Last year we made a weekend trip to Rotterdam. Living in the countryside, it was a great refreshment to be suddenly in a busy full of modern architecture, people, and boats of all dimensions. We were looking forward in particular to our stay in Hotel New York located on Wilhelmina Pier at Kop van Zuid close to the famous Erasmus bridge. It was a lovely spring weekend, at the beginning of May. The air was fresh, still a bit chilly but warm in the sun. There was a special light which is common to the seaside in the Netherlands. I loved it and took many pictures! And so I wrote this article about our spring weekend trip to Rotterdam where we stayed in the special and iconic hotel New York.
Hotel New York is situated in the former headquarters of the Holland-America Line, at Kop van Zuid. The building was built in Jugendstil style in 1901 by architects J. Muller and Droogleever Fortuin. As from 1993, it got a new life as a hotel. The interior of the hotel is spectacular and can really submerge you back in times when thousands of migrants left from here on a journey to start their new life in America.
We got a spacious room with a view of the water, which especially enchanted our at that time 2-year-old daughter who loved to observe the boats. Due to corona rules at that time, we had dinner and breakfast in our rooms with friends served behind the door. The food was excellent and we enjoyed it with a romantic sunset over the water! It is no surprise that staying here was a highlight of our trip to Rotterdam.
In Rotterdam, there is an extensive net of public transport, including waterways. Just in front of the hotel, there is a stop of water taxi (Wilhelmina Pier). So we took one to get to the closest park (Het Park) on the other side of the river Maas which was absolutely mesmerizing at this time of the year! We had a stroll there among the young greenery and blossoming trees, chasing pigeons, and ducks, having lunch in a lovely place called Parquiet in the middle of the park, soaking up some of the first warm sun rays of the year.
We left the park and walked alongside the Maas admiring some remarkable modern architecture pieces standing on the island made by great names such as Renzo Piano, Sir Norman Foster, or Rem Koolhaas from OMA Architects. We passed some little harbors where Steven and Adeline loved to see all the various types of boats.
Just before arriving to our final stop, we passed by the White House (Witte Huis) which used to be the first high-rise building in Europe (built in 1898 in Art Nouveau style), now recognizable by the big Calex commercial on the roof. Just a few steps further are the Cube Houses (kubuswoningen) designed by the architect Piet Blom. This is an interesting concept representing a village within a city, where each house is a tree and together they make a forest.
On our way back to the hotel, we walked over the Erasmus bridge (Erasmusbrug) connecting the Southern part with the Northern part of the city, built over the river Maas. It is Rotterdam’s most important landmark and if you don’t walk over it, it is like you were actually not in Rotterdam! The bridge was designed by Ben van Berkel and built for several years, it was inaugurated in 1996. Even though the bridge was consequently reinforced, you can still feel it moving in strong wind.
Close to the hotel at Kop van Zuid, we discovered Foodhallen where you can taste food from different cuisines, and Netherlands Fotomuseum which will be on our list next time when in Rotterdam! And also the famous Markthall, a paradise for food lovers but also an apartment complex which is a piece of art itself.
As our trip to Rotterdam came to its end, we enjoyed a beautiful red reflection of the sunset on the modern buildings before leaving. Below are many pictures we took during the trip, so you can now enjoy a little bit of Rotterdam with us! 🙂