Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – ‘Fly me to the Moon’ – the Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Transforms the Long-Haul Layover

I’ve always considered airport layovers one of the downsides of travel. Yet I’ve revised that opinion since discovering the Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Hotel; writes Andrew Forbes.

This landmark property has striking design features from its signature exterior to the distinctive interior that go beyond the aesthetic. There are more than 430 rooms; meetings and conference space; a stylish Axis Lobby & Cocktail Bar; excellent Bowery Restaurant – and a spa too. The Hilton Amsterdam Airport understands what 21st century business and leisure travellers want and in my experience, it delivers.

If you follow my articles, you’ll know I have a good opinion of Hilton properties. They’re often under-rated. Hilton properties typically offer varied facilities, well-trained staff, and the good-sized rooms.

Well I’m even more impressed since staying at the Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Hotel. I know, airport hotels are hardly the places you expect to be impressed or inspired. Yet, cast aside any preconceptions you may have, and discover with me this designer property.


Schiphol is one of Europe’s major airport hubs, where short-haul feeder and long-haul intercontinental flights integrate. The airport serves more than 300 destinations.  It’s sprawling, yet everything converges on the one central arrivals terminal meeting area, which somehow makes the airport easier to navigate. From the Schiphol central terminal, it’s easy to arrive to the hotel on foot, since an elevated covered walkway called the Traverse connects with the hotel. At most it is a 10-minute walk.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

The Luxury Editor flew to Amsterdam with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which offers the best flight options and connections through Schiphol with its modern fleet and SKYTEAM partners. Flights from UK to Amsterdam are form £79.00 return.

The Hotel

The Hilton has become one of the architectural icons of Schiphol. Anyone who has passed through the airport since 2015 will have seen this striking hotel, in front of the main terminal. Its cube-like structure, covered with giant diamond-shaped windows, is truly distractive.

Designed by Dutch firm Mecanoo architecten, the hotel has a soaring 42-metre high glazed internal atrium. As soon as you arrive down the escalators, one can’t help but be impressed by the scale and futuristic design of the property.

The ground floor open-plan space is cleverly divided into different ‘islands’, said to echo the landscape of parts of the Netherlands. The islands include the lounge area, library, meeting areas with sofas, the cocktail bar, and of course the reception.

Check-in & Welcome

I flew through check-in thanks to a super-efficient receptionist who had all my details to hand and swiftly explained the features of the hotel, including the Executive Lounge that is also available to guests in Executive rooms.

Before I headed to my room I took advantage of the complimentary welcome drink at the Axis Lobby and Cocktail Bar – a stylish circular bar that forms part of the lively lobby level.

Executive Guest Room

Three executive floors are at the top of the hotel, served by an Executive Lounge on the 10th level with views onto the airport and the city of Amsterdam beyond.

Rooms are reached by the lifts and sweeping gallery walkways that offer vertiginous views of the atrium.

Deluxe and Executive rooms offer views out towards the airport, whilst standard rooms look inwards to the light-filled atrium. All are served by fast internet.

Rooms are stream-lined and contemporary – potential clutter like the Nespresso machine, kettle and mini bar are discretely found behind integrated cupboard doors which close flush with the walls.

The diamond windows provide a unique perspective to the room. The abstract, diamond patterned headboard of the bed is in gold, whilst the carpet is said to be inspired by lace, a traditional Dutch craft.

The other furniture in the room included a well-positioned writing desk with international charge points and connectivity; as well as a light turquoise lounge chair and ottoman. The artwork above the headboards in each room is said to depict the skylines of the Netherlands from south to north – a creative collaboration with Israel Páez.

The bathroom is probably the most contemporary space, where light and form are used to create a clean, uncluttered space.  My only wish would to have had better water pressure in the shower.

Welcome Amenity

The hotel had left a hard-written note, a plate of cold cuts and a beer as a personalised welcome.


It’s not just the design and guest accommodation that make this Hilton stand apart as an airport hotel. The dining is notable too.

Here the wholesome goodness of farm-to-table Dutch cooking meets the exotic flavours of the east. The experience is relaxed, friendly, yet sophisticated. The design of the large restaurant is smart – it allows for different spaces well-suited to groups, families, as well as couples and guests that are dining alone – reflecting the diverse type of guests that stay at this hotel.

The restaurant has three open kitchens where chefs create the seasonal menu. I was served by Caterina who was knowledgeable about the menu and was able to suggest wines by the glass to pair with the dishes.

I started with sensational fresh crudités, and a Poke bowl of tuna & avocados that was elegantly presented.

The crispy chicken main dish with mango was stylish comfort food; whilst for pudding I went for the seasonal winter baked apple crumble in a glass.

Throughout the meal service was attentive and natural – it was a most enjoyable dining experience, rather than the normal refuelling stop one might expect at an airport hotel.


The fitness centre is open 24 hours so whether beating jag lag or getting your trip off to a good start, the up-to-date equipment is always available to use.

The eforea spa is open all day ‘till late, offering treatments with Elemis products. I didn’t have time to try a treatment, but the spa area was well appointed, with a relaxation area and plunge pool, sauna, hot tub and steam room.


Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol felt more like a destination resort hotel than an airport property. It has certainly set the bar high for other airport properties for its excellent price/quality ratio and varied, contemporary facilities for both business users and leisure travellers.

So, let you next long-haul trip get off to a flying start with a relaxing upscale stop over at the Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

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