As one of Europe’s more controversial cities, those looking for an elegant, cultural stay in Amsterdam will be hard-pushed to find a more perfect hotel than Conservatorium.
With a more industrial design than you would expect from a luxury five-star hotel, you feel Conservatorium’s contemporary-urban feel as soon as you walk through the door thanks to its huge exposed brick walls that scream laid-back luxury. What was once a grand 19th century bank turned music school, the building was transformed into the beauty it is today back in 2011 by Italian interiors architect Piero Lissoni, who has since won the Conservatorium countless awards.
Fun fact: It’s also the first Dutch hotel to be awarded with a Green Globe certification and you’ll see sustainable practices throughout including eco-certified spa products and organic food produce.
The hotel has bagged a prime location that feels a world away from the seedier side of the city, situated bang in between Amsterdam’s countless museums and its most stylish fashion district, PC Hooftstraat. You are literally on the doorstep of the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and Concertgebouw, with Cartier, Gucci and Armani on the other side and the main canals just 10-minute walk away, so you won’t have to travel far for that Instagram opportunity. Vondelpark, one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful parks, is also a short stroll away.
If you’re stuck for ideas on how to pass your time – which we would find quite hard to believe – the hotel’s concierge are like a human library of knowledgeable locals and when you step outside, a bank of cycles are lined up to be used for private hire or to join the hotel’s own guided city tours, which might be safer for those not used to the confusing cycle lanes.
Boasting the best lobby lounge in town, the evening culinary experience at Conservatorium will be sure to impress at Asian restaurant Taiko, which serves up a menu that’s Japanese in style and with inspiration from China and West-coast America. Breakfast, which is served in the Brasserie, was one of the only hotel experiences we felt slightly lacking due to a ten-minute wait for a table and a very small portion of avocado on toast (which would be fine if it didn’t come with a hefty price tag), but there’s also the choice of an excellent buffet of top quality produce including salads, cheeses, pastries, meats, fresh juices and more. A la carte dishes include everything from eggs benedict and pancakes, as well as more healthy dishes such as an egg-white omelette with spinach and tomato, but while breakfast was included in our room rate, at 48 euros (Dhs200) per head, it would have been disappointing to have paid for this separately.
Rooms vary in size, but we stayed in a Junior Suite which came on two levels with a living area, two huge bathrooms – one with an absolutely dreamy bath – and an upstairs bedroom. Décor was pleasingly minimalist with clean lines and soothing natural tones like beige and grey with the occasional sprinkle of colour. Extras came in the form of espresso machines, a multimedia system that links with any device your music might be on and two massive LED TV screens which would be great for a cosy night in after a few days of over-indulgence.
There’s also the hotel’s heavenly spa Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre for those looking to wind down, and an 18-metre pool and a large, well-equipped gym.
Perfect for an indulgent romantic break, Conservatorium’s handy location and luxurious yet relaxed vibe makes it the ideal spot to explore all that this enchanting city has to offer.
The Conservatorium Hotel is locate at Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam 1071, Netherlands. To make a reservation visit www.conservatoriumhotel.com