Until recently Eindhoven, The Netherlands’ fifth city and most famous for being the home of electronics giant Philips, had nothing to offer than a few bland business hotels. With the rise of its renown Design Academy, IT businesses and reuse of old Philips factories Eindhoven is now competing with more interesting options. First in our diptych is Inntel Hotels Art Eindhoven.
Burlesque meets industrial chic. If your idea of a revamping an abandoned factory is about minimalist interiors, think again.
Inntel Hotels (it is part of a Dutch chain which also has interesting outposts in Rotterdam and Zaandam) Art Eindhoven is distributed between two buildings: a 2009 glass and brick atrium extension and two floors of the former Philips light bulb factory of exactly one century before. Although the reception area, bar and restaurant are situated in the new wing, most rooms are in the factory building. This Eindhoven landmark was the very first Philips factory producing lightbulbs with the bulbs being tested in the ‘light tower’ dominating the city centre -although some high rises have been added to the skyline recently-. Nowadays the hexagonal tower is lighted by more today LEDs. The light tower complex is, with the adjacent former Philips factory 1931 “De Witte Dame” (The White Lady) a listed building.
Light and openness dominate the new entrance building with its 8-floor atrium while the long corridors of the factory building are dimly lit, seemingly in contrast with the former use of the building. Interesting details include old Philips advertising above the entrance doors to the rooms. The Philips theme continues in all rooms with commisioned art portraying models in traditional Dutch attire.
Rooms are unusually spacious, with the “Loft” rooms in the factory measuring 33m2 and the “Art” rooms in the new building 40m2. Added advantage of the Loft rooms are the 4 meter high ceilings, adding to the spacious feel. Furniture is not as to expect minimal, but of an arty, bohemiam feel with lots of colour, brass, velvet, wallpaper prints and even tartan wall to wall carpeting. Loft rooms are more subdued with tiled flooring and original concrete details as columns and ceilings. Room facilities include a flat-screen TV, minibar, safe, work desk and seating area. Some rooms with balcony.
As spacious as the rooms with colorful tiles and glass vanities. Loft rooms have huge walk-in rainfall showers with excellent pressure and heat. Selected Art Rooms and Loft Suites have freestanding jacuzzi baths. Non-branded amenities are by the Inntels chain.
Staff provide a mix of welcoming southern hospitality (the people from the province of Brabant are seen in The Netherlands as Burgundian) and Dutch down-to-earthiness.
Philips, even with its headquarters moved to Amsterdam, still attracks the usual business crowd. Visitors of the famous Design Academy next door add to the arty atmosphere and more buzz comes from football fans and event goers to the PSV stadium down the road.
Currently guests can use the fitness centre in the same building at a reduced fee. The hotel’s own fitness centre and spa is to open later this year. A regularly changing art exhibition is displayed in the glass enclosed area between the two parts of the hotel.
Wining & dining
An extensive breakfast (eggs a-la-carte and sparkling wine) is served in the spacious, yet intimate all-day restaurant serving sandwiches, salads, finger food, and a number of classics. The adjacent bar is a good place for a pre-or after dinner drink, cocktail glass of wine or locally brewed beer.
Location, location, location
Inntel Art is located in Eindhoven’s city centre, which is small but offers good shopping, including a Bijenkorf department store practically opposite the hotel. Train station and PSV stadium can be reached within a few minutes’ walk. Design Academy Eindhoven is adjacent and Van Abbe Museum is a 10-minute walk. More former Philips factories and offices around the hotel are currently being transformed, this can cause some noise.
Prove that a chain hotel can be fun and different.