Originally a bank in the 19th century before becoming a 20th-century music school and now a five-star Leading Hotel of the World, history and architecture abound at the plush Conservatorium, which sits smack bang in the middle of town in the Museum Quarter, the best address in Amsterdam - making it the perfect luxury hotel for a weekend of exploring the Dutch capital in style.
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A hotel for lovers of design, history and the finer things in life, the Conservatorium oozes an exclusive ambience that makes every guest feel like a VIP. The service here is second to none, the style is classy, chic and contemporary, and the landmark neo-classical building is everything you expect from a hotel icon. Easily mistaken for a museum, the grand hotel lies among Amsterdam's greats, the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.
What's to love?
The Hosts are exceptional and the first 'friends' you'll want to make in Amsterdam. They'll tell you the best places to go, how to see the city like a local and book tickets to any exhibitions, attractions or experiences you're interested in so you barely have to lift a finger. Your personal Host will give you a tour of your room to show you every nook and gadget you need to know about, book any exercise classes you fancy and arrange any special occasions you're celebrating. The hotel itself is an architectural gem. Italian designer Piero Lissoni ensured that the original building's features - from the wrought iron staircases to the Art Nouveau tiles - blended seamlessly with the contemporary furnishings, while adding accent pieces such as vintage Asian rugs and creating a 'living room' round every corner to achieve a sense of comfort.
Best room in the house
Check in to a Deluxe Duplex Guest Room for an elegant home from home in Amsterdam. The beautiful split-level rooms provide all the space you need while travelling solo or á deux, along with wonderful views of shopping street Van Baerlestraat or the splendid hotel lobby and lounge - all ideal spots for people-watching from the large windows. The design of the room is simultaneously classic and modern, with high-quality natural materials used throughout: think travertine stone bathrooms and real oak floors (something most hotels shy away from). The warm, neutral tones combined with a less-is-more approach reflect the effortless Dutch stance on style. The main bathroom is as spacious as they come, with its separate toilet, soaking tub, rainfall shower and hi-tech mirror TV, while the second bathroom on the mezzanine level provides another rainfall shower and toilet in a hidden en-suite. It's the details that you'll love, from the luxury Floris amenities to vitamins by your pillow instead of chocolates and the rarity of a second shower.
This place is perfect if you...
... want to experience authentic Amsterdam while in the lap of luxury. It's the swankiest hotel in town and the Conservatorium's location allows you to dip into the likes of the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum just steps away, whenever you wish. Or explore the upscale neighbourhood of Oud-Zuid and watch the fashionable locals as you sit at an alfresco café. A walk along the P.C. Hooftstraat (Amsterdam's answer to Sloane Street) is another highlight and cycling through Vondelpark is delightful in the warmer months. Whatever the season, you won't want to miss a stroll in the Jordaan neighbourhood, stopping for the best Dutch apple pie in Winkel 43, admiring the photography at the Kahmann Gallery and immersing yourself in local life at the historic Lindengracht market.
Loved by guests and local foodies alike, the Conservatorium's Brasserie & Lounge is one of the hottest tables in town. Located in a marvellous atrium, the restaurant has a refined yet laid-back vibe, serving up the best dishes from various corners of the world - whether it's Royale Cabanon oysters from Western France or New Zealand beef. With an emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients too, plus an extensive wine menu, it's a superb spot for a lazy lunch or intimate dinner. One of the top restaurants in Amsterdam, Taiko, is also located at the Conservatorium and offers contemporary Asian fare, while Tunes Bar is the place to enjoy cocktails as you admire Piero Lissoni's fabulous transparent bar.
Don't leave here without...
...experiencing the gym and wellness centre. The Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre is the largest spa in Amsterdam and a real urban oasis. From a dip in the sprawling LED-lit pool with its own vertical garden, to the array of yoga classes on offer, there's something for every spa seeker. With a private hammam, sauna and watsu pool, there are many corners to soak up the serenity, and the indulgent spa treatments and spacious gym allow you to really delve into the world of wellness during your visit to one of the best spas in the Netherlands.
Rooms start from 385 euros (£343) per night. Book directly on the hotel website for the best rates and latest offers, including the stay four nights for the price of three deal.