The library of the Ambassade Hotel
In the library you will find a unique collection of signed books by authors who have all stayed at the Ambassade Hotel.
The Ambassade Hotel has traditionally maintained close links with publishers in Amsterdam and the surrounding areas. Many of these publishing houses as well as some of Amsterdam's best-known bookshops and authors' cafés are located within walking distance of the Ambassade Hotel.
Although authors have long been staying at the Ambassade Hotel, the aforementioned collection of signed books was not started until the year 1986. The Ambassade Hotel owes this interesting collection to the fact that Dutch publishers generally book their foreign authors into the Ambassade Hotel for the launch of the Dutch translation of their books.
Famous authors who stayed with us are: Umberto Eco, Salman Rushdie, Paul Auster, Isabel Allende, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nathan Englander and almost all the Nobel Prize winners for literature over the past few years including V.S. Naipaul, Toni Morrison, Mario Vargas Llosa, Herta Müller, Günther Grass, Orhan Pamuk and José Saramago. Not to forget, of course, that Dutch authors are also represented in the collection. For example, Jan Siebelink, Arthur Japin, Hella Haasse and Gerrit Komrij, who stayed with us very often.
Since the mid-1980s, it has been tradition to invite authors during their stay at the Ambassade Hotel to sign a copy of their most recent book and to write a few words in the guest book. Apart from inscriptions by authors, this book also contains entries from musicians, actors, painters, philosophers, architects and politicians, who often stay at the hotel at the invitation of cultural foundations.
The collection in the library has meanwhile been built up to more than 3000 copies of works by authors from 76 different countries. The collection is in the main made up of literary works, but books on the most diverse topics can also be found there. The guest books are kept in a separate section of the bookcase. On request, guests may have a closer look at the books and the guest books. In the guest books you will find the most beautiful, inspiring quotes and dedications written by all the famous guests that stayed in our hotel. A very special one is this quote from a famous author who stayed with us several times:
“The Ambassade Hotel is the reason we write books”
It may be due to its lasting literary tradition that the Ambassade Hotel itself figures in a number of novels, among them "The Museum Guard" by Canadian author Howard Norman and "Tod eines Kritikers" by German author Martin Walser.
In 2001, the library was furnished with beautiful eighteenth century pieces. Their style is referred to as "Retour d'Egypte", dating from just before the turn of the nineteenth century and leading up to the Empire period. Here you will also see a French long-case regulator clock from around 1820.
Of course, the library also lends itself to a business meeting, to relaxing with a drink or to reading a newspaper or magazine.
Publishing Houses in the centre of Amsterdam with whom the Ambassade Hotel has a long-term relationship are:
- Ambo/Anthos www.amboanthos.nl
- Meulenhoff www.meulenhoff.nl
- De Bezige Bij www.debezigebij.nl
- De Harmonie www.deharmonie.nl
- Prometheus www.uitgeverijprometheus.nl
Two of Amsterdam’s most famous bookstores are situated just a two-minute walk away from the Ambassade Hotel: