Hot Spot: Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam

This trendy design hotel is located a short tram ride from Central Station, overlooking the canals. The historically listed building has been restored for its original purpose, offering fine dining and accommodations. It also serves as Amsterdam's Cultural Embassy.

Rooms The 117 rooms range widely in luxury and price (up to $724 per night). A host of Dutch designers have added unique touches, including cast-fiberglass bathrooms that roll on wheels.

Food The restaurant features a cross section of European cuisine— including coq au vin and grilled mackerel—with an emphasis on local ingredients. The cavernous dining hall offers a splendid view of the hotel's interior, and the classy bar lures diners to stay for drinks.

Amenities The Cultural Embassy uses the hotel for exhibits, readings and concerts by some of Europe's top artists. An elegant library, with shelves stacked for guests' enjoyment, overlooks the restaurant.

History Originally constructed in the 1920s for those embarking on a new life in the Americas, the hotel was later used by occupying German forces to detain members of the Resistance, then maintained as a prison. Artists set up studios there in the 1990s until it was restored as a hotel in 2004.