Whether you’re after a cultural city break crammed full of art and museums, a foodie trip during which you can dine on some of the best waffles and cheese in the world, the ultimate shopping spree, or a rejuvenating break, Amsterdam has it all – and then some. But there’s another reason you should book a ticket to capital of the Netherlands: the Conservatorium hotel. We checked into the award-winning property to see why it’s being dubbed the ultimate destination in Dutch hospitality. Find out below.
Location, Location, Location
If you want to be in the cultural heart of the city, you can’t get better than this. They say you are the company you keep, and seeing as the hotel can count the likes of Van Gogh, Picasso, and Mondrian as its neighbors, it certainly has some fine friends. Art enthusiasts will be in their element considering the property’s proximity to Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum. Even better? If they’re feeling particularly lazy (you are on vacation, after all), they need not leave if an art fix is what they’re after – but more on that in a moment…
With Amsterdam’s museum quarter on one side and designer-fashion district on the other, the hotel is smack-bang in the middle of the action – while being far enough from it to offer an element of respite from the bustling city. The picturesque canals are a mere 10-minute stroll away and, with a tram top on your doorstep, getting around couldn’t be easier.
Art for Art's Sake
The Conservatorium, like many of the world-renowned museums near it, pierces through the Amsterdam sky. But the imposing building is just as fascinating inside as it is outside. In the 19th century, it was home to a bank, where locals entrusted their prized possessions in the original, imposing walls that still stand today.
The property was then transformed into a music conservatorium – hence its name – which is why you’ll find violins hanging from the ceiling in the lobby and images of musical greats lining the passageways. After staying empty for five years, Italian architect Piero Lissoni turned it into the stunning hotel that stands today.
Despite its historical significance, there’s also a contemporary twist on the design of the building, and one that’s done tastefully. Given that its neighbors house some of the best artworks in the world, the Conservatorium has sought to incorporate its artistic location into its design. You may not notice them at first sight, but numerous original pieces are dotted throughout the hotel.
The Conservatorium prides itself on its long-term collaborations with local artists, and it also hosts Art Months, during which guests and visitors alike can discover unique exhibitions without having to venture off to one of the city’s many galleries. You can even book into the ‘Artist in Residence’ suites that have been decorated by artists themselves. Add to that the weekly live music nights and performances from renowned jazz musicians, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate cultural escape.
Hallways are sleek and dark, adding to the sense of privacy once you leave the brightness of the atrium. While you’re making the journey to your room, look out for the original stained-glass panels and wall tiles that have been beautifully restored to keep the hotel’s heritage alive.
The rooms here are chic and modern, with calming natural hues of beige, stone, and gray, with a few fun splashes of color scattered throughout. Whether a luxurious guestroom or a sumptuous suite, each has its own personality and a unique twist – be it exposed beams, artwork on the walls, split level set-ups, or books to read.
What you can find in every abode is the height of luxury living. Enormous walk-in rain showers, designer amenities courtesy of Floris of London, flat-screen TVs in both your bedroom and your bathroom, and views that are begging to be photographed. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending most of your time holed up inside – the Conservatorium makes it hard to leave.
Having breakfast or afternoon tea at the breathtaking Brasserie & Lounge, which you’ll find nestled inside the hotel’s glass courtyard, enables you to really soak up the beauty of the architecture while gazing up at the sky.
But if something a little more exotic is what you’re after, the resident Taiko restaurant will transport you to Asia faster than you can say, “Pass the dim sum.” Here, you’ll find only the best ingredients from around the world, including the finest Hida beef, the only wasabi grown in Europe, and the freshest sashimi and sushi platters. There’s even a dedicated vegan menu for avid health junkies. Its dark, moody interiors and live music make for the ultimate date-night spot.
After a day of pounding the pavements, visiting the city’s museums, or putting your cycling skills to the test, nothing beats some much-earned R&R – especially when the Conservatorium’s Akasha spa awaits.
Spread over 1,000 square meters and divided into four areas inspired by the natural elements, it’s home to a 60-foot pool, private hammam, steam room, jacuzzi, and some of the best treatments in the city. Not only do these include the usual suspects – think: facials, wraps, and massages – but also an amazing array of holistic therapies ranging from meditation to hydrotreatments that take place in the only Watsu pool in Amsterdam. It’s hardly surprising it was voted the number one luxury spa in the Netherlands…
The gym has state-of-the-art equipment, free weights, and a dedicated room for regular classes and anyone hoping to keep up with their personal training – or for those who’ve indulged in one too many stroopwafels, of course.
If all that wasn’t enough, the Conservatorium was the first Dutch hotel to be awarded a Green Globe certification, and sustainable practices were integrated into the building from the start of its redevelopment. From the eco-certified cleaning products to the use of organic ingredients in the restaurants, the hotel’s two electric cars, and the organic spa treatments on offer, it proves that sustainability can be chic.
For more details or to book a stay at Conservatorium, click here.