Near the main hub of the city’s fashion and museum neighborhood, this is a popular spot for tourists that want to be out of the bike-constrained, one-way street canal streets. Here, access to the airport is much quicker, and it’s still walking distance to the city’s core. Not to mention that this is the most luxurious hotel in the city commanding impressive rates, but delivering even more impressive service. If you’re curious about what makes this Amsterdam property a winner among the city’s hospitality scene, here are five reasons to visit Conservatorium Hotel.
Guest rooms here demonstrate an incredible attention to detail from the pillowtop bedding with bedside power outlets to spacious closets with sumptuous robes and slippers. This building’s history as a music school and former bank means that the rooms are all different sizes and layouts. It’s fun to wander the hallways of this famous building to explore its history.
Some on the top floors are suites with cathedral ceilings and skylights. Others have garden views or face the bustling street although soundproofing is excellent.
Most floors have dual-height ceilings and windows, all part of the historic protection of the building. And almost half of the rooms are some sort of duplex accommodation with some sort of stairs between the bedroom and bathroom. On the top floor, there are many suites with larger bathrooms and closet areas. Noise-canceling Sennheiser headphones for guests to enjoy are a nice perk.
This hotel has some of the most impressive suites in the city including those with bathrooms the size of most hotel rooms elsewhere. The only place where you can shower with a view that I have seen in Amsterdam is at The Amstel (an InterContinental property), and this one was equally magical.
Travertine stone bathrooms come stocked with Etro toiletries and enormous towels with wide vanities and Dyson hairdryers. Some of the suites have epic soaking tubs and dual-head showers with windows facing outside. Another suite has its own rooftop balcony and private access while the top suite is surrounded by glass in the central atrium of the building. The I Love Amsterdam Suite, as it’s called, has made this property even more famous in popular travel magazines and blogs.
Staffers here not only aim to please, but exceed expectations. Upon arrival, the bell staff request your name so that upon approaching reception, you are already greeted personally. The warm welcome continues with a drink to enjoy while checking in. Later, guests are escorted to the room with a bit of history about the building explained along the way.
During my stay, there were several moments where the staff went above and beyond, including when I was looking for a wine shop to buy a present. Instead of explaining the way, a member of the staff walked be outside and all the way to the shop. Housekeeping was incredibly friendly and thoughtful in their care for the room. On one occasion, I noticed my bottled water wasn’t replenished, but when asking at reception, they shared this is only done during turndown service.
No matter what the hotel protocol, when I returned to my room just after lunch, there was bottled water waiting. At breakfast, the restaurant staff won’t let a fresh juice glass (there are a half dozen kinds) or coffee cup go empty. In the lounge, small tables to rest purses, hats or even laptops arrive within seconds of sitting down amid the leather seats and Piero Lissoni-designed lamps. These are the small details that make a luxury hotel great.
Speaking of the food, I only had time to dine here for breakfast, but the selection was incredible. In addition to an a la carte menu, there was also a buffet with more than a dozen kinds of breads and pastries. Another area had more fresh fruits and vegetables (we’re talking small radishes, pumpkins, freshly cut avocado and whole bell peppers) plus delightful bowls of yogurt, Dutch cheeses and cured meats. Both the presentation and the spread were so exceptional that I decided to forego an extra 30 minutes of sleep before an early-morning flight to be able to stop into breakfast on the morning of my departure.
Later in the day, the main restaurant serves continental cuisine while another bar is tucked into an elegant room with banquette seating and bespoke cocktails. The Asian fusion restaurant focuses heavily on Japanese fare, and its dinner-only menu has locals clamoring for a reservation. It’s always possible to grab a bite in the lobby lounge or outdoor terrace in nice weather, too.
Its name comes from this being a former music conservatory, and there are numerous hints to its former days around the hotel. This includes wide hallways with exposed murals and colorful art on the walls, including many Flemish 17th and 18th century paintings. Many of these were discovered in the renovation of the building. Modern artwork hangs everywhere with changing lobby exhibitions a common thing. The modern display of violins suspended from the ceiling is the handiwork of a local artist, and it provides the first clues of the music theme here when you enter the building.
If you’re wondering if any of the history was lost, you can ask the staff for a tour of the building. You can also enjoy regular performances that take place regularly here by local talent.
In the basement, the hotel’s spa and indoor pool is a special surprise although you cannot visit it unless you’re in a bathing suit so be sure to check it out online. A pool in an Amsterdam hotel, especially in a historic building, is rare. The expansive health club features the latest equipment and has local membership.
As part of the Global Hotel Alliance and its loyalty program DISCOVERY, this hotel allows members to earn “dollars” based on how much they spend. These can later be redeemed on future stays at one of 40 luxury global hospitality brands. The higher your elite status in the program, the more perks you earn. At the Gold tier, it includes a points bonus among other benefits, but at the higher tiers, things like room upgrades (double upgrades for the highest level), early check-in, late checkout, welcome gifts and local experiences are also on the roster.
Not all of Amsterdam’s luxury hotels offer the ability to earn points with such flexibility, and being a part of this program gives guests a chance to redeem those “dollars” and benefit from those experiences whenever they travel.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.