Restoration work begins at historic Amstel Hotel

Amstel Hotel
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On Thursday restoration work on the Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam officially started. The restorations are expected to take a year and a day - the same amount of time it took to build the most prolific hotel in the Dutch capital, Het Parool reports.

Do not call it renovations, said Anita Bos of the InterContintental Amstel Amsterdam. "This is really restoration. We are taking the facade and roof back to the style of the time in which the building was put down. We took years to prepare ourselves as much as possible." Bos said. "At one point on the terrace a woman stood on a ladder, scraping paint away. She found 50 different colors. We are now determining which the oldest colors are, so the original colors. Those we bring back."

They're also brining back eight leaping lions, on each corner of the Amstel, that disappeared somewhere during the war. "They belong to the building. They are now being recreated based on photographs." Bos said. Everything is being cleaned and refreshed, including all facade elements, ornaments and sculptures - 300 in total. "They were so weathered over the years that they can not be restored anymore." They are all being meticulously photographed, and being remade, by hand, in their original material. 

To minimize the inconvenience caused by this project, all building materials will be brought to the hotel over the Amstel River. And workers will use the most quiet tools possible. After work on the exterior is done, the interior will also be tackled - rooms, restaurants and all public spaces will be restored. 

How much this massive restoration will cost, hotel operator InterContinental and building owner Katara Hospitality are keeping a secret. "But it's a tidy sum", Bos assured the newspaper.