Lourens Speksnijder | Discover Renaissance Hotels

Lourens Speksnijder

Lourens Speksnijder understands guests’ needs better than most — he has worked at the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel for over 30 years.

Navigator Biography

Over 30 years of service at the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel has given Navigator Lourens Speksnijder a unique perspective on what visitors are looking for when they arrive in the city — and he knows all the best places to point them toward. Lourens joined the hotel staff at the age of 19, working as a porter for 12 years before becoming a doorman for another 13. Eventually he took on the coveted role of Lead Navigator — and believes it was the best move he ever made. “There’s never a boring day,” he explains. “If you have such a great team as we have it's hard work but we have so much fun together. Lourens believes teamwork is key to the role and encourages his team of Navigators to be observant and report back on new finds. He follows similar methods himself: he regularly walks around the city and scours social media to find places that may be worth a visit. He finds many of the new places in the neighborhood surrounding the hotel, which Lourens retains a deep affection for. “It is always changing,” he says. “If there are new trends you will find them here and that is very exciting and keeps me inspired." His desire to make new discoveries extends to trying out a different place for lunch each day, but the Navigator does have a collection of favorites he returns to again and again. And as he enthuses about the café where you can “watch the world go by” and the one-stop shop that “sells everything I need", his motives for staying at the hotel become clear: he has found his home. Perhaps he will stay for another 30 years.

Raw Materials - find
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Raw Materials

Come peruse their unique selection of home decor, which focuses on a raw, unrefined aesthetic.
Set apart from more polished selections at other home decor stores, the mission behind Raw Materials is to bring a touch of unrefined beauty into the homes of shoppers. Unpolished, rough-edged home accents make up the bulk of the selection at this unusual store, whether the pieces are made from wood, metal or upcycled materials. For shoppers who want to retain a feeling of naturalness within their living space, Raw Materials is the perfect opportunity to bring a one-of-a-kind piece into your home.
Address: 229 Rozengracht, Amsterdam, 1016 NA, The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)20 421 3893
Opening hours: Monday from 12:00 PM to 06:00 PM,Tuesday to Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM,Thursday from 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM,Friday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM,May - Sunday from 12:00 PM to 05:00 PM,Aug - Sunday from 12:00 PM to 05:00 PM
290 Square Meters - find
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290 Square Meters

One of the first shops in the world to sell exclusive NikeID shoes, it offers limited edition pieces, customized apparel, and accessories.
290 Square Meters is famous in fashion circles as one of the rare retailers that stock customized Nike, Freitag, Arc'teryx and Levi’s merchandise. It attracts international travelers and locals alike for its exclusive offerings and limited edition series of footwear, jewelry, perfumes, books and apparel. Its fashion department is renowned for personalized NIKEiD sports shoes. Situated in an old bank vault, it houses both an art gallery and a retail space that offers a delightful fusion of fashion and culture. It stocks labels such as Plethora Magazine, Iron Heart, Bleu de Paname, Garbstore, Andersons and Dagmar. Shop for Selvedge denims, shorts with quirky prints, athletic t-shirts, trendy tops, woven scarves, hats and gloves. It also sells old issues of niche magazines, backpacks, biking equipment, computer accessories and stationery.
Address: 3 Houtkopersdwarsstraat, Amsterdam, 1011 NK, The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)20 419 2525
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 to18:00
Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam - find
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Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Housed in a historic 19th-century building, this museum offers a unique space to immerse yourself in contemporary photography and art.
Discover avant-garde works by established artists and young talent at Foam. This dynamic art house on the canal is a renowned cultural institution that hosts four major expositions each year, as well as 16 smaller exhibitions on various themes. Discover the multiple facets of photography through interactive workshops, lectures and guided tours. Artists who have displayed their works here include Noémie Goudal, Nerhol, Pieter Hugo and Guy Tillim. The museum features a bookshop, cafe and a library. This is a must-visit for professionals, art enthusiasts and amateurs alike.
Address: 609 Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, 1017 DS, The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)20 551 6500
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday from 10:00 to 18:00, Thursday to Friday from 10:00 to 21:00, Saturday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00
J.D. William's Whisky Bar - find
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J.D. William's Whisky Bar

Choose from over 50 varieties of premium whiskey perfectly paired with Asian-style tapas at this trendy bar. Try their Silly Sally cocktail.
A true whiskey connoisseur's haven, J.D. William's Whisky Bar offers the ideal venue to linger over a snifter of fine single malt or craft cocktail in the company of fellow enthusiasts. The crimson-lit shelf behind the bar is their hallmark trait, displaying a globe-spanning collection of liquors. The contemporary chic décor is uncluttered, featuring marble-topped counter seating and sparse wooden tables. Each Glencairn crystal tumbler of whiskey is served with filtered water for the purest experience. You'll find an eclectic collection of labels from craft distilleries to renowned brands like Chichibu, Laphroaig, Jack Daniel's, Glenlivet, Black Dog, Knappogue Castle and Hazelburn here. Team up your drink with delightful bar eats like Korean-style rib-eye tacos or edamame falafel tacos. Opt for bourbon-glazed pork ribs and chicken karaage for something more substantial. Head over on a Tuesday for their weekly "Taco Tuesday" night.
Address: Prinsenstraat 5, Amsterdam, 1015 DA, The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)20 362 0663
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday from 17:00 to 02:00, Friday and Saturday from 17:00 to 03:00
SLA Westerstraat - find
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SLA Westerstraat

This modern restaurant features a tea bar, organic salad bar and a seasonal menu that changes routinely. Try their Vegan Rainbow Bowl.
Steps from the Noordermarkt, this 20-seater eatery features country-meets-contemporary decor with light wood flooring, whitewashed walls, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Savor an array of green salads, home-made soups, desserts, fair trade coffee, smoothies and organic wines here. Opt for the organic chicken gado gado with pak choi, basmati rice, organic egg, green beans and pickled cucumber, or the smoked halibut salad with baby spinach and Asian ceviche - they are rumored to be excellent. Team up your meal with a robust Zweigelt, refreshing coconut water or an energizing power smoothie. Save room for sweets, the vegan sticky toffee pudding is quite a revelation.
Address: 34 Westerstraat, Amsterdam, 1015 MK, The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)20 370 2733
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 11:00- 21:00
De Appel Arts Centre - find
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De Appel Arts Centre

This modern art museum and exhibition space embodies the city's fast-paced energy with its innovative and experimental temporary exhibits.
One of Amsterdam's foremost institutions, the De Appel Arts Center is a vibrant hub of activity. The center hosts a number of contemporary art exhibitions through the year, showcasing both established and up-and-coming artists. Exhibits are not limited to any one medium but span everything from painting to sculpture and videos. Performances, lectures and temporary pieces are an integral part of the experience, creating an aura of innovation, learning and discovery for art enthusiasts and professionals alike. This museum is a must visit for all those interested in non-traditional art in all its forms.
Address: 142 Prins Hendrikkade, Amsterdam, 1011 AT, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0)20 625 5651
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Van Stapele Koekmakerij

When you walk into this tiny cookie shop you have the feeling of going back in time.
For months this shop has been looking to create the perfect recipe, constantly trying different types of chocolate, sugar and other special additives. Then finally, after numerous attempts, they knew that they found the most delicious chocolate cookie in the world!
Address: 4 Heisteeg, Amsterdam, 1012 WC, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 654241497
Opening hours: monday 12.00 – 18.00, Tuesday to Friday 10.00 – 18.00, Saturday and Sunday 11.00 – 18.00


Louis is a great example of a relaxed and cozy café.
Louis has a great location in the heart of Amsterdam. During the summer the terras in front of the door provide a great view over the singel canal. But what makes Louis especially great is the atmosphere, fun staff, and of course the delicious food.
Address: 43 Singel, Amsterdam, 1012VC, NH, The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)20 7526328
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 11.00-01.00 , Fri and Saturday 11.00-02.00 , Sunday 11.00-23.00

Het Papeneiland

One of the oldest ''brown pubs'' of Amsterdam.
Café Papeneiland has a long history that dates back to 1642. In it's cellar you find the end of an escape tunnel that's comes from the other side of the canal where there used to be a hidden Roman Catholic Church.
Address: 2 Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, NH, The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)20 6241989
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 10.00-01.00 , Fri-Saturday 10.00-03.00 , Sunday 12.00-01.00

Tales & Spirits

Located in a very small alley, Tales & Spirits is a real hidden gem.
It's not only the great cocktails but it's the whole package, ambience, food, and a fun crowd, that makes Tails & Spirits a place where you can easily linger for hours.
Address: 5 Lijnbaansteeg, Amsterdam, 1012 TE, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 6 55 35 64 67
Opening hours: Tuesday - Thursday: 17.30 - 01.00 Friday - Saturday: 17.30 - 03.00 Sunday: 15.00 - 01.00


Looking for the perfect gift? At &Klevering you will always find something unique.
&Klevering has a great collection of gifts that are appropriate for everyone. Here you can pick up home decor, gifts for kids, or even something for yourself. You name it and they will have it.
Address: Haarlemmerstraat 8, Amsterdam, 1013ER, The Netherlands
Phone: +020 4222708
Opening hours: Mon- Friday: 10:00-19:00 Sat. 10:00-18:00 Sunday 12:00-18:00


The menu at this small local breakfast and lunch hotspot will surprise you.
Vinnies uses only organic food from local sources. Everything from their salads to their bread is made with the best ingredients. The menu includes gluten-free dishes and a selection of vegan meals.
Address: Nieuwezijds Kolk 33 HS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)20 233 28 99
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.00 – 16.00, Sat 9:00-18:00, Sunday 9;30-18:00