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A Stay in History - The Toren Amsterdam - By the Pavilions

A Stay in History

The Toren is a one-of-a-kind small luxury boutique hotel in Amsterdam city centre located in the Keizersgracht, offering 40 rooms between two 17th century residences. This location was once home to decadent families, at a time when trade merchants flourished. See "A Little History" below for details. 

The luxury hotel is now a beautifully intimate four-star hotel, located in the canal district of Amsterdam near the Jordaan area. A stay at The Toren is an extraordinary experience and we look forward to welcoming you to one of Amsterdam’s top boutique hotels.


A Little Background 1800 - Today - The Toren Amsterdam - By the Pavilions

A Little Background 1800 - Today

From 1830 to 1882, the house was owned by the Bienfait family, descendants of the Huguenots who had been driven out of France. The family acquired their wealth during the 19th century sugar import boom and maintained their own fleet of ships.

The most remarkable figure to have lived in the house was Abraham Kuiper (1837 - 1920). He was the founder of the Dutch Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) and became Prime Minister of the Netherlands in 1901. He later moved to The Hague. Kuiper was also a preacher and leader of the orthodox-reformed community in the Netherlands, with an aim to adapt Calvinism and its strict doctrines, bringing it more in-line with the times. He was also a journalist and writer on theological topics and political treatises.

In 1880, Kuiper founded the VU University (VU), the second university established in Amsterdam. It was the reformist answer to the University of Amsterdam (UvA), at a time when every religious-social movement managed their own institutions. Founding a reformist university represented an important and 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 the Second World War, the house was used as a safe house. The 20 people who sought refuge in the house from the Nazis all survived the war.

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

In 2016 the family sold The Toren to the luxury boutique hotel group, The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts, who developed the space as you see it now.

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