When we were younger we loved to spent our summer days in the outdoor swimming pool of Tropicana, nowadays the amazing Aloha terrace makes us feel like we’re back at this tropical paradise again.
The Aloha Bar started at the former tropical swimming paradise as a pop-up in 2013. It has been a full fledged restaurant since 2016. And although we are talking about a dining facility, all the old and unique elements of the swimming pool are still preserved. The wild water course, the outdoor pool, the rocks, everything is still in its old place, right between all the hip furniture and the added plants. This way they gave and old city icon some new allure!
Since 2015, Aloha is part of BlueCity, that is located in the same building and where circulair economy is the core value. Waste doesn’t exist here and they like to let their guest see, taste and experience how waste can be a raw material for delicious and very cool products. Examples? Oyster mushrooms grow on coffee grounds and parchment from their own coffee-roasting factory, which will be made into an oil fried snack that is served with.. coffee mayonnaise! There is also a bee garden on the terrace, from where the honey is used in the kitchen and the beeswax is used while making the furniture for BlueCity. So it’s all totally sustainable!
We visited Aloha on a hot and sunny day – we had to, because that’s when the bar is at its best – so we took place on the terrace and decided to cool down with a homemade ice tea and homemade lavender-fig syrup. Delicious. The joy started right away at Aloha, but with that beautiful view on the Erasmus bridge, the Willems bridge and the Hef that’s pretty obvious.
A delicious lunch, great drinks or a tasty dinner; at Aloha you’re at the right place for all three. Because we are crazy about lunch (fave meal of the day), we decided to go for the 12 uurtje Aloha stijl. Consisting of a bitterbal, soup, cheddar and half a bun; also available for vegetarians. Yes! Although this dish does not sound very special (it does taste so!), they mainly serve dishes you almost don’t see anywhere else. Think of a salad with burrata, pepper, beet, fried quinoa and green goddess or stewed beef with fried marrow, fried quinoa and anchovies. Enough to enjoy! The ingredients for these dishes are as much as possible from their own premises/ vegetable garden or from local and socially involved entrepreneurs such as Lindenhoff, De Groene Weg slagerij, Goede Vissers, Vishandel Jan van As, Stadsimkerij BijBouna, Vet & Lazy and Rotterzwam.
The interior is a beautiful mix of the old Tropicana with lots of wood elements, cool furniture and greenery. And we love green! You will find several cozy corners in different yet matching styles, where you can sit down with a group of friends or do some work. And you can’t ignore the imposing concrete bar. At the large long table, you can also enjoy the sunshine thanks to the high windows. Nevertheless, the open nature of the space, the old swimming pool elements – like the coarse stone staircases – and all that green gives a bit of an outside feeling. The huge black sofa that slings through the middle of the space also reminds you a bit of a lobby of a hotel in a tropical resort. Also a nice detail: Aloha’s own coffee-roasting factory in the corner of the restaurant.
But the best thing about Aloha is of course the terrace, with perhaps the most beautiful view over the Maas and the famous Rotterdam icons. Absolutely breathtaking. It’s a very spacious terrace, so you’ll always find a nice place to settle down. Of course it’s best to get one of the wire chairs, that’ll give you – together with the sun on you head – the ultimate holiday feeling. Also on the terrace, Aloha’s swimming pool is still visible, but with a fresh and modern touch. Unfortunately, we can’t take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool anymore, but today, this former tropical swimming paradise is home to a family of water turtles who like to enjoy the sun, just like us.
This truly unique city oasis is open seven days a week, so lay down in a beach chair with a great view over the Maas, or settle in the ‘outdoor pool’ with a drink or refreshing glass of lemonade. Believe us, that’s all you need on a wonderful summer day!
Address: Maasboulevard 100
Opening hours: Open seven days a week from 12pm.