Hardly noticeable, only with a name tag on the doorbell, an oasis of luxury and leather lust lay at Geldersekade no. 16 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Not a flower shop, but a three-star hotel which harboured 7 rooms fully equipped to make your kinkiest fantasies come true. The name of the Black Tulip Hotel had a twofold explanation. On the one hand the black referred to leather and the flower referred to Holland. On the other hand, it was a referral to Alexander Dumas’ novel “Le tulipe noir” where the black tulip was used as a symbol of justice and tolerance. The Black Tulip hotel combined the idea of sexual freedom with art and luxury. This was not a hotel which just offered rooms to stay the night, it offered an experience in an environment which would surpass your every fantasy. After the usual search for a good location (right next to Amsterdam’s Red Light district, but without the noise of tourists) and waiting for licences, hotel Black Tulip opened its doors in 1997. Mind you, those doors were not open to everyone, as the founders Eelco and Frank restricted access to male clientele only and specifically didn’t advertise in Amsterdam’s touristic listings.
Yet, the strict men-only policy didn’t harm the business as word-of-mouth and flyers in Leather England, New York and Los Angeles did their work. Before the official opening, the Black Tulip already had 280 bookings. At its start, the hotel presented itself as a guesthouse and had 9 rooms – 8 double rooms and 1 single room – of which 5 had a cage. After the hotel was sold by Frank and Eelco to the current owners Onno and Jürrich, the hotel adopted the attire of a true hotel instead of that of a guesthouse. Seven rooms were now still leather rooms and 2 rooms (including the single) were now ‘straight-friendly’. Every Leather Room was different, but all had a sling over the bed. Other attributes included bondage chairs, an Andrew’s-cross and fetish videos on a flat-screen TV. The most expensive room was room #23, a true rubber Valhalla with rubber floor and bed cover. Needless to say, The Black Tulip has been the set of various porn productions, including the obvious-titled PrimePork Production “Fantasy Room”. In many old Amsterdam buildings, the walls are thin. But at the Black Tulip one didn’t need to worry about noise. The walls had been made as thick as the exterior walls of a house. And for those who liked to play in the dark, the curtains were designed to keep out daylight. Talking about good isolation, if you needed a body bag, you could rent one at the reception. The same goes for boots. Toys had to be brought by guests themselves though, for obvious reasons. Yet, the hotel had a selection of products for sale on display in the living room. These products could also be obtained from Gayforce.nl, the owners’ web shop. By way of conclusion, staying at The Black Tulip was staying in a luxurious and beautiful haven of sexual freedom. Visitors were also allowed to bring guests, who were allowed to join in for breakfast at the monumental dining table in the hotel living room or, if your guest came with puppy attitude, he could have his breakfast from a dog tray.
The Black Tulip went out of business in 2010.