Initiators of Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy are Otto Nan, an art historian who organized parties in warehouse Vrieshuis Amerika in the 90ties, Suzanne Oxenaar, independent curator and cofounder of restaurant Supperclub, Liesbeth Mijnlief, who had set up restaurant Amsterdam and Werkendam prior to that of Lloyd Hotel, and Gerrit Groen, tax expert at Ernst & Young.
In the mid nineties, a debate was going on in the cultural scene about the international position of Amsterdam. The main thought was that more energy should be put into regaining a prominent position in the international arts field.
At the same time, the city council started to develop ambitious plans to rejuvenate the Eastern Docklands area, which had lost its harbour function and was used mainly by squatters who improvised housing and workspace in the large warehouses.
Oxenaar and Nan combined these two current events into a plan for a one to five star hotel, with a strong emphasis on cultural visitors. Hence a Cultural Embassy, which would normally represent Dutch culture abroad. Lloyd Hotel’s Cultural Embassy represents Dutch culture in Amsterdam, and organises the exchange with the cultures of the guests from all over the world.
It took the initiators eight years to form a team, attract investors and organise the building works. A combination of private investors and a housing corporation provided the financial solidity that was needed to make the plan succeed.
In 2006 Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy won the 'Talent du Luxe' in the category 'Talent de l'Invention'. The French Sommet du Luxe et Creation is an award by trendwatchers. Claudy Jongstra won the Vredeman de Vries Award for Frisian artists with the felt shutters she designed for Lloyd Hotel. Artistic director Suzanne Oxenaar won the Benno Premsela Award in 2009, a lifetime award for achievements in the visual arts.
The 3rd of December 2011, a new hotel by initiators Suzanne Oxenaar, Otto Nan and Gerrit Groen will open at the Damrak: Hotel The Exchange.