On Sunday June 18, 2017, some 50 guests spent the night in Amsterdam-West´s garden park Nut & Genoegen, during the first night of service in The Netherlands, of the Community Gardens Open-Air Hotel. Hosted by the community´s gardeners, the Open-Air Hotel´s guests stayed on the premisses of the park and spent the night in comfortable beds, underneath the starry sky.
After checking-in upon arrival in the afternoon, guests had the option of taking either of two guided evening walks through the community garden park: the one was hosted by tree expert Hans Kaljee, who expounded the interesting natural history of the area. While the other walk was guided by visual artist Holger Nickisch, who pointed out the particular architecture of many of the community gardeners´ dwellings, relating them to the phenomenon of mobile units in contemporary art. For further entertainment, guests could watch a selection of movies from the archives of Eye Dutch Film Museum, whilst taking a bath in a hot tub.
The event offered a unique opportunity to experience the community gardeners´ hospitality in an informal setting. And by the time the evening came to a close, just before they fell asleep under the cosy blankets of their open-air beds, the hotel guests could ponder the City´s development plans for the area, and dream about possible futures for Westerpark.
The following Monday morning, a lovely breakfast was served at 07:00am sharp, to enable the guests to be in time for school or work. As all participants sat down together at the breakfast table to enjoy a choice of very local breakfast foods, each reported that this one-night stay was an experience to always remember!
The Community Gardens Open-Air Hotel was initiated, organised and produced by artists-initiative Cascoland, in collaboration with the gardeners of Nut & Genoegen, Lex de Jong of BoLoBoost, the Municipality of Amsterdam (Programma Haven-Stad) and Holger Nickisch.