Entering Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam is an experience in of itself. This stunningly historic yet contemporary landmark building was built in the 19th century when it used to be a university of the arts. Now it's a breathtaking luxury hotel with contemporary design that is located in the heart of the city.
The quick 15-minute ride from the airport was pleasantly surprising but was not long enough to enjoy the lovely scenery though. Upon entering the lobby I was greeted by the friendly staff and got a few details about my surroundings. The best news was that the Museum Square district, the Van Gogh Museum, Concertgebouw, Rijksmuseum, and Vondelpark were just a few minutes away from the hotel where I could indulge in food, shopping and the fine arts. Thankfully, the weather was sunny with a light breeze and strolling through the beautiful streets of Amsterdam was so refreshing.
The centerpiece of the hotel is the gorgeous lobby which was filled with high ceilings, huge glass windows and hanging violins. It truly blew me away. You can experience the love of music in all the hotel's surroundings. Rich with culture and history, the elegant interiors were by designed by award-winning designer Piero Lissoni. My favorite area was the spacious and cozy outdoor courtyard where I enjoyed my afternoon tea and planned my day.
Now for a little bit of background, The Set Hotels purchased the heritage building and transformed it into this gorgeous palace. The Conservatorium Hotel has 129 guest rooms, including 42 suites complete with heating, LCD TV, safe, work desk, free Wi-Fi and luxurious design furnishings. Not that you might want to spend the entire day in the room, the hotel also has a nightclub, pool, sundeck and library as part of their facilities. There are also bicycle and car rental services available, which is very convenient since the city is bike friendly and all the hotspots are minutes away.
Breakfast is offered in the hotel's Brasserie every morning and I made sure to indulge in the local Dutch delicacies with a cup of coffee before I started my day. Exploring and experiencing the city was exciting, and the best way to end the day is always with a well-deserved massage. What's better was that the finest spa in Amsterdam, The Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Center, was literally at my doorstep. They offer massages, hammam and Turkish steam baths. It's a luxurious and tranquil space with plenty of unique treatments.
The hotel also has an Asian-inspired restaurant called Taiko by chef Schilo Van Coevorden’s. It was named after ancient Japanese drums said to beat with a mythic rhythm. Schilo’s explosive yet delicate Asian flavors were matched with a beautiful setting. It offers an extensive à la carte menu, including shared dining experiences. The food was divine and we experienced listening to the electrifying live Taiko player while we ate.
After dinner I walked a few steps to the Tunes Bar, a chic classy joint that offers drinks and light snacks. They have live performances that include jazz players, violinists and pianists. What's interesting is that the hotel strives in helping the musical world. They have established an award called The Expression award where they collaborate with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. They give the students of the University of the Arts a podium to perform every weekend in the lounge of the hotel.
The Conservatorium Hotel is filled with history, culture and intricate details related to music. The revamp of this old building to this chic masterpiece is astounding. Music lovers, art enthusiasts, romantic explorers will all appreciate this mesmerizing destination.
Words by Munira Fahad
Images courtesy of Conservatorium Hotel