Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam
15 July, 2016
Just south from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam's maze of canals and cobbled streets lies the Museum Quarter, home to some of Europe's finest art collections and the Conservatorium Hotel. A part of the city's heritage in its own right, the 19th-century building was once a bank and still retains many of its original features. Floors and walls are adorned with mosaic tiles and a grand stone staircase connects the eight floors. Having undergone a huge refurbishment in 2011, the heart of the hotel now lies within an immense internal glass courtyard. With the lobby and reception area, guest lounge and restaurant all interlinked, the open plan creates a buzzy atmosphere where hosts, guests and locals mingle.
Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam
With 129 rooms in total, there are many shapes and sizes to choose from. Just beware the rooms overlooking the courtyard if you enjoy fresh air. The décor is impeccably modern; minimalist furnishings, demure tones and technology integrated into almost every aspect. If you're a fan of the simple switch, expect a steep learning curve... Beds are luxurious and bathrooms are a treat. Both bathtub and shower are big enough to bathe an entire family in one go. Huge bespoke televisions have been commissioned for each of the rooms, allowing you to pivot the screen in whichever direction you choose to recline.
What's for breakfast?
You won't want to miss the extensive breakfast offering. Can't get out of bed? No bother, everything you could wish for is available via room service.
The Conservatorium Brasserie is stylish but casual affair, open all day for light meals and plat du jours. Drop into the lounge for afternoon tea if you're partial to a pastry, while sophisticats should hotfoot it to the hotel's Asian restaurant, Taiko, which is run by Dutch chef Schilo van Coevorde (heralded for putting Dutch cuisine on the map).
Is there a bar?
The building once housed a musical institute and - in keeping with the past - students from the relocated Sweelinck Conservatorium are invited to come back to play for guests. With live music every evening, it's the perfect place to sink into an armchair and enjoy a drink after a exploring. Alternatively, head to Tunes bar to sip cocktails and eat Asian tapas off a bespoke glass bar top while the DJ spins house tunes. There is also a smoking lounge.
Things you should know
Don't forget your bikini - the award-winning akasha holistic wellbeing centre offers a pool, sauna, hammam and fitness club. The hotel also has its own arcade, the Van Baerle shopping gallery, with boutiques stocking everything from beachwear to cigars.
Within a short walk you can find…
Set directly in front of Museumplein, art lovers will be tempted to catapult themselves straight out of bed into the queues for the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Stedelijk Museums. Vondelpark is a short stroll away and offers a haven away from the crowds. In the other direction you'll find Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw. If you wish to venture further, take advantage of this cyclist-friendly city and borrow one of the hotel's bikes - there is no better way to explore than on two wheels.