Where to Stay
Conservatorium Amsterdam – top luxury hotel in the city, perfect for a romantic escape.
March is such a lovely time of year to spend a long weekend exploring Amsterdam (if the weather behaves...) and ease of travel from the UK or indeed Paris, makes this a hassle-free option without needing to take time off work. Conservatorium Amsterdam is by far the best luxury hotel for its fantastic service and central location right next to the Museum Square district. However, there are lots of cute and less expensive boutique hotels that I can also recommend.
For those with an appreciation for cutting-edge architecture, the Conservatorium won’t fail to impress. It feels like sleeping within a work of art. On arrival, the grand, neo-gothic facade gives historical context to the Conservatorium and adds a sense of place (the 19th Century building was formerly the home of a music conservatory), whilst beautifully contrasting with the contemporary design features within – all the creation of award-winning designer, Piero Lissoni. Instantly striking is the glass-walled interior that reveals a splendid view of a spacious outdoor terrace – a true oasis in the heart of the city – and high ceilings allow for this urban retreat to feel bright and airy as natural light seeps in.
The lobby lounge is incredibly glamorous and one of the coolest hangouts in town for cocktails. The Brasserie and Lounge are located within the beautiful internal glass courtyard, which is filled with plants and greenery, bringing a sense of ‘outdoors-in’. Here guests enjoy healthy a la carte dining with a focus on local, seasonal produce, cooked up by Dutch-chef, Schilo van Coevorden.
Taiko is the hotel’s award-winning Asian-inspired restaurant, celebrated as one of Amsterdam’s finest dining experiences – it’s well worth booking in advance.
Suites are chic and generous in size, boasting the perfect harmony of refined luxury features, traditional Dutch designs and textiles and the latest technology to enhance comfort and experience.
A choice of gorgeous suites, signature suites with more space or spectacularly appointed penthouse suites means there’s something for everyone. The city views from the rooftop of the I heart Amsterdam Suite are utterly breathtaking – opt for one of the more spoiling, elegant suites to make this a wonderful and romantic weekend escape.
Enjoy wonderful views across one of the most picturesque of cities I know. Amsterdam’s canals are lined with a network of colourful boats, overlooked by rows of neat townhouses and separated by cobbled-stone streets, dappled by the shade of perfectly paced poplar trees. Locals and visitors alike all traverse the city by bicycle, winding their way along canal paths and over bridges, exploring the city’s wealth of galleries and museums, pausing to pop into one of hundreds of tiny, artisanal coffee houses. In spring the tulips are in full bloom and the city is filled with colour. Borrow one of the Conservatorium’s bikes to discover Amsterdam’s beautiful parks and gardens and the world-famous flower strip or ‘bollenstreek’. A trip to Amsterdam has to include a visit to the Rijksmuseum to see the current Rembrandt exhibition and of course the Night Watch. The Conservatorium is perfectly located close to the Van Gogh Museum, Vondelpark and directly opposite the Stedelijk Museum. For a shopping trip, the Conservatorium is down the street from high fashion houses such as Gucci and Cartier, and a number of small boutiques that I can recommend.
Whilst Amsterdam is a city with a wealth of historic sites and cultural hotspots to explore, be sure to put some time aside to enjoy the hotel’s Akasha Holistic Wellbeing experience. This is the top spa experience in the Netherlands with a dazzling pool, private Hammam, Organic food and juice bar and an incredible menu of restorative treatments to choose from. Nutritional consultations, meditative therapies, fitness classes with personal trainers and relaxing massages are all highly recommended and add some well-deserved relaxation to your city break.
Dylan Amsterdam – A luxury boutique hotel with style and personality.
Dylan is a luxury boutique hotel in a gorgeous 17th Century townhouse overlooking a typical Amsterdam canal, the Keizersgracht, which on a calm day, beautifully reflects the leafy trees that line the cobblestoned streets along its tranquil banks. Centrally located within Amsterdam’s chic shopping district, ‘The Nine Street’s’, it’s a great, central hotel option within easy walking and biking distance to all the city’s highlights.
The Dylan’s sumptuous, warm and welcoming design features include beautifully handcrafted wooden furniture, rich leathers and smooth marbles. With only 40 rooms the Dylan is intimate and brimming with personality. Choose from four distinct room styles; Loxoura rooms are a vision of elegance - bronze mirrors and leather headboards, all situated around a tranquil garden; Serendipity uses natural earth tones and luxurious fabrics to provide calm and comfort; Loft epitomises typical Amsterdam style with white and beige accents, minimalistic furniture and original wooden beams; and Amber is soft and stylish, blending the modern and the traditional with bespoke luxury furnishings made from wood, marble and brass, overlooking a secluded garden.
Dylan’s enchanting style is complemented by a charming team of staff who make you feel like private guests. Les Clef d’Or Concierges here is known for snaffling up the hottest tickets in town and always making recommendations for experiences or restaurant reservations that are under the radar. The hotel’s Michelin Star restaurant, Vinkeles is the creation of Chef Dennis Duipers and the perfect dining experience for a special occasion. Set within an old bakery amidst exposed brick walls, the atmosphere is warm and sophisticated, as guests dine on sensational modern French cuisine by candlelight. Bar Brasserie OCCO is also stunning and open all day, offering coffee and delicious food and transforming into a cocktail bar by night.
Visit The Hague
The Hague, a small city located on the North Sea, is famously the seat of the Dutch parliament and the headquarters of the UN’s International Court of Justice. An extraordinary city of great importance for many governments and international businesses, it is a fine example of Gothic-style architecture, complete with a number of stunning palaces and historic buildings. From Amsterdam it is well worth taking the half-hour train ride to visit the Royal Palace and Mauritshuis, which is one of the most amazing museums I have ever seen, housing an incredible government collection of over 800 works of art by the likes of Rembrandt and Holbein the Younger. For those that are interested to stay overnight and not rush a visit, there are a couple of cute hotels that we can recommend within The Hague, such as Hotel Indigo Palace Noordeinde, opposite the Royal Palace, or Paleis Hotel. I recently stayed in Hotel Indigo, which is a super sweet boutique hotel in a great location. The vault entrance to the bar is absolutely spectacular!
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...