Do you know about the "other" Van Gogh museum near Amsterdam?

Helene Kröller-Müller, German by birth but married to successful Dutch businessman Anton Kröller, amassed a collection of over 11,500 art objects between 1907 and 1922. This makes her collection one of the largest private collections of the 20th century. One of her favorite artists was Vincent van Gogh...she was an early admirer of his paintings when his work were not very well known. She became the owner of more van Gogh paintings than anyone other than the van Gogh family itself, nearly 100 paintings and over 180 drawings. 

The Kröller-Müller Museum is about an hour's train ride from Amsterdam, located in the town of Otterlo in the middle of the Hoge Veluwe National Park and is home to some of van Gogh's most famous and beloved masterpieces.  Let's start with some of his early works when he was still painting with the darker palette:

Loom with Weaver (1884) by Vincent van Gogh at the Kröller-Müller Museum

Still Life with Clogs (1881) by Vincent van Gogh at the Kröller-Müller Museum

Oxcart (1884) by Vincent van Gogh at the Kröller-Müller Museum

Head of a Man with a Pipe (1884) by Vincent van Gogh at the Kröller-Müller Museum

Lane of Poplars at Sunset (1884) by Vincent van Gogh at the Kröller-Müller Museum
Peasant Women Digging Up Potatoes (1885) by Vincent van Gogh at the Kröller-Müller Museum

Autumn Landscape (1885) by Vincent van Gogh at the Kröller-Müller Museum

Moulin de la Galette (1886) by Vincent van Gogh at the Kröller-Müller Museum
Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

All photos were taken by me during my visit to the museum

The museum is closed Mondays and January 1.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and national holidays* from 10.00 to 17.00.

* Easter, Pentecost, Christmas, King’s Day (April 27), Liberation Day (May 5).

The sculpture garden is open until 16.30.



The Renaissance Hotel Chicago is located at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Chicago: State Street and Wacker Drive...

The hotel is also connected to one of the most well-known skyscrapers in Chicago, the Leo Burnett Building. This is very convenient during those bitter-cold Chicago winter mornings because you can enter the Leo Burnett building at the corner of Lake and Dearborn, and exit the Renaissance Hotel at State and Wacker, basically walking the equivalent of two city blocks indoors.

For the past two months or so, the Renaissance Hotel has been going through a renovation, of what sort I had no idea because the entrance to the hotel from the Leo Burnett building was closed during that time.

Finally the entrance to the hotel was reopened last week, so I took the opportunity to take the shortcut through the hotel lobby since it was a rather brisk morning, temperature-wise.

WOW! is all I can say. The lobby has been redesigned and what a redesign! A very modern and open-spaced concept.

As you enter through the glass doors from the Leo Burnett Building, the check-in desk has been moved completely to this end of the lobby.

Pale wood planks replace the old orange-brown patterned carpeting and marble floors. Walls have been removed with pillars allowing to open the space. The pillars are decorated with photographic murals of dancers...

and the walls are covered with a black-white wall paper design that reminds me of a painting hanging in the Art Institute's Modern Wing. 

The wall art throughout the lobby incorporates the city of Chicago itself. From a map of the CTA subway lines hanging on the wall outside the restrooms...
to a map of the portion of city that includes the Renaissance Hotel itself...


to a large Yellow Cab made out of plastic pins.

As you enter the main door of the hotel, this is what greets you...

This is the really WOW factor for me; the new Staytion bar has been installed right in the lobby.  Two different styles of bar stools and on the back walls of the bar hang a mix of framed mirrors and caricature drawings.
Next to the bar is the Staytion Market...
where guests can grab a quick muffin and juice to go or sit at the bar and order off the menu. The bar serves a multitude of draft beers, wine and cleverly-named specialty drinks. Check out the entire menu below:

They have created very nice padded bleacher seating (perhaps in reference to the famous bleachers at Wrigley Field) for those customers who purchase food or drink from Staytion.

Also new is Navigator, the hotel's new personalized computer concierge service. Local experts give you their recommendations for the best of the city's restaurants, nightlife, shopping and all of the Windy City's top sites. For example:

"A stroll at dusk along the Chicago River, followed by a cold, locally brewed Goose Island draft in Chicago's historic theater district is the perfect way to unwind after an exciting day in the Windy City. From the American landmark that is Wrigley Field to the famous Art Institute of Chicago, a ton of amazing adventures await you in our gorgeous city." Ikram, Chicago Navigator

Just want to relax after a long day of meetings? You can sit and relax in the redesigned lounging area.

The Renaissance Hotel Chicago is located at Wacker Drive and State Street in downtown Chicago, just blocks from State Street shopping. It is also within easy walking distance to the luxury stores along the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue.

For more information, visit the hotel's website here. 

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner

All photos were taken by me.