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A Stay in History

The Toren is an unique boutique hotel located at the Keizersgracht, with 40 rooms between two 17th century residences, separated by a 20-second walk. The location where the hotels stand today had once set the scene for the decadent and flamboyant lives of the Dutch during the time when trade merchants flourished. See "A Little History" below for details.  

The hotel is now a beautiful, intimate 4 star boutique hotel located in the canal district just next to the Jordan area. A stay at The Toren is far from the ordinary, and we invite you to experience it for yourself. 

A Little Background 1800 - Today

From 1830 to 1882, the house was in the hands of the Bienfait family. descendants of the Huguenots who had been driven out of France. The family had acquired their wealth during the nineteenth-century sugar import industry and kept their own fleet of ships.

The most remarkable figure to have lived in the house was Abraham Kuiper (ne.1837 - d.1920). He was the founder of the Dutch Antirevolutionary Party (ARP) and became Prime Minister for the Netherlands in 1901, and later moved to The Hague. Kuiper was also a preacher and leader of the orthodox-reformed community in the Netherlands who aimed to adapt Calvinism and its strict doctrines and bring it inline with the times. He was also a journalist/writer on theological topics and political treaties.

In 1880, Kuiper founded the VU University (VU), the second university established in Amsterdam. It was the reformed answer to the University of Amsterdam (UvA) at a time when every religious-social movement had its own institutions - Catholics, Socialists, Protestants and Liberals all had their own associations, broadcasting stations, housing corporations and schools. Founding a reformed university represented a logical step at the time.

In 1889, the VU University purchased the building at Keizersgracht 164. The adjacent buildings, numbers 160 to 166, also became part of the University. The 'Heerenkamer' (first door on the left after the stairs) was the so-called ‘sweat room’, the room where exams were taken, the entire first floor was dedicated to lecture rooms, while the massive library was situated on the top floor.

During Second World War, the house was used as a safe house. The twenty people who seeked refuge at the house while sought after by the Nazis, all survived the war.

The Toren family bought No. 164 in 1968. The first guests event helped decorate the rooms - some brought curtains while others painted the windows. This is how the first rooms were born, and the doors opened officially on 15 March 1969. The overall renovation continued on for three years, resulting in 34 rooms one-star hotel. In 1983 the private building a few doors down at No. 146, was added, and further renovations and upgrades were developed. 

In 2016 family Toren sold The Toren to the boutique hospitality group, The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts.

“With quality of life being on top of our list, we believe a stay in Amsterdam should be celebrated to the fullest. It is for that reason we developed our hotel, with a place in mind that breathes, an unique and extraordinary environment and that feels intimate. We wish to create only the best memories when visiting our funky & bustling city.” Owners, The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts

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