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by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | January 28, 2016

The lobby of the Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, TexasIt has been one year since InterContinental Hotels Group completed its purchase of San Francisco-based boutique hotel company Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for $430 million, a deal that gave IHG immediate cachet in a lifestyle sector increasingly dominated by big hotel companies like Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Kimpton, a respected player in the boutique hotel sector since hanging out its shingle in 1981, also walked away a winner. With IHG's deep pockets and established international reach, the brand now has a much bigger playing field, especially since Richard Solomons, chief executive officer of the Denham, England-based IHG, said his company would take advantage of its international presence to establish Kimpton in markets such as Europe and Asia. This week, Solomons has made good on that statement.

IHG announced Amsterdam, Netherlands, would become home to the first Kimpton outside of the Americas. The 270-room hotel won't be a new-build but a complete overhaul of IHG's Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre, to bring it in line with Kimpton's penchant for bold design, art-driven ambience and its hosted evening wine hour. When it reopens in 2017, the property will feature high-tech meeting space, a full-service bar and restaurant, and a fully-loaded gym.

"IHG's ability to take Kimpton to new markets and geographies was a key part of the transaction, and we're delighted to announce this important milestone for the brand. It is testament to the global appeal of the Kimpton brand and to the strength of IHG's global scale and relationships with owners across the world," said Solomons in a statement announcing the new property.

Kimpton, however, has also been very busy on the home front. The brand, which currently has 63 hotels in 33 cities, has continued to grow its unique portfolio in key markets. According to Mike DeFrino, chief executive officer of Kimpton, 2015 was one of the chain's best years, with six new properties signed and more than 10 under development. "There's an appetite for the brand in major metropolitan areas, resort destinations and tertiary markets," said DeFrino in a recent interview. In 2015, the company opened properties in Austin, Texas (see photo); Denver; Manchester, Vt.; and Seattle, to name just a few. This year, it will open several more, including one each in Cleveland; Chicago; Winston-Salem, Mass.; and two more in the Washington, D.C., area.

With Amsterdam now officially on Kimpton's destination list, we can't wait to learn what other international locations IHG has planned for its newest acquisition.