Where to stay in Amsterdam
I was in Amsterdam last month for a couple of days to attend the Amsterdam Coffee Festival. It was a glorious late winter weekend with, surprisingly enough, plenty of sunshine, blue skies, and pleasantly cool temperatures. While I will be writing a travel guide to the city soon, I wanted to share my fabulous luxury hotel experience in the heart of the city.
From a 17th-century inn to a 21st-century luxury five-star hotel, De L’Europe is one of the historical landmarks of Amsterdam. It is a part of the Leading Hotels of the World. The current hotel building was built in 1896 and it still retains the genteel elegance of the era. The hotel is divided into the older, classical wing, and the Dutch Masters Wing, which was added in 2010 by completely refurbishing a bank building next door. De L’Europe’s attractive location on a bend in the Amstel River makes it one of the best canal-side luxury hotels in the city.
De L’Europe is centrally located near the Bloemenmarkt (floating flower market) on Singel canal, just opposite the elegant 17th-century Munt Tower. Amsterdam’s Centraal Station is a mere 15-minute walk away, and Schiphol Airport is about 30 minutes by car. If you prefer to use the public transport, there’s a bus & tram stop less than 5 minutes from the hotel, and from here you can conveniently travel to almost any part of the city and visit all the main attractions and museums.
I recommend buying the ‘I Amsterdam Card’, which will let you use the public transport for free for the duration of your stay, plus give free or discounted entry to various museums and attractions.
De L’Europe still retains its historic grandeur and charm – from the liveried usher at the door to the grand lobby lounge complete with elaborate chandeliers, every little detail spells old-world luxury. Beneath the bygone era charm, stands a thoroughly modern hotel made more special by the courteous and friendly service you will encounter.
The hotel has a full-service spa with 4 treatment rooms, a chic relaxation room, saunas, a Turkish steam bath, and a beauty salon. There’s also a gym and a pool with jet stream and Jacuzzi, with spectacular views over the Amstel River.
The hotel has 88 rooms and suites in the main building, and 23 modern design suites in the Dutch Masters Wing and most of these come with a view of the canals or of the city centre. I was upgraded to a Junior Suite on the 3rd floor of the hotel, and what delighted me the most in my room was the small French balcony that gave a sweeping view of the Amstel River below – truly a room with a view!
The room had a massive king size bed with a really comfy Coco-mat mattress, a large and spacious wardrobe, a work desk and chair, and a seating area with a coffee table and two sofa chairs. The bathroom was huge and beautifully marble-clad, with a window-side bathtub, separate shower area, and high-quality Blaise Mautin toiletries.
Meticulously recreated copies of paintings by the Dutch Masters adorn the walls of each room, and the décor and colour scheme reflect the painting. My room had a copy of The Feast of Saint Nicholas by Jan Steen (the original hangs in the Gallery of Honour at the Rijksmuseum). The warm red and gold tones of the painting were brought alive in the gilded crimson colour scheme of my room, from the heavy drapes to the headboard to the chairs, everything seemed straight out of a Baroque palace. Watch the video walk-through of the suite below.
Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel and is reasonably fast.
De L’Europe boasts of five dining spaces, the most prestigious of which is the two-Michelin restaurant Bord’Eau with an inventive, contemporary menu, and a good value set lunch offering.
Breakfast is served in the canal-facing Hoofdstad Brasserie, while the Promenade in the lobby serves a superb London Afternoon Tea with oysters, scones, crostini, éclairs and pastries, accompanied by the choicest teas and coffees, or even Champagne. Hèt Terras is the canal-side terrace restaurant, which is open from April to September and is perfect for a summer meal with a view. Spend your evening at Freddy’s Bar, where you can down a perfectly mixed Bloody Mary as the pianist serenades you. The bar also features a separate fumoir section with an unparalleled cigar and cognac collection.
So if Amsterdam is on your itinerary this summer, check out De L’Europe Amsterdam for a fabulous luxury stay.
Disclosure: My stay was courtesy De L’Europe Amsterdam and Namaste Tourism.