Discover Benelux, Issue 31, July 2016

Page 44

Live like a local in a unique Amsterdam neighbourhood TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: YAYS CONCIERGED BOUTIQUE APARTMENTS

For city trippers that are curious to discover the real Amsterdam, rather than just go from tourist attraction to tourist attraction, there is Yays. Yays offers luxurious concierged apartments in neighbourhoods that are very popular with the locals, but almost unknown to travellers, as they are not featured in travel guides.The friendly staff members at Yays – all locals – are eager to help their guests find the local treasures. Yays has stunning apartments in completely restored historical buildings in three fantastic locations. In the west of the city, near the famous Jordaan district, there are two blocks of apartments; and on the eastside, near the Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime museum), is another YaysAparthotel. The apartments have all the amenities one may wish for 44 | Issue 31 | July 2016

and every single one provides an amazing view over the water. But what makes Yays concierged apartments really stand out is that they are rooted in the local communities. There are collaborations with lots of small businesses that give these vibrant areas their identity, such as local restaurants, bars, bistros, theatres, cinemas, boutiques and art galleries. “Our passion is to create the conditions for a city guest that enables him or her to unlock the city by exploring neighbourhoods. We want visitors to feel like a resident and live like a resident,” says Peter Heule, cofounder and CEO of Yays.

Stylish, modern apartments in historic buildings Yays Bickersgracht, for instance, is located in the ‘Western Islands’. These islands, linked by quintessential drawbridges, were artificially created in the early 17th

century to support the expansion of the West India Trading Company. The shipyards and warehouses have now been converted into a fabulous, incredibly popular residential area. Staying at Yays gives visitors a feel of what it is like to live in these tranquil surroundings, just a short walk from the vibrant Haarlemmerdijk in the Jordaan district. A few hundred metres North of Bickerseiland is Yays Zoutkeetsgracht; once a warehouse for storage and processing of salts, now converted – with respect for the building’s original features – into 31 stylish, modern apartments. A fully equipped, stylishly furnished houseboat, docked in front of this monumental building, can be booked too. From both Bickersgracht and Zoutkeetsgracht it is a short walk – and an even shorter ride on a rental bike from a local supplier – to