at the heart of the rebirth of amsterdam west lies de hallen, a multi-level complex bringing former industrial buildings to new purposes like a food court, a movie theater, and an hotel. while every element – literally, every hall – has its own charme, it was first and foremost the design-heavy hotel de hallen that caught our interest. situated in a beautiful, yet untouchable early 20th century tram depot, the hotel was basically created as a box in a box, putting the stark contrast of the historic and the modern out in the open. if this were not fascinating enough, the lobby, which stretches across the length of the building, is a treasure trove of contemporary design, featuring lamps by esther derkx and rené van doorn, chairs by herenhuis, or a bench by vitra as well as several gems from vintage specialists fabrieknl. oh, and it’s a mighty comfortable place to stay at, too!