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InterContinental Amstel Hotel
As any other European capital, Amsterdam offers many hotels to choose from when you travel to this city. However, when it comes to luxury hotels, the choice is not that great. If you take into account the service and food offered, there are even fewer options (see side bar for several hotels that in my view are the best deals in the category of luxury hotels). And among those few blessed, there is one undisputable leader - InterContinental Amstel Hotel.
It is expensive - in fact, it is the most expensive hotel in Amsterdam. Prices are going from approximately €400 per night (for 'square view' room) up to four thousand (royal suite). But, as always, the question is what you get for the money.
The answer is simple - the service and rooms offered at InterContinental Amstel. Both are of very high standards which make this place not only the best hotel in Amsterdam but also one of the best hotels in Europe. Hotel staff is very well trained and devoted to the job. Service is impeccable with fantastic attention to details.
Hotel offers three categories of accommodations:
- Executive rooms and
All 79 hotel rooms and 24 suites have high ceilings and furnished in more or less same style. The main difference in categories is in the size of the rooms. But what you should look for when making a reservation is the view which can be either 'square' or 'river'. Needless to say, rooms with river view are more enjoyable and at the same time very quiet. While selecting a room (and looking at prices), keep in mind that very often this hotel offers the "advanced purchase" option. With this option, you will pay less by €100 - €200.
The catch is that you have to pay for the whole stay at once, and you cannot cancel this "advanced" reservation (your credit card will be actully charged at the time of your departure from the hotel - or at the time of no-show if it happens). Another problem with the "advanced purchase" is that its availability for various rooms is not predictable (most likely in high season it won't be offered). All I can recommend if you want to use this option is to check hotel's Web site periodically to find dates when advanced purchase shows up in the reservation system.
2008 price for a typical executive room with river view is €675. These rooms look lovely and are big enough - approximately 35sqm or 377sqf. They are nicely decorated with French design furniture, king size bed (or two twins), bar, desk, two armchairs, TV, VCR and safe. Such rooms have big windows with golden silk window treatment overlooking the Amstel River. Various small details complete the picture - three phones, energy converters, morning newspaper in the bag on the door and umbrella in the closet (which is essential part of Amsterdam life) make you feel at home and taken care of.
Most rooms have big marble bathrooms with big bathtubs, spacious marble cascading showers and separate rooms for toilet - no bidet. Water pressure is good. Bathrobes are on the hangers, and piles of clean towels with full battery of L'Occitane toiletries add to the welcoming cosiness of bathrooms. Rooms are decorated with orchids which you will find next to the fruit vase, glasses and plates on the bar. Everything is clean and smells fresh. Non-smoking rooms (as of this writing) are still an option that can be requested but not guaranteed.
There is a great deal of charm and class noticeable immediately when you arrive at the hotel. Concierge meets you at the doors and ushers you into the main lobby. It is very quiet; orchids are everywhere: not tulips, as you could expect from Dutch hotel. Two pretty and very polite receptionists speaking in subdued voices sit at executive type of regular desks (not traditional reception desks). Computer monitors are hidden beneath so that receptionists are talking and looking at you instead of displays. From the first glance you can see that the stuff is very well trained - any moment you need them they are at the spot, otherwise hotel seemed to be empty.
InterContinental Amstel was build in 1867 on the crossing of shopping, financial and cultural districts. Ever since, the Amstel Hotel has welcomed numerous celebrities including royal and presidential guests, heads of states, dignitaries, movie stars, etc. One of the complaints you may hear about this hotel is its location - although technically it is still in the center of the city, it is not in the middle of the city center. You'll have to decide how this issue may be important. Perhaps, not very much if you can afford to pay for this hotel - another €20 will not be a problem. That's the cost of the ride from the hotel to the center, and you will not wait for more than a couple of minutes for a cab no matter what the time of the day is. Anyway, even without taxi it takes minutes of walking to reach most of places in Amsterdam that attract tourists (Modern Arts Museum, Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, Spiegelkwartier, Red Light District, etc.). It takes about 35 minutes of relaxed walking from the hotel to the city central station which is on the opposite from the hotel side of the circle that forms the center district.
Hotel itself is very impressive - its creamy walls and palatial architecture blend together making a very strong statement. Hotel's stately location on the bank of the Amstel river adds to the overall attractiveness of the place. InterContinental Amstel is well equipped with all amenities you would expect from a place like this: indoor pool (with a very cozy setting overlooking the river from the ground floor), sauna, whirlpool, fitness center, Turkish bath, Internet.
InterContinental Amstel is not only the place to stay, but also is the place to eat. Its main restaurant, La Rive, features French-Mediterranean food cooked in the best French tradition. It is two-star Michelin rated, and is very popular among locals as well (reservation is recommended way ahead if you want to dine there). Since 2006 it is non-smoking restaurant. This is a perfect locale for a romantic evening with its mahogany wall panels and tall French windows facing the river. Its every dish is a unique creation; the list of wine counts thousands of bottles. Service is impeccable as always in the hotel. And, as everything else at this place, the La Rive is expensive - expect to pay €35 - €60 for a main course.
In addition to La Rive, InterContinental Amstel has a brasserie and two bars. Amstel Brasserie features an informal place for lunch, dinner or a late evening meal with seasonal menu and a vast choice of cocktails. Glass Conservatory Lounge and the Amstel Bar provide the ideal settings for evening relaxation and social mingling. The Lounge is a type of restaurant - bar lounge. You can order light meals, afternoon tea, sample the most delicious cakes - but just sitting under its glass dome overlooking the river is very relaxing and pleasant experience.
I would recommend this hotel to anybody looking for a special weekend in a
Professor Tulpplein 1, Amsterdam 1018 GX, The Netherlands
Phone: 31-20-6226060, InterContinental HQ: 1-888 424 6835
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