Yasmin Hilberdink

Yasmin Hilberdink is the founder and director of the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam (SQBA). The idea to organize a string quartet festival originated in 2015. I’m not a musician, but was overwhelmed by the beauty of this form of music, it is beautiful and pure. Four players trying to form a unity requires dedication and perfection. With a quartet you hear every note, which makes it exciting for the players and for the audience. The second edition of the String Quartet Amsterdam Biennale will start on January the 25th, Lloyd Hotel is the festival hotel. Here you can sleep, have breakfast and dine amongst the artists. Lloyd Hotel has its own signature, I immediately knew that the musicians would have to sleep here. It’s original, it’s genuine, it’s fun, it’s a place where you can be yourself.’

How do you get people to love string quartet?

With the biennale I wanted to bring this art form up to the 21st century. We think about every detail: what context do you create, how do we take the audience on a voyage of discovery and even what do you serve for lunch … The biennale is an immersion in music. When you go to a performance you want to recognize a piece you love, but you also want to be surprised. So we experiment with form and length.

I also wanted to showcase the people behind the work. It’s a tough job, the musicians spend more time with each other than with their family and partners and the work requires a high degree of discipline. Yet the quartets often live in a rather anonymous manner. They have told me, ‘We are like ships at night’; they know about each other’s existence, but don’t see much of each other. Except during a festival where they meet and listen to each other. This is something they find very exciting and challenging.

When did you fall in love with string quartet music?

When I was in my early twenties. Friends took me to a series of concerts of the Beethoven cycle with the Alban Berg Quartet in Vienna.. The hall was packed and I felt it was something special. The music touched me. I started “understanding” the Beethoven quartets and recognizing the compositions when I heard them elsewhere. When I was in my late twenties I was offered a job as director of a castle near Vienna where there was a concert program, this is where I learned to understand String Quartets and started loving the music. The music is so pure, I love that. Sometimes I compare it to bread. The ingredients are simple, but baking a good loaf of bread is an art or a craft. It also fits in with the current time where people are searching for simplicity.

What makes string quartet so beautiful?

You can say that string quartet is a rigid form of music.. Each person has a very specific role. One carries the melody, the other sets the tone and yet another lays the foundation. Haydn was the first to work with a string quartet. He lived in the time of the Enlightenment, he was a freemason, as was Mozart. The string quartet was a reflection of their beliefs. They created their work by following the ideas of the Enlightenment: equality and equivalence. It is not always the king or prince who have the leading role sometimes it’s the chamberlain. I like the idea of working together as one, and it’s still relevant today.

Which people do you attract?

Of course we attract string quartet lovers. But we also want the string quartet to be known amongst a wider and younger audience; classical music lovers, the cultural omnivore and those who have never been to a concert hall before.

We work with schools to stimulate classical music among children. We have a project with the Leerorkest, in which children who are already playing in an orchestra form string quartets and receive extra lessons for a year. Four quartets from the Leerorkest performed during the first edition and were incredibly proud. These are small and vulnerable projects, but if every cultural organization would initiate projects like this, we could create something impressive.

How are the preparations for SQBA going?

We have already started on the next edition. We have so much to organize, the catering, the decoration of the building, we are busy with PR and are in contact with all string quartets for their travel schedules and overnight stays. It feels a bit like the morning before you throw a party, we are very focused on our work. Our team is growing each festival. Ticket sales are going well, a number of concerts are sold out and we have an advantage over the first edition where we had a lot of last-minute ticket sales.

Can you recommend certain concerts?

I am very proud of the Turkish Borusan Quartet because I was born in Turkey. String Quartet is a Western art form, it is very special that there are quartets from so many different countries taking part. The Borusan Quartet is a very good quartet and they play the music of modern Turkish composers.

When you’ve had a full day, you’ve seen and heard a lot, you’ve eaten well, what else do you need? Bonbons or a glass of champagne? My tip would be to listen to Beethoven’s late quartets at 10.30 p.m; they really are the epitome of classical music.

In addition, we have a series at half past nine in the morning. Why not start your day with a beautiful piece of music? Listen to music by Haydn or Beethoven’s early quartets; light and sparkling, a happy start to your day!

Why not an annual event?

It’s like a party with fifteen chocolate pies, that’s fantastic but you shouldn’t have that every year. With more than 25 string quartets from all over the world, more than 50 concerts in eight full days it’s the highlight for all string-lovers and musicians.

The String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam can be visited from January the 25th till February the 1st in the Muziekgebouw. Tickets are available at With the discount code SQBA2020 you get a 15% discount on the best available price for a room at the Lloyd Hotel during the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam.


Amsterdam Dance Event is approaching fast, and we want to share some of the best tips with you. ADE is the yearly leading festival in electronic music and is held from the 16th until 20th of October.

With over 3000 performances in more than 200 venues in Amsterdam it is a must go for night owls. The choice is huge in terms of music, speakers, events and conferences. To help you pick the event that fits you best, we decided to ask our own staff on their favourite ADE parties.


The top 5 must-go events from Sander, our Supervisor Housekeeping, are:

  1. Awakenings x Drumcode. The line-up for this event is amazing: Adam Beyer, Enrico Sangiuliano and Maceo Plex. Besides, it is held in the Gashouder, the temple of techno and the home-base of Awakenings for over 20 years.
  2. Audio Obscura x Spectrum which is hosted by Joris Voorn. He is known for his innovative techno music. This party is held at ‘Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ’, one of the most famous concert halls of Amsterdam. Joris will play all night long together with a special guest.
  3. Amsterdam Music festival at the Johan Cruijff Arena. A festival that welcomes people from all over the world and reunites the big names that we all know. Alesso, Armin van Buuren, David Guetta and more. During this party the number 1 DJ of the DJ Mag top 100 is announced. This list of upcoming and well known DJ’s is released yearly by the same magazine.
  4. Brois Brechja x Fcking Serious is organised by Awakenings at Warehouse Elementenstraat during the ADE opening night on Wednesdag 16th. Boris Brechja is an upcoming DJ in the techno scene and known for his experimental and minimal techno beats. Every time he starts a new song, he takes the audience on an adventure. I’ve seen him play for the first time four years ago at Pleinvrees in ‘Het Paard van Troje’ in The Hague.
  5. Awakenings x Joseph Capriati invites’ is also held in the Gashouder. The well-known Italian tech DJ Joseph Capriati invites his colleagues Carl Cox, Gianni Callipari, Luigi Madonna and Anna. To complete this night full of the best techno music, Joseph will do a Back to Back with Carl Cox.


Hi! My name is Boy Glansbeek, 28 years old and living in Amsterdam. I’m the Head of Sales at Lloyd Hotel and responsible for the commercial activities, acquisition and relationship management. In my spare time I highly value variety; finding peace in the city parks and forest or exploring the city’s bubbly nightlife. Amsterdam has it all for me! What’s my ultimate day?


Breakfast at…Dignita

The place to start the day. You can enjoy breakfast, brunch or lunch here. They are located near Lloyd at the gardens of the Hoftuin, or at the heart of Amsterdam South. I can highly recommend the Forrest Dwellers (poached egg with mixed mushrooms).


Yoga session at… Conscious Club

You can follow amazing yoga classes here in an inspiring and peaceful ambiance. Conscious Club is the first climate neutral canal house in Amsterdam. Check out their website for special events. Tip: try the Deep Guided Meditation.


Afternoon walk through… The 9 Little Streets

You can find the ‘9 Little Streets’ in the heart of the canal district. Between Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel. There are some amazing shops here (such as Skins Cosmetics, Velour Amsterdam and ZIpper). For a quick lunch I go to The Lebanese Sajeria, delicious! If you have space left, you need to try the famous ‘Van Stapele’ chocolate cookie.


Museum at… De Nieuwe Kerk

De Nieuwe Kerk located right off Dam Square is a beautiful church. They have been known for high-profile exhibitions about art and photography. My favourite exhibition: World Press Photo (from April 13th until July 7th, 2019).


Cocktail o’clock at…Hiding in Plain Sight

A unique location with a unique menu! The bar team is very kind, service minded and create (to my taste) the best cocktails in town. The ambiance is really intimate and cozy.



In 2004 I helped open the Lloyd Hotel as Head of the Reception. Currently I am the Operations Manager and I love to get involved with all aspects of the hotel. When I’m not at the Lloyd I have my hands full at home with my 3 kids, aged 3, 4 and 7.


#1 NEMO Science Museum

The NEMO is a great place for kids of all ages. Getting there is easy enough as it is located in the city centre next to the Amsterdam Central Station. I would advise going a bit later in the day, around 15:00,  as it tends to be a bit more quiet. You can check out their website for the latest news.

There is also a really nice water playground on the roof, where you can have lunch!


#2 Jeugdland – Maakland

If the kids need to run around outside, build a hut or just want to play, go to Maakland in Amsterdam East. You can take tram 7 and after a short walk you’re there. They are not open every day so make sure you check with our reception (the site is only in Dutch). Another great thing is that the entrance is for free!


#3 The Amsterdam Forest

The Amsterdam Forest is a huge man made forest located in the outskirts of Amsterdam. In the forest there is a really cute Goat farm where the kids get to interact with the goats and are allowed to feed milk to the baby goats. They also have the best goat cheese toasted sandwiches!

Another must is eating pancakes with the kids. At the farmhouse pancake restaurant located in the forest, you have the best pancakes and a nice playground where the kids can play too.

Getting around the forest is best by bike. You can take a bus to the forest from Amsterdam Central Station and then rent a bike at the entrance of the forest.


#4 The Amsterdam Zoo, ARTIS

ARTIS is great for a day out, even for adults. They have recently opened their new Elephant area and it is now a must see. It is quite close to the hotel, you can take tram 7 from directly behind our hotel.


#5 Museum Square

Museum Square is an outdoor park which is great when the kids need space to roam after a busy day walking around the Museums. Go to the local supermarket, grab some lunch and have a picnic on Museum Square!



If there was ever a time to stay at Lloyd, it’s this October when the big beats of the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) hits town. The 2018 edition of ADE will be one of the best ever with over 2500 performers at 140 venues — the choice is huge. That’s why Sander, Supervisor Housekeeping by day and dance lover at night, selected his top 5 favorite events exclusively for you. See you in October, book your room soon!



Date: 19 October 2018
Time: 22:00 – 08:00
Cost: From € 50,-
Venue: Gashouder | Klönneplein 1
Tickets: Buy your ticket here

Maceo Plex excels in combining all different styles and producing a unique blend of techno, house, funk and electro. Combining this with the unique venue of the Gashouder, the home of Awakenings, makes it a party not to miss.



Date: 18 October 2018
Time: 20:00 – 23:00
Cost: From € 49,-
Venue: Ziggo Dome | Arena Boulevard 61-75
Tickets: Buy your ticket here

This is your last chance to see Hardwell perform, so you have to make sure not to miss out. What I like about this gig is that Hardwell performs together with the Metropole Orchestra, an unusual combination. This one-off concert takes you on a musical journey through the history of dance music.



Date: 20 October 2018
Time: 11:00 – 23:00
Cost: From € 39,50
Venue: Havenpark | Wethouder van Essenweg 1
Tickets: Buy your ticket here

The location of Dockyard Festival is superb. This parc located next to the harbours is the ultimate festival location: Plenty of space, green areas and an industrial touch. This festival is the place to be for fans of hard techno, featuring Sven Väth, Len Faki, Ben Sims and many more.



 Date: 20 October 2018
Time: 22:00 – 07:00
Cost: From € 42,50
Venue: Scheepsbouwloods | Tt. Neveritaweg 15
Tickets: Buy your ticket here

After Docklands Festival a long night awaits you at the Scheepsbouwloods, with a little bit more relaxing music. I love the fact that Bonobo developed his own significant style: a mix of electronic music, triphop and breakbeat.



Date: 21 October 2018
Time: 12:00 – 22:00
Cost: From € 40,-
Venue: Gashouder | Klönneplein 1
Tickets: Buy your ticket here

End ADE in style with Awakenings by Day. The line-up is promising: Ferro, Peggy Gou, Kölsch, Luciano, Sven Väth and to top it off: Âme & Rodhäd. Some energy left? You can stick around for the Awakenings party at night as well!


Samiël is one of our receptionists and a familiar face for many of our regular guests. He likes to share some of his favorite places to have a drink or bite in Amsterdam.


Around the hotel:

  • Hummus Bistro D&A at the end of Czaar Peterstraat, just a 10 minute walk from the hotel.. Lebanese/Israeli hummus tent. Perfect place for a nice and quick lunch. There is always a table free, because it is not in the center.
  • Michel-Inn on the Knsm Island is a a great place to have delicious traditional Italian pizza from a wood-fired oven. Good service and great location by the water.
  • Bar Botanique and Walter’s in the Java street are cool places where you will find many locals. Fun on Friday and Saturday evening. The Java Street is a great place to wander around and discover quirky local hot spots.


Favorites in the center:

  • Singel 404 is a very cosy lunch spot where they serve some lovely sandwiches. Beautiful setting along the canal and you can combine it with a shopping tour through the 9 streets.
  • Cannibale Royale is thé place to have delicious steaks and burgers for a good price. You may find their restaurants at the Spui and in the Pipe.


Explore the city like a local and rent one of our bikes. Lloyd is the perfect starting point for a refreshing bike ride to quirky East or upcoming North.

Our favorite bike ride takes you along the typical Dutch rural landscape, where you can excape the busy city life. Small villages like Durgerdam, Holysloot and Ransdorp are beautiful sites surrounded by water. Especially the historical houses are a feast for the eye. You can easily cross the IJ river by ferry, the Oostveer leaves every 20 minutes from KNSM eiland. Or you can bike a little further and cross the Schellingwouderbrug. We have a route featured on our city map which you can pick-up at reception!



Tram line 7 is a great way to discover many of the highlights Amsterdam has to offer.
You can easily hop on at the back of the hotel at stop Rietlandpark. The route from Lloyd Hotel goes right through the centre of Amsterdam


Our favorite stops:

  • Eerste Leeghwaterstraat: this stop is at the beginning of the cosy and “gezellige” Czaar Peterstraat. This is street is just a stone throw away from Lloyd Hotel where you’ll find many small boutiques and nice places to enjoy food & drinks.
  • Hoogte Kadijk: Brouwerij ‘t IJ is a beer brewery, located in a former bathhouse next to the old windmill ‘Molen de Gooyer’. They brew special beers, which are well known in Holland. They have been brewing beer since 1985 and you can recognize the beer by the ostrich on their label.
  • Korte ‘s-Gravesandestraat: The Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanic gardens in the Netherlands. The garden was founded is 1638 and in 1682 it moved to its present location. The garden contains an impressive number of plants, which can be seen in the outdoor garden and several greenhouses.
  • Weesperplein: The Amstel river is called after Aeme-stelle, which means watery area in old Dutch. There are a lot of products, streets and buildings named after the river. So is Amsterdam named after the Amstel River as well. Here you will find the famous “Magere Brug”, the place for an Instagram shot! #pictureperfect
  • Vijzelgracht: The Heineken Experience is an interactive museum, where you find out how the beer is made and what the story behind the brand is. You can taste the beer, and also help making it. The museum is located in the former brewery from Heineken, which shut its doors in 1988.
  • Spiegelgracht: The Spiegelgracht is a door-to-door art and antiques shopping street. It’s a street which leads from the Herengracht to the Rijksmuseum. A visit to the Spiegelstraat is definitely worthwhile when you are a collector of all sorts of stuff, from antique jewelry to contemporary art. From here it’s just a short walk to the Museumplein where you may find all the big museums, like the Van Gogh museum, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Rijksmuseum.
  • Ten Katestraat: The Foodhallen is the first indoor food market in the Netherlands. Wander around in the large loft-like space in this renovated tram depot and discover the very best “culinary Amsterdam” has to offer. Various hospitality concepts will serve a selection of small signature dishes to enjoy.