Amsterdam & Virtuoso Hotels

We began our last day of touring in The Netherlands with Edwin, The Dutch Travel Advisor, with a site inspection of The Conservatorium. Sophie Poley, Sales Manager, and Felice de Jonge, Sales Executive with The Conservatorium, took us on an extensive tour of the property… again, my favorite hotel during this trip. A few more pictures…

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Amsterdam Walk and Summer Houses

Our next stop was a behind-the-scenes tour in central Amsterdam. Under Edwin’s guidance, we took an informative walk through many of the summer homes in Amsterdam. We got off-the-beaten-path and saw sites that most visitors never get a chance to see. We visited mansions, gardens, and coach houses on the “Golden Bend.” This is one of the most picturesque areas in Amsterdam, and thanks to Edwin’s group, we received many private viewings.

We learned about 17th – 20th century gable architecture, interiors (period rooms), garden history and how the merchant families lived. We visited a private 17th century almshouse, a summerhouse and several coach houses with beautiful Louis XIV faces; one of the most picturesque areas in Amsterdam.

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As we walked through town, we came across Puccini, one of the most famous chocolates shops in town… and so we had to stop and enjoy!

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The last stop on our walking tour of Amsterdam was the famous Rembrandt House. Rembrandt lived here from 1639 until 1658 at which time he went bankrupt. This museum owns one of the world’s most important collections of Rembrandt etchings.

Edwin arranged private paint making and etching sessions that showed us the very techniques that Rembrandt used so many hundreds of years ago.


Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

We had lunch and a site inspection at the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. Once wealthy merchant mansions built during the golden Age, this luxury hotel is situated on the UNESCO heritage protected Herengracht (Gentlemen’s Canal) and is within walking distance from luxury shops, museums and theatres.

From the Waldorf we continued on a 10-minute walk to the Hermitage Amsterdam. The Hermitage Amsterdam is a dependency of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia. We saw the lavish exhibition “Dining with the Tsars”. This impressive collection consists of eight magnificent porcelain and cream ware services that convey the lavishness and beauty of the balls and banquets of the Tsar’s court.

Dining with the TsarsDining with the Tsars

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

My last night in Amsterdam was at the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht. This five-star boutique hotel is located in a perfect location in the historic center of the city. Set on the site of the former Public Library on the Prinsengracht (Prince’s Canal), part of the iconic city’s ring of canals, this 122-room hotel is surrounded by the cultural scene of the lively Jordaan district and the charming Nine Streets, filled with art galleries, unique specialty shops and trendy fashion boutiques.

Hotel De L’Europe

Our farewell dinner was hosted by the 5-star deluxe Hotel De L’Europe which is centrally located, right on the Amstel River. The 5-star deluxe Hotel De L’Europe is owned by the Heineken company. We did head into the iconic brown bar, “Freddy’s Bar.” We toured the Hotel De L’Europe and were impressed by the hotel’s attention to detail… Then we had dinner – WOW!

The Hotel De L’Europe has numerous restaurants and gathering spots including:
• Two Michelin stars awarded “Bord’Eau” Restaurant Gastronomique
• BIB-Gourmand “Hoofdstad Brasserie”
• Al fresco outdoor dining “Hèt Terras”
• Lounge bar “Promenade”
• Amsterdam’s iconic brown bar “Freddy’s Bar”
• Private wine cellar “Les Caves De L’Europe”
• Cigar lounge

The De L’Europe has distinctive decor, incredible works of art, and an air of sophistication. The bar atmosphere was living, but most impressive was our meal. There’s no doubt there’s a Michelin restaurant in this hotel… it was one of our best and most impressive meals.

A special note of thanks to my hosts, The Dutch Travel Advisor. We enjoyed a truly unique and special visit to the Netherlands. No doubt my travelers will benefit from my experiences as The Dutch Travel Advisor provided me a luxurious, insider experience to this beautiful country. I can’t wait to book The Netherlands.

copyright (c) 2014 by Ron Phillips Travel LLC – luxury travel and consultancy. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, Contact Ron Phillips Travel