Contributor/ Michelle Lewis
Best Known For
I took a weekend trip Amsterdam in late 2012 with my husband to check out the city in advance of its big anniversary year, 2013. The city’s canal ring celebrated its 400th anniversary, and the Royal Concertgebouw and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam were 125 years old. The Van Gogh Museum turned 40. And we got a peek at the Rijksmuseum before it reopened – and boy was it gorgeous.
The Good Stuff
Vinkeles is the hotel restaurant, which is the site of a former bakery for the Catholic poor (it still contains the old ovens). Headed by executive chef Dennis Kuipers, it was awarded a Michelin star in 2009, and it offers up a tasty breakfast spread of freshly squeezed juices, fruits, pastries, and eggs cooked to order. Lunch is served in Brasserie OCCO in the room next door, where you can sample a tasting plate of four smaller dishes from the a la carte menu. If you want to splash out for dinner, book at Vinkeles, or ask the concierge to book a table at one of the city’s many great restaurants.
Amsterdam is so compact that anyone can find their way around either on tram, foot or by bicycle (the hotel will happily lend you one). The staff at the Dylan are helpful with directions, and they also offer a tour guide service if you want to learn more about the city’s history. Our tour guide took us to his favourite pickled herring stand.
Inside the hotel – 9/10
The Dylan contains 40 hotel rooms, 11 of which were renovated in early 2011. There are six room styles, which feature everything from tall canopied beds to Asian style furniture and velvet chairs. The bathrooms boast deep baths for soaking. The hotel’s signature suite is the Dylan Thomas, with its silver-leaf makeup table, a king-size bed and antique closets. Our room had high ceilings, a huge bathroom and a view of the hotel’s inner courtyard garden.
Outside the hotel – 8/10
The Dylan is ideal hotel for a weekend break, because it’s a centrally located oasis on the Keizersgracht – it’s quiet, but within the “nine streets” shopping district. This five-star boutique hotel is understated yet fine. The grand entrance gate is all that is left of the Dylan’s original building, a theatre, which was erected in 1632 but burned down in 1772. The current brick building with its tall windows was erected a year later. It belonged to a Catholic charity until it was renovated and reopened as a boutique hotel in 1999.
Image courtesy of The Dylan