Japan and Amsterdam have a very special relationship. It dates back to 1639, when only Dutch merchants were permitted to continue trading in Japan.
Almost 400 years later, this affinity is upheld by Hotel Okura Amsterdam, where Eastern and Western influences are uniquely entwined.
Our blend of Japanese and Dutch culture informs our anticipatory service, culinary excellence, and authentic; quality experiences. A pursuit of perfection drives us, and every detail, every action, is rooted in achieving unsurpassable guest satisfaction.
It is this belief which helps us form a special relationship with each of our guests, so that in another 400 years, we’ll still be welcoming visitors from around the world into our unique hotel.
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On 24 September 1971 His Royal Highness Prince Claus of the Netherlands officially opened Hotel Okura Amsterdam.
A unique location
In 1971 a remarkable tower arose in the south of Amsterdam. How did this 23-storey building end up in the middle of a residential area? Let us take you on a trip down memory lane… To the delight of the Dutch government, contracts of a major construction project were signed in 1969. The prestigious Japanese hotel chain Okura choose Amsterdam as the first location abroad of their international expansion. Close to the old RAI conference building, a site was available where an opera building and metro station would be realized; a very promising outlook. A hotel with international allure would complete this new cultural site in Amsterdam. Four architects were chosen, two Japanese and two Dutch, to get the best of both cultures.
A beautiful complex
Plans were drawn up for a beautiful complex consisting of two separate buildings. A tunnel in between would connect the opera and hotel with each other. Because of the technical and acoustic requirements of the opera, the opera building had to be very colossal and many valuable adjustments were made to the blueprints. An underground parking garage had to be realized and the hotel building was forced to go up in the sky. Because Hotel Okura Amsterdam had to be a tower, a remarkable landmark arose in the Amsterdam skyline.
Nowadays, the location looks totally different than planned back in 1969. It soon turned out that there was a difference in the financing of both buildings. The budget of the opera became a much debated subject in the following years. Therefore the opera could not directly be materialized. The construction of the Okura on the other hand, started immediately. In the end, the opera was never built; the development plan of the once ‘cultural area to be’ changed. Instead the hotel was surrounded by a retirement home, a petting zoo, a youth centre and a sport centre, none of them higher than the adjacent buildings. This way the tower of Okura is an unexpected contrast in the neighborhood. A great side effect is the breathtaking panorama over the city. From Ciel Bleu Restaurant, the Twenty Third Bar and The Imperial Suite as well as most rooms, spectacular sights of Amsterdam can be admired without any other tall buildings obstructing the beautiful view. The LED lights on the roof of the hotel – embodying a barometer – grant the tower an even more prominent place in the skyline of Amsterdam.