her philosophy.

I applauded her imagination. It is on my to-do-list for my next trip to Amsterdam.

+ Images from Proef
+ Eat Love by Marije Vogelzang ? 32


citizenM hotels wins The European Hotel Design Award of the Year

I introduced this innovative Dutch hotel last spring. I definitively plan to stay there one day.

citizenM room and lobby

citizenM is an innovative, contemporary hotel for the cost conscious traveler. The first hotel is located at Amsterdam Airport. The second citizenM hotel is under construction already and will open shortly near Amsterdam’s World Trade Centre.

citizenM keeps accumulating awards. Last year, they won a Worldwide Hospitality Award for Best Innovative Hotel Concept. Philips fills the room with technological innovations as you can see in this video report by on YouTube.

About The European Hotel Design Award of the Year

Sleeper Magazine presented the award event on Thursday, 6 November 2008. The European Hotel Design Awards is the premier celebration of outstanding innovations in the hospitality industry and hotel design in Europe.

citizenM loacted at Amsterdam airport

Since I like their concept, I am happy to report that citizenM won the grand prize: The European Hotel Design Award of the Year. On top of that, citizenM also won the Innovation award, the Technology award, and the Graphic Design award.

Credit Crunch Special

citizenM is offering rooms for 69 euro per night, on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, until the credit crisis ends. Keep that in mind of you travel during the weekend.

+ citizenM special packages


CitizenM Hotel Amsterdam Airport is ready to take your order

citizenM Hotel Amsterdam at Schiphol International Airport

This is not an April’s fool: Be on the first 100 citizens to book a room at the first citizenM hotel and enjoy one night of casual chic luxury, nice towels, huge king size bed and friendly smile for free.

CitizenM (M for mobile) is a new affordable luxury hotel option for travelers to Europe. The first hotel is located at Schiphol International Airport, an amazing international airport that acts as a gateway.

Like in a boutique hotel, the concept behind CitizenM is hip with a fresh attention to details.

Excellent Services

The new hotel chain concept caters to a new type of travelers. CitizenM targets people who value personal choice, modern design, friendly technology and the proximity to a city at an accessible price. Every room has a wall-mounted LCD television with free movie access and provides a free Wi-Fi internet connection.

CitizenM wish to provide you with a unique experience. It starts by asking you while booking your preferred room settings from your favorite color lighting, the room temperature, your preferred music, the amount of daylight you want and more. It is a pretty ambitious plan so I hope they will deliver on site.

Exciting Modern Design

CitizenM participates to the pre-fab movement. The hotel rooms are pre-made in our own special factory off-site with features that you can expect from a luxury yacht or private jet. So yes, the rooms are smaller. Still, you will sleep in a comfortable king size bed. If you want to work in a different setting, you will find a communal working center furnished with Vitra furniture.

The style of the hotel sets it apart from the mainstream hotels. The lobby is made of several contemporary living rooms, furnished with the latest collection of iconic Vitra and Eames furniture. Must be pretty cool to relax there and meet people. If you are hungry, stop by canteenM that will provide a 24-hour choice of signature sandwiches, salads, sushi, warm dishes and more. Order your coffee from the barista and sip a drink at night at the well-stocked bar.

The 100 One-Night Stays Giveaway

The hotel is scheduled to open June 21st, 2008. CitizenM Hotel joins the free marketing trend. Here is an extract for the email I got as a Citizen member this morning with a clear mention that it is not a joke:

You are also guaranteed a 15% discount via For those who have faithfully returned to our Web site trying to book again and again, CitizenM hotels would like to reward your patience by giving away 100 free room nights. The free rooms are valid for one-night stays only, and will go quick, so be the first to book! The smart citizens amongst you won’t be fooled by April 1st.

At this moment, there is still some free room left. I tried the reservation system. It is a little slow but be patient it worked.

Book online: CitizenM Hotel