Tulip fields, canals, windmills, bicycles and museums (the Netherlands has the largest number of museums per square kilometre in the world), may be some of the first images that leap to mind when thinking about the Netherlands. But, this country – made up of 12 distinct provinces – has far more to offer besides these classic experiences. Breathtaking nature reserves, family-friendly beach resorts, prehistoric hunebeds, magical castles, expansive wetlands, design boutiques and luscious vineyards are some of the many places to be explored. And it’s an easily traversable country – with one side to another reached in as little as two hours, you can take it all in, wherever you choose to stay.
This five-star boutique hotel leaves little to the imagination in terms of superior levels of customer service and an immaculate attention to detail. The Dylan is equipped with 40 rooms and suites. Each of these boasts an individual decor, so no two experiences will ever be alike. As the hotel is nestled within the tourist-friendly Keizersgracht district of Amsterdam, it is quite easy to visit all of the most famous attractions. While perfectly suited for more discrete requirements, The Dylan is also capable of handling larger events such as weddings and corporate seminars. The rooms provide modern amenities such as flat-screen televisions, free wireless Internet and complimentary toiletries. When these amenities are combined with a world-class restaurant and competitive pricing, it is clear to appreciate why The Dylan enjoys such a positive reputation.
Hotel Okura Amsterdam
Hotel Okura is associated with a modernistic appeal that will certainly leave guests coming back for more. This boutique property offers a host of different rooms and suites depending upon your requirements. 24-hour room service, complimentary wireless access and a coffee machine are only three of the benefits which you can expect to enjoy during your stay. There is also an on-site health club and spa; ideal if you wish to decompress after a long journey. One of the most unique aspects associated with Hotel Okura is that there are a variety of restaurants and bars to choose from. Local specialities, international dishes and tasty cocktails are only moments away.
Seven One Seven
Hotel Seven One Seven offers up nine exquisite rooms and each of these has been modelled after specific artists such as Franz Liszt, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. Although the roots of the building itself can be traced back to the 19th century, the inclusion of modern luxuries is able to cater to even the most discriminating of requirements. Many of their suites offer panoramic views of the Amsterdam canals and guests can enjoy an unforgettable dining experience thanks to an outdoor patio. The on-site staff is more than happy to provide its guests with advice on where to visit during their stay; offering an all-inclusive edge.
Although the Hotel W franchise is an international chain, visitors can expect a top-of-the-line personalised experience during their stay. The W Amsterdam is actually comprised of two separate buildings; offering a bespoke taste of the traditional and the modern. There are no fewer than 238 rooms and this has allowed Hotel W to be one of the largest properties within Amsterdam. 23 of these are suites; offering up a superior sense of luxury and privacy. Management is primarily concerned with the personal experiences of their guests. You can therefore access amenities including (but not limited to) 24-hour room service, professional spa treatments, a high-end fitness room, a fully equipped business centre. and a pet-friendly atmosphere. The W Lounge and the exclusive X Bar are other possibilities which should never be taken for granted.
Located on the Herengracht, the Walfdorf Astoria is the latest premier location for luxury accommodation in Amsterdam. This 93 room hotel was once 6 canal townhouses that were home to Amsterdam’s super rich and have subsequently been converted into one hotel (look out for where each house starts and ends with the gold line around internal walls in the hotel) . Rooms range from standard up to lofts and penthouses with views over the Herengracht canal and the beautiful gardens at the back. The Waldorf Astoria is truly stunning and the painstaking attention to detail in the refurbishment has retained all the buildings historic features, while still keeping it contemporary and with all the latest features any luxury travel expects. Rooms are spacious and airy, (which is unusual for a city centre hotel in Amsterdam) – and include gigantic bathrooms finished in marble with bath and television, separate shower and twin sinks. Rooms have wifi, nespresso machine and entertainment centre and I liked the finishing touches with electric curtains and turning down service in the evening. The hotel features a Guerlain spa with 3 treatment rooms, pool, steam room and sauna. The pool overlooks the gardens at the back and is an oasis of calm to relax in after a day exploring the city. The aptly named Vault bar was once the safe room in the building and it maintains a nod to the past with the safety deposit boxes still visible at the back of the bar. The hotel restaurant is run in collaboration with 3-star Michelin restaurant De Librije & the Goldfinch Brasserie.
Built on the home of what was the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music the Conservatorium Hotel opened it’s doors in 2011 heralding a new level of contemporary luxury accommodation in the city. Part of the Set group of hotels and visioned by Milan designer Piero Lissoni the building has been completely restored to it’s former 19th century beauty. Located on museum square, a stones throw from the Rijksmuseum, Vondelpark, the Van Gogh Museum and shopping mecca P.C Hoofstraat its the perfect base for exploring Amsterdam. The hotel has 129 rooms over 8 floors ranging from superior rooms up to suites. The hotel like the Waldorf Astoria blends old world with new world and the main glass atrium which houses the brasserie and hotel reception is breathtaking.
The hotel is home to to the Akasha Holistic Centre which is a 1000sqm spa and gym that combines the best of eastern and western massage treatments, a 18m by 5m pool, whirlpool and Hamman sauna.
The restaurant and brasserie are under the direction of celebrated Dutch chef Schilo van Coevorden. The brasserie and lounge sits within the main glass atrium and offers all day dining as well as afternoon tea. Tunes restaurant is located within the historic part of the building and opens in the evening and the fabulous bar which I loved is next to the restaurant and is super modern and cosy serving cocktails, champagne and tapas.
Hotel De L’Europe
The iconic De L’Europe Amsterdam is one of the city’s ‘Grand Dames’ hotels, found in an exceptional location, right on the Amstel river, and within walking distance to all the riches of the canal belt. The beautiful, historic Rondeel Building provides the classic setting for this luxury riverside hotel that offers extravagant guests suites; a two Michelin stars restaurant ‘Bord’Eau’; a Skins Institute spa; an informal riverside brasserie; and the signature ‘Freddy’s Bar’, named after the late Alfred Henry “Freddy” Heineken (since this property is owned by the Heineken brewing family). Deluxe rooms start from 440 euros. As is often the case in Amsterdam’s top hotels, breakfast is not always included in the room rate.
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
This is the Sofitel Legend flagship Dutch property, found in one of the capital’s most historic buildings. As the former Admiralty Building, the power base of the Dutch Maritime Empire, the hotel makes for a memorable first impression. This is, as the name implies, one of the city’s Grand Dame Hotels, with 177 guest rooms and suites.
Grand Hotel Amrath
Probably one of the most spectacular examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Amsterdam, the Grand Hotel Amrath is a design masterpiece. The Shipping House was built in 1914, as the headquarters of the city’s eminent shipping companies. Together the different firms agreed upon a shared building that was to be a city landmark. The architect and designers were given surprising creative freedom, leading to construction of this remarkable building that hotel guests can now enjoy today. The property has been carefully restored and is home to 165 luxury rooms and suites, each has generous proportions and historic, creative Art Nouveau detailing. French-Mediterranean inspired dishes are offered in the Seven Seas restaurant, whilst the bar/lounge is the place for cocktails with a canal view. The contemporary wellness area has a gym, pool, and spa.
Book a central stay at this hip, ten-floor, five-star address. Overlooking Rotterdam’s oldest harbour with its vintage barges, the aluminium and glass frontages of Mainport present a stark contrast to its surroundings. Inside, there’s artsy wallpaper themed on the world’s continents, clean lines, moody colour palettes and refined furnishings. The ‘Spa Heaven’ has two treatment rooms, two hammams, a sauna (with a view), a steam room – and around half of the 215 bedrooms even have their own private saunas. Guests can sip cocktails on the hotel’s swanky riverside terrace and dine at the open-plan restaurant. With extensive meeting facilities, Mainport is an excellent choice for the business traveller and tourist alike.
Behind the Gothic façade of this hotel, which was once a 15th century monastery, is a dressed-down modern vibe. Located in the heart of Maastricht, the hotel is perfectly located to explore the city and the local surroundings. Guests can choose from 60 rooms all of which are sleek and minimalistic but not without style – as to be expected given the hotel is a member of the Design Hotels Collection. Kruisheren Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a spectacular array of dishes served on a mezzanine in the monastery’s Gothic church. For guests who enjoy the fruits of the vine, Wine Bar Rouge & Blanc presents an intimate setting to quaff a glass or two from the impressive range of vintages on offer. The outdoor terrace is the perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon.
Chateau St. Gerlach
Surrounded by orchards in a wine-producing region, this chateau dates back to the 15th century and had a former life as a monastery. Its been sensitively restored to retain the rustic features, – some rooms have beamed ceilings and one suite features a wrought iron spiral staircase – as well as introducing cool modern design touches. In receipt of a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award for 2021, the hotel has a fancy French restaurant with enormous glittering chandeliers, a bistro, cute courtyard, extensive grounds, meeting rooms and an impressive art collection. The spa is a highlight, with its Roman-style pool and Turkish bath.
Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Ter Borch
Housed in a late 19th-century police station, this elegant hotel is just around the corner from a railway station. Along with 41 bedrooms equipped with Nespresso machines and top of the range sound systems, there are two private saunas, a fitness centre and a Bib Gourmand awarded Coperto Restobar. Mediterranean style lunches and dinners can be taken in the restaurant with floor-to-ceiling shuttered windows overlooking the manicured grounds, or on the sunny terrace. Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Ter Borch is found in the Hanseatic settlement of Zwolle – the nearby city centre’s medieval architecture is well worth exploring on foot.
Grand Hotel Karel V
Part ex-monastery, Grand Hotel Karel V is located in the religious and medieval centre of the Netherlands, Utrecht. The remainder of the hotel is housed in what was a 19th-century military hospital as well as a modern wing, erected in 2008 and a Roman-themed wellness centre. Named after Emperor Charles V (who previously stayed here), its heritage is reflected in the artworks and artefacts found throughout the buildings. Explore the hotel’s extensive grounds and dine in the award-winning Restaurant Karel 5, a former convent kitchen, or the more casual bistro area.