De geschiedenis van Hotel Amsterdam De Roode Leeuw gaat terug tot in de 15e eeuw. In 1911 opende het hotel haar deuren en was daarmee een van de eerste hotels in Amsterdam. Ook de ligging van het hotel is fantastisch en zeer centraal, gesitueerd op het Damrak vlakbij De Dam. Het hotel is nog altijd in privébezit.
brasserie de roode leeuw
Open after renovations from February 11th!
Brasserie De Roode Leeuw dates back to 1911 and enjoys an outstanding reputation, renowned for its Dutch regional specialties and is considered an Amsterdam institution.
A rich history in hospitality
Hotel Amsterdam De Roode Leeuw has its origins as a prominent inn as far back as the 15th century. The oldest proof of ownership dates back to 1454. Tender Simon Pietersz leased the building from a certain priest named Jan Damaesz. This indicates there is a medieval alliance between 'Spiritualia' and a 'red lion' (roode leeuw). The original building, located where you can now find Peeck & Cloppenburg and Madame Tussauds, was demolished in 1838. We then find De Roode Leeuw on the Vijgendam 22 as a coffee bar De Roode Leeuw until it was demolished in 1911. A new building, designed by architect Foeke Kuipers, was erected at the Damrak in 1911. Kuipers was a much sought-after architect in Amsterdam at that time, who also designed well-known buildings such as 'Industria' on Dam Square, the AMVJ building on the Leidsebosje, as well as a few villas and mansions on the Museumplein and Jan Luykenstraat.
The appearance of Hotel De Roode Leeuw shows a clear affinity to the Beurs van Berlage. Kuipers had in fact, received his training from the Buildingmasters Berlage and Klinkhamer. Unfortunately the fourth floor and the attic of the hotel were converted in 1956/1957, so the clear signature of Kuipers - namely the characteristic corner facades - were lost.
The founding of the current company was initiated on October 16 1911, by two members of the Board of Directors of the Amstel Brewery, squires sir Ernest de Pesters and sir Pierre H. Bicker. The company founded was called the N.V. to Exploitation of Hotel Café Restaurant De Roode Leeuw. Sir Jos von Eugen was the first appointed director of De Roode Leeuw. He made a profit in the first year of opening. One of the things that certainly helped, was that many regular guests were business travelers or did business at the Stock Exchange. Originally the hotel had 35 rooms, but in 1918 adjacent buildings were purchased at the rear to expand the capacity. As a result the hotel went all the way back to the Nieuwendijk. Although the groundfloor on the side of the Nieuwendijk remained in use as a retail space. The other rooms were converted into hotel rooms. Unfortunately these changes did not finish under director von Eugen, he passed away in 1919.
Results in 1928 were disappointing. There was still profit, but Hotel De Roode Leeuw expected to make more profit from the Olympic Games in Amsterdam. Because of declining results in 1931, they decided to take a different course. Sir J.F. Staal, director of the Krasnapolsky Hotel, was asked to act as supervisor. He successfully closed the year 1933 with a considerable profit. In the years that followed, the crisis struck and there were more cuts in spending. During the 2nd World War, the hotel had to deal with many difficulties. Some employees were deported to Germany. Others stayed away or weren’t so strict with the hotel's possessions and stole from the stocks. After the war the hotel was requisitioned as the Canadian 'Leave Center', the Canadians used the hotel for a year. In that time several chambermaids were even fired for lewd behavior with the male guests.
Over the years the hotel has undergone many refurbishments and modernizations and has grown with the wishes of the guests and the changes that modern times require. Yet the character of Hotel De Roode Leeuw has been preserved, including its the service and high level of hospitality. In 1972 the hotel received two stars. It’s hard to imagine the Damrak without De Roode Leeuw's terrace. This first open terrace was closed off in 1935. During the renovation in 1973 the total area was enlarged and the striking pillars were restored to their old decorative glory.
On October 16 in 2011, N.V. Hotel Café Restaurant De Roode Leeuw celebrated its 100th anniversary. The celebration was in the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), and with this party the hotel started its second century of hospitality. In 2017, Marcel Romein joined the team as General Manager to supervise the large-scale renovation of the restaurant, the conservatory, the reception, the cellars, and the reinforcement of the foundations of the building. Plans for a beautiful new terrace are now being implemented and will be realized by the end of 2018.
Hotel De Roode Leeuw is still in the hands of the founders descendants, which - apart from being a fantastic place in a great location in the historic center of Amsterdam - makes it a unique hotel.