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Hotel nhow Rotterdam Hotel 4 star
Wilhelminakade, 3072 AP Rotterdam, The Netherlands Rotterdam, The Netherlands -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Following launches in Milan and Berlin, NH Hotel's brings its nhow brand to the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Occupying the bottom half of the eastern tower of the already iconic Koolhaas-designed De Rotterdam building, the hotel is fast becoming one of the city's 'places to be'. With a fantastic waterside location at the southern end of the Erasmus Bridge and with unbeatable views of the city from its rooms' floor-to-ceiling windows, the nhow Rotterdam is sure to become one of the city's go to properties. Although the guestrooms have far too many glitches, the fact that they are spacious, bright and have killer views balances things out, as do the bar and restaurant on the 7th floor, the design and artwork and, above all, the super friendly staff. If you are looking for intimacy during your stay in Rotterdam then this is perhaps not the best place to stay, however if you value style, service and location then it is a no-brainer.

A fun hotel in a landmark building, the nhow is, for the moment, the place to stay for a young crowd looking for a good time.

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    Location 5.99 /10

    The nhow Rotterdam is located within the De Rotterdam 'vertical city' on Wilhelminapier on what is also known as 'Manhattan on the Maas'. It comprises the bottom half of the easternmost of the three towers that make up the Rem Koolhaas-designed project. At the southern end of the also iconic Erasmus Bridge, which crosses the Maas, the hotel is minutes away from the Luxor Theatre and the legendary Hotel New York. Almost opposite the hotel is the Nederlands Fotomuseum. Being a relatively small city, everything is within walking distance in Rotterdam, although many of the sights can take up to an hour to get to by foot. The closest points of interest to the hotel are perhaps Veerhaven, a picturesque harbour to the west, the lively Witte de Withstraat with its bars and restaurants, and the area where you have several architectural highlights including Piet Blom's Cube houses and the Markthal which is due to open in October 2014. There is a subway station (Wilhelminaplein Rotterdam) just steps from the hotel while several tram lines run very close to the property too. You can catch a water taxi across on thr Rijnhaven or call a traditional one direct to the hotel. The impressive Centraal Station, which opened in March 2014, is a 10-minute drive away, Rotterdam The Hague Airport is just 6 miles away and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is 37 miles away.

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    The 278 guestrooms and suites at the nhow Rotterdam are divided into four categories named as follows: urban, sunrise, sunset and horizon. Every single one has floor-to-ceiling windows through which guests have a city and/or water view. Not only are they incredible value considering the hotel's location but they boast stunning views and are also pretty spacious. All rooms are located between floors 9 and 23 of the building and are appointed in a similar inoffensive, sobre fashion so as not to take away from the spectacle outside.
    The urban rooms are the smallest guestrooms at 23mē. They have either a queen-size bed or a pair or twin beds which are dressed in fine white linens and with three sizes of pillow. The cushioned headboard is backlit (annoying if you are watching television while the light is on as it produces a line across the screen) while either side of the bed are individual reading lights and simple blocks acting as bedside tables (one with a telephone and note pad). To one side of the bed is a writing desk with a book of photographs following the construction process of De Rotterdam. The soft, almost backless chair that is pulled up to it is both uncomfortable and unsuitable for working at a desk, although the armchair of the same series is far more fit for purpose. The flatscreen television, which is part of a freestanding unit opposite the bed, is operated via a remote control that resembles the controlling device of a Wii which is a little frustrating, although if you simply want to watch television then you can use it in a more conventional way. In the built in cupboard unit is space for hanging, the modestly stocked minibar, safe and tea and coffee facilities. Sadly there is no art in the rooms while the grooves in the wooden flooring seem to accumulate bits of dust and dirt.
    The bathrooms, which one has to be very careful when entering due to the strip of metal that sticks up from the floor at the doorway, are tiled in white and feature a bathtub the other side of a glass pane whose reflective gold spots more or less obscure what is going on inside. At the wash basin is a large mirror and a make-up mirror as well as nhow-branded toiletries, including mini shaving and toothbrush kits (although no sowing kits). The lighting is not ideal for applying make-up however, and it is not possible to plug in hair straighteners at the hairdryer socket meaning in some cases one has to stand outside the bathroom and lean across the doorway to see oneself in the mirror. In those rooms with a walk-in shower, no thought has been given as to where one should place the bottles of shower gel and shampoo, which is a huge oversight. The WC is located in a separate room.
    The sunrise and sunset rooms are slightly bigger and as well as being able to see the sun come up in the morning or go down at night, they boast a double vanity in the bathroom and a complimentary minibar.
    The largest room type, the horizon suite, of which there are six, have separated bedroom and living areas as well as the very best views across the city and its harbour.
    Note that while it is great having a room higher up the tower for a better view, the wifi does not work so well at this altitude.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    The nhow Rotterdam occupies the bottom half of the easternmost of the 3 towers which make up the vertical city that is De Rotterdam. The top half of each of the buildings looks as though it has been shifted slightly off-centre by a minor earthquake giving the trio of towers an interesting angular look. The hotel management talks a lot of the sense of arrival at the nhow and while there is certainly huge anticipation when driving up to the structure, it would be an exaggeration to say that there is that 'wow' factor upon entering the lobby.
    Cavernous and slightly cold, there is a lot of empty space in which the reception desk is somewhat lost, despite its length and striking bronze colour. One can understand this policy of bareness in the rooms as it would have been a shame to take away from the magnificent city views, however why this was carried over into the lobby is a mystery as so much could have been done in such a generously-proportioned space. Nevertheless, the welcome is extremely warm from the staff members who, for the most part, have no hotel experience whatsoever (a couple of which, however, perhaps lack the confidence for a brand of this nature) and the check-in is an overall pleasant and speedy experience. To the right-hand side, set before the floor-to-ceiling windows is some not-so-comfortable multi-coloured modular seating and what seems to be a light installation made up of several score of inverted test tube-like objects each resting on a cork base and connected to one another by wires. At the very end of the space is a TV installation with books and magazines between the screens each of which show a selection of artists' 'best of' Rotterdam. Loitering close to the washrooms in the corner is a tall red table by Joep van Lieshout which resembles the underside of a cow on which are carafes of water and newspapers. Other features of note in the lobby include the hoops of lighting on the ceiling grill, the huge grey felt potted plant at the end of the reception desk and the hotel's own background music playlist which unfortunately, for now at least, is not available to purchase.
    To the left-hand side of the entrance hall, through the transparent wall, is what is known as Rotterdam Square. This is one of the hubs of the De Rotterdam project - a space to be shared by hotel guests, residents and office workers alike. Here you will find a coffee shop owned by the hotel where you can grab hot drinks and snacks and also, over the other side, one of several planned restaurants. Called hmb, it was already in the list of Rotterdam's top 10 eateries after just 6 weeks in operation.
    Round to the left-hand side of the welcome desk are the 3 elevators for which you need your room key to operate. Fast and efficient, they serve all floors of the hotel. The corridors are wide and bright and easily negotiable and feature art and photography from Dutch artists, something very close to the hotel's heart. After just a few months of operation the whole place seemed to be extremely well maintained, clean and in order.
    For those who wish to keep up with their fitness regime while away, the hotel has a gym featuring top-of-the-range cardio and muscular machines.

    Food and drink

    The hotel's restaurant is located several floors up from the reception and welcomes guests at all times of the day for meals, snacks and drinks. Whilst the bar has a full list of beverages and the staff is happy to mix you any cocktail you desire, the food choices are fairly limited. The breakfast buffet is quite modest featuring a small selection of breads, pastries, fruits and cereals as well as tea, coffee and juice. There are a few hot options such as sausage and eggs too. Service is reasonable without being exceptional and the space itself is rather cold during the day although the view does a lot to rectify this.
    The lunch and dinner menus are both pretty meagre, with the afternoon choices including a few salads, sandwiches, desserts and several bites. In the evening the range is a little larger with the introduction of a handful of meat and fish dishes as well as pasta.
    The best time to go to the restaurant/bar is in the evening when the space is transformed into a trendy spot filled with the beautiful Rotterdam crowd. The music is catchy and the drinks flow easily, especially at the relatively low prices at which they are sold.

    To know

    The nhow Rotterdam is just one occupant of the newly crowned largest building in The Netherlands, De Rotterdam. Comprising also office space, private apartments and restaurants, the 'vertical city', which was completed at the end of 2013, will be home, once full, to around 4,500 people everyday. Built on an area of the size of a football pitch, the trio of towers rise to 150m and weigh the equivalent of a row of cars stretching from Rotterdam to Milan. The project was conceived back in 1998 and construction started in 2009. It was designed by OMA/Rem Koolhaas, also responsible for the city's Kunsthal museum and Porto's Casa da Musica, amongst others.
    The hotel has two guestrooms adapted for wheelchair users.


    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning


    • Architecture
    • Views
    • Art/photography
    • Location


    • Design flaws in rooms
    • Limited food choice

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10