The Amstel Hotel is an iconic part of Dutch heritage, with its palatial suites and incredible restaurant La Rive, all overlooking the Amstel River.
How often do you explore your own backyard? Well, if you're anything like us than it's probably not that often. But we decided to change that. I have a soft spot for historic hotels, places that have some serious stories and have stood the test of time. So finally after bicycling by the Amstel Hotel daily, we decided to do a little staycation and check out one of the most stunning hotels in Amsterdam.
The hotel is located a few blocks away from our apartment right on the Amstel River. Although we traveled there on foot, it would have been fun to arrive by boat as well. The hotel has its own dock, which is a pretty glam way to make an entrance. It is centrally located and only about twenty minutes away from the Schiphol Amsterdam International Airport. Minutes away from public transit, the hotel's location is very convenient for exploring the city.
The Amstel manifests Dutch elegance and luxury- think ornate décor, a rich color palette and a timeless design with contemporary flair. When you stay at the Amstel, you are inherently experiencing Dutch culture and deeply rooted traditions. It opened in 1867 and was inspired by other Dutch architecture of the time. Its historic character permeates every corner.
Katara Hospitality, a company well known for restoring historic architecture, bought and renovated the hotel while keeping true to the vision of Amstel's original architect, Cornelis Outshoorn. As a result, Amstel's stately architecture still exudes today's style. Restorers maintained the original balustrades and color schemes, while adorning it with twenty-first century touches. The final product is breathtaking!
When we walked in, the first things I noticed were the grand wooden staircase that ascends to the top floors and the large sun room/tea room that overlooks a terrace and the Amstel River. The Lounge, adorned with royal blue velvet couches, pops of red pillows and classic table settings, made quite the impression. What a way to welcome the guests! The entire place felt magical.
Our room was perfect and so very Dutch. We had delft-patterned wallpaper, bedding and furniture and somehow it all managed to go together perfectly. The most spectacular part of the room was our view right over the Amstel. Although I have this view daily, there is something special about seeing it while surrounded by grandeur in a historic hotel. The staff was wonderful in accommodating our family and did not leave a stone unturned in their efforts to make us feel welcome. They even had a crib set up for Axel! Although the room was a bit small, it still felt spacious and we had plenty of room.
Amstel has all of the amenities you need for a true luxury experience and to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Its deluxe gym has an indoor heated swimming pool at the same level as the dazzling Amstel River (and also a jacuzzi, sauna and steamroom!) You can enjoy a catered, custom cruise through Amsterdam's canals on the Amstel's own Dutch saloon boats. Plus, every afternoon, the hotel offers a classic High Tea in its beautiful lounge. The experienced wait staff serves a four-course meal with tea to compliment each course. For a modern take on High Tea, they offer an adult version, 'Late Tea,' in the hotel bar on Friday and Saturday nights. It is also a four-course meal- this time served with alcohol-infused tea! We had a choice of where to stay from a host of different suites. While there are simpler rooms like the Executive Room and Junior Suite, there are also much more extravagant options. If you're looking for a fancier stay, Amstel's Royal Suite is complete with its own dining room for eight, a private French balcony and a canopied bed.
The hotel has two restaurants: The Michelin starred, La Rive and Amstel Brasserie, along with the Amstel Lounge and the A Bar, which also has a terrace for eating outdoors. Our dinner at La Rive was the highlight of our visit! I have known about La Rive for a while now and was so excited to finally get the opportunity to go! La Rive is located in an intimate room on the bottom floor of the hotel, looking right onto the Amstel River. The décor and design is charming and sophisticated. It offers a French-Mediterranean cuisine with a choice of two seven-course menus. La Rive is affiliated with the culinary association Alliance Gastronmique and is now offering a five-course menu as well to celebrate the association's 50th anniversary. This menu has upscale options such as Duck Liver prepared with rhubarb, Dammann Bali tea and balsamic vinegar as well as Japanese Wagyu with potato, oxtail and black cardamom.
For something more casual, Amstel Brasserie, known as La Rive's 'little brother,' offers a smaller menu and a more informal atmosphere. It is ideal for lunch and drinks. There is also a lovely breakfast hall in which you will find every delicious breakfast fixing, from fresh juice to a pancake trolley! Of course, you should also take the opportunity to travel around Amsterdam and experience its culinary scene and attractions.
At Amstel, you are only a twenty-minute walk to the Van Gogh Museum, among other attractions, but our favorite thing to do in Amsterdam is to rent a boat and go cruising the canals! Everything is within walking distance, or at least only a tram or metro stop away, so get out and get lost in the city!
If you're looking for a relaxed and comforting getaway in Amsterdam, Amstel will not disappoint. This hotel is perfect for couples, friends and families. They have amenities to suit all of your needs and the location couldn't be better. Even if you're not a guest, this hotel is worth a visit for the restaurants alone.
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