The Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam is based in the city’s old music conservatoire. In 2008, the music school shipped out to a big, shiny new building and a hotel (after a few renovations) moved in.
I stayed at the Conservatorium Hotel on a recent trip to Amsterdam. Here’s why the music students’ loss is most certainly a hotel guests’ gain…
The Conservatorium Hotel is located in a central Amsterdam district, which means you’re close to pretty much everything.
Ten minutes’ walk from the canals. A 15 minute cab ride from the main train station. And, whilst my Dutch might need a bit of work, being based in the Museumkwartier led me to believe there might be a spot of culture about.
If you want to avoid the tourist hordes and get to the front of the museum queue, breakfast croissant still in hand, this is most definitely the hotel for you.
But you don’t necessarily need to venture beyond the hotel lobby in order to get your culture fix. The hotel maintains a close relationship with the original music school it once housed. Which means that young musical talents regularly rock up to play a concerto or two.
As I approached the hotel, it felt like I might be spending the night in a museum. The building is huge, historic and incredibly beautiful. (And even better when it’s lit up in the evening.)
Stepping into the lobby, you see that the Conservatorium has been given a very 21st century update. Old meets new in spectacular style. A massive internal courtyard has been given an immense glass roof. And there’s an impressive glass box sitting within it too. Catching my first glimpse was a real “wow” moment.
Within this courtyard, I also came across a bar area, clearly popular with Amsterdam locals as well as guests. It was a real melting pot of people, meeting up, having a chat and a drink, to the point that I almost forgot we were in a hotel. So the place has a really cool, laid back vibe.
The Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam has rooms for every occasion. Standard rooms, split level duplexes, a swathe of individually designed suites and a whole penthouse wing if that cash is burning a hole in your pocket.
I stayed in the “Art Suite by Rembrandt”, designed to immerse guests in the work and colour schemes of the great artist. But even if you’re not up to speed on the Old Masters, you’d be plenty satisfied by the luxuriousness of this beautifully put together space.
The Art Suite is a loft room, up on the sixth floor. So the ceiling is throwing some crazy shapes, which I loved. It was huge with its own living room.
It also had a spacious pale stone bathroom with standalone shower and a huge square tub.
A big window looked out onto the courtyard. And a few smaller windows look onto the (very quiet) street outside. Peaceful and uber-comfortable, I had one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages.
The guys at the Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam prove that you don’t need to be a 5 star hotel to provide a 5 star service.
Everyone I came across – from the doorman to the manager to the waitress – had a smile for me. I was made to feel like an old friend and felt very well looked after for the whole of my stay.
I know it sounds silly, but you really don’t get this level of service at every hotel you stay in. So a special shout-out goes to all the guys working at Conservatorium Hotel who really made it a top notch experience.
There are a number of excellent choices when it comes to grabbing a bite or a drink at the Conservatorium Hotel. At the Taiko restaurant, chefs who take flavours to another level, serve up contemporary Asian cuisine. And there’s yet more stunning design in the industrial-chic dining room.
The nearby Taiko Bar makes you feel like you’re in a Far Eastern speakeasy. Another stylish space, it’s well worth popping in for a pre or post dinner cocktail.
And, last but not least, there’s a brasserie. Downstairs, in that big old glass box, is a restaurant serving delicious dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, both of my mornings was started by the fantastic breakfast service at the hotel.
There’s more super sleek and thoughtful design to be found in the hotel spa. You almost don’t want to send a ripple through the perfect surface of the pool because it’ll mess up that clean line aesthetic.
But if you’re there to do anything other than ogle the design, you can swim, workout in the gym and stretch yourself silly in the yoga room. Or book in for a relaxing treatment at the spa – your call.
The Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam is part of an independent chain called “Set Hotels”. Made up of just three hotels – Hotel Café Royal in London, Lutetia in Paris and of course the Conservatorium – they don’t belong to any of the big hotel groups. Which is maybe why my stay here felt so special. The guys here are hands-on and really make the time to look after their guests.
A really superb experience with some of the best service I’ve ever experienced. I’ll be back to see my new best friends soon!