Overlooking the Keizersgracht canal and situated in the Nine Street shopping district of Amsterdam, the Dylan Hotel is well-known for its contemporary design and personalized service.
I have to admit that Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in all of Europe. Is it the canals that bring the center together or the flower-lined streets with narrow houses that make Amsterdam so unique and special, I really don’t know, but the fact is that me and my husband instantly fell in love with the city. Residents of Amsterdam are also very cool. Most of them like a good cup of coffee in the morning, they use bikes for transportation, and some of them grow flowers. What is there not to like?
We usually spend weeks at a time in Amsterdam, so it’s more convenient for us to stay in our apartment for a month than to book a hotel. On this occasion however, we decided to spend a few days in one of the city’s most charming and intimate hotels, the Dylan Hotel. The reviews we read were great and the location was just perfect, so we were curious to check the place out.
History & Design of The Dylan Hotel
The Dylan Hotel is very rich in history. Samuel Coster, who was a doctor, bought this piece of land in the 17th century and constructed a wooden building. He was very interested in poetry and decided to fund a theatre in the building. The theatre hosted many Dutch plays, as well as plays written by Corneille, Moliere, and Shakespeare. Unfortunately, in 1772 the building was destroyed in a fire. A year later, the whole site was bought by one of the Roman Catholic Church charities and remained in their possession until 1998. The building was renovated and reopened as a hotel in 1999.
The entrance to The Dylan Hotel is hidden by an iron gate with bikes for rent one on one side of the path that leads to the front door and a small bench on the other side. The path is lined with sophisticated flower arrangements that give the place a fairytale look, bringing to mind a memory of the secret garden in Alice in Wonderland. The entire complex has an old-time historical vibe, probably because it used to be a theater, and later a church before becoming a modern hotel. Surrounded by windows, the courtyard has plenty of natural light which makes it relaxing and bright. As for the design, it can be best described as refined and kitschy.
Our Two-Level Room
We stayed in a two-level Duplex Room. The bedroom was on the on the ground floor, while the bathroom with a full bathtub was on the top level. I have to admit that the room looked very modern and was also spotless. There were complimentary bathrobes and slippers available, as well as air conditioning, safe, and a minibar.
When we visited some of the other rooms, I noticed that all rooms are designed differently, yet all of them somehow come together. All the design flowed perfectly without being an obvious match...something I really appreciate. Junior suites are slightly larger than double rooms and have an extra sofa bed, while some suites offer Canal views and have 20-feet-high ceilings. The most expensive and the best suites at The Dylan Hotel are the signature suites, also known as The Jacob van Campen Suite and The Dylan Thomas Suite. Definitely worth the splurge if they’re available.
Hotel Amenities & Services
Besides the beautiful courtyard, one of my favorite places to hang out during our stay was the shared common area that has a fireplace, leather chairs, and a sofa. It was a perfect spot for a cup of morning coffee or tea.
The hotel can also organize a private gastronomical canal tour that is called Vinkeles on the Water….playing off their Michelin starred restaurant Vinkeles. Discovering Amsterdam from the water in a completely renovated 19th-century saloon vessel, while dining on gourmet bits, is a truly unique experience. Next time, we’ll definitely have to try this out!
Bike rentals are also available, and there is a meeting room that is perfect for smaller receptions, presentations, and business meetings. We were told that the hotel often hosts weddings for up to 100 people and offers a romantic arrival by boat to their private landing dock.
Dining at The Dylan Hotel
There are 2 restaurants and a bar at The Dylan Hotel. One of the restaurants, Vinkeles, has a one Michelin star and offers a mixture of a classic and contemporary French style dishes. Executive Chef Kuipers prepares a 5-course menu from fresh homemade ingredients and pays attention to presentation and flavor.
We also visited the Bar Brasserie OCCO for lunch and it was amazing. Some of the dishes on the menu include smoked Iceland halibut with cucumber and grapefruit, Peking duck with eggs, mushrooms, and coriander, and French pacific oysters with vinegar and lemon. They also serve a delicious carrot cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert. We also ordered a couple of cocktails that were fantastic. Meals from the Bar Brasserie OCCO can be served in the garden when the weather is nice, and there are a few private dining rooms like Josephine’s and Barbou Private Dining inside of the hotel.
The Perfect Location in Amsterdam
There is plenty of sightseeing options in the surrounding area such as The Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, and the Hermitage. The floating Flower Market is easily reachable, while many bars, restaurants, and cafes can be found in the neighborhood. Our recommendation - just get outside and walk around! Guaranteed you’ll see something interesting and magically stumble upon a fab cafe or restaurant.
I liked that the hotel is located far from all the hustle and bustle of the Amsterdam city center, but still close to main attractions and several tram lines. There are also a lot of cool boutiques and shops in the area. Visitors who like art and hotels that serve great food and offer amazing accommodation with professional service will definitely not be disappointed with what The Dylan Hotel has to offer.
For more information about The Dylan Amsterdam, visit their website: