Surely you can’t miss out when one of your dearest girlfriends throws a wedding in Amsterdam? Of course not. And since it was just a weekend, better for the kids to stay home with their dad, right? So it happened: me, myself and I left the desert for one of my favourite cities in the world. Yippee!
You won’t be short of hotel options when planning a weekend in Amsterdam, but when comfortable cool needs to meet understated luxury, without breaking the bank, The Conservatorium Hotel kind of is it, a former music hall that was transformed into this amazing property in 2011. With its dimly lit, high-ceiling walkways and grand staircases, The Conservatorium has a slightly mystic, retro feel to it. Kind of like Dead Poets Society meets Lost in Translation, if that makes sense?
The rooms on the other hand – nothing retro about them whatsoever. We’re talking clean, contemporary design with a really smooth finish. I was lucky enough to get a corner suite on the third floor overlooking the busy street below, as well as the Van Gogh museum across the street. When I sat back in my little sitting area, I could hear the trams passing by outside. Urban chic? Well, there you have it!
Although the room wasn’t massive, they’ve made the most of the vast ceiling height by creating a separate sleeping loft where the big bed is. Smart and cozy. And like any luxury hotel worthy of its name, The Conservatorium goes all in on the bathrooms. Love that! With a beautiful, stand alone bathtub, his and hers sinks and an oversized shower, I was seriously contemplating never leaving the bathroom. But that would have been a real shame, since the Sake collection at Tunes bar downstairs turned out to be well worth a visit…
So what else did this mama get up to, apart from reveling in luxury at her hotel? Well, I arrived mid-afternoon on a Thursday and to energise as quickly as possible, I first headed to The Cold Pressed Juicery, which is just one street down from the hotel for a bit of a pick-me-up. After that, I was ready to take on some leisurely (window) shopping at P.C Hoofstraat and Van Baerlestraat. Should retail therapy not be your thing, then you’re perfectly placed for some museum hopping; the hotel is right next to the Museumsplein, home to the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum. Guide books at the ready, mamas!
Later on that night, I had dinner at the lovely Ron Gastrobar. An excellent, sharing-style tapas restaurant located on Sophialaan with a decently priced Michelin-class menu. Note to self for future reference, the cocktails are yummy and super-sized… Once back at the hotel, I slept like a princess (who had eaten the entire castle) and woke up ready for umm.. breakfast… And I’ve got to tell you – the Conservatorium knows how to serve up a mean brekkie. An iced buffet with charcuteries and smoked salmon, freshly squeezed juices, a huge selection of fresh Artisan breads and pastries plus an a la carte menu for your hot stuff. Yum!
Two cappuccinos, some poached eggs and a bucket of pastries later, I left feeling slightly embarrassed and no longer up for going on that run I had originally planned in the nearby Vondels Park. Instead, I asked the lovely concierge to make brunch reservations at George (a nearby eatery not to be missed) for a group of friends arriving that same day. As I packed up my bag ready to move on to the wedding location for the remainder of the weekend, I was already planning my next visit. I just might bring my husband next time… well, I might!
Featured image sourced via Pinterest