When staying in a city such as Amsterdam with so much history, it’s a pleasure to stay in The Dylan Hotel: a luxurious 5-star hotel in a building with a history. The location in the center of Amsterdam and intimacy are making it a unique boutique hotel, but its also unique because of its excellent staff with attention to every detail.
Being situated in a 17th century canal house, the hotel deserves a bit of history telling. In the early 1600’s a doctor bought this plot of land, and a wooden building was constructed. As a man of words, he was greatly interested in Dutch plays and poetry and he founded a theatre in the building, called the “Duytsche Academie”. To placate the church authorities, who disapproved of the immoral character of the theatre at that time, it was decided to donate most of the profits to the city’s orphanages. In 1632 an architect was commissioned to build a stone theatre, but it caught fire and burned down. Later many Dutch plays were performed here as well as plays by writers such as Shakespeare, Molière, Voltaire and Corneille. And many well-known guests visited the theatre, including the Prince of Orange, the King of Poland, the Russian Tsar, and the Elector of Brandenburg. In 1773 the site was sold to a charity known as the Old & Poor People’s Office who renovated the building. A year later it reopened as a luxury boutique hotel.
The Dylan offers 40 individual designed rooms, a fitness center and a unique restaurant. We totally recommend the Family Package for parents with children between 2 and 10 years. You’ll enjoy two interconnecting double rooms, a three-course dinner at Brasserie Occo, breakfast with pancakes for the kids and tickets for the amazing NEMO Science Museum (see our other review). Also, our kids find their very own cuddle waiting for them at their bed. But that’s not the only reason our kids love it; because as soon as they entered our rooms, they find some nice sweets. Our rooms are modern, chic and comfortable; a beautiful contrast with the classic exterior. It isn’t very spacious, but very well appointed. We also love the beautifully designed bar for some nice cocktails and recommend their restaurant Vinkeles, that has been awarded a Michelin star in 2009. With our kids and lovely weather, we end in up in the private courtyard to chill and have a nice dinner.
The prestigious Keizersgracht canal is an ideal base for your stay in Amsterdam. The main tourist attractions such as the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House are all within walking distance. De 9 straatjes (the 9 streets) offer several trendy shops, special restaurants and ancient architecture. Enjoy the picturesque surroundings of the nearby Jordaan area, which is home to many art galleries, specialty shops and restaurants. The area is also known for many other attractions such as the Hermitage, Flower Market and the Van Gogh museum. And it offers a great overview of the architectural style of Amsterdam heritage.
During this visit to Amsterdam we are accompanied by our niece Kris and you can say she is local by now. All though it’s not her first time, she is just as delighted as we are, to see Amsterdam from another perspective as we board one of the numerous canal boats. These enchanting water ways provide a perfect backdrop for exploring and that’s exactly what we are doing during this stay. After this lovely boat tour we take our chances and watch a movie at the stunning Tuschinschki cinema. Definitely a must while staying in Amsterdam.
In another review we also wrote about the Artis Zoo which in our opinion is one of the best Zoo’s in the world. For those loving the beach life: Amsterdam has a few great urban beaches, such as Blijburg aan Zee and Amsterdam Roest in the east. Then there’s Pllek, an island-within-the-city, that can be reached by ferry over the IJ. The chic StrandZuid is in the south and is a little oasis with lots of cultural events. But with children you might opt for Dok: with a playground and children’s yoga glasses, this one is extremely child-friendly. Or chose for Sloterplas Swimming Beach: a swimming lake in the west with picnic tables, a wide-open space and a beach shop. All are a wonderful day out for the whole family.
But… for the real deal: the Amsterdam area is lined with beautiful stretches of coastline, making for some fantastic day trips at any time of year. Within half an hour you can find an excellent selection of beaches at the North Sea. Each with its own distinctive style and landscape. Whether you're looking for watersports, swimming, beach bars or unspoilt nature, you will find it. The village of Bloemendaal aan Zee is great for a party while the nearby IJmuiden aan Zee & Wijk aan Zee are perfect for kite flying and windsurfing. At the somewhat more picturesque Heemskerk you’ll find more peace as it is not that touristic. Nearby you find the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, a respite of natural beauty for a great walk through the dunes and relax.
# Personal and quality service is standard at the Dylan. The staff is dedicated to make every stay as comfortable and unique as possible. The ideal mix of luxury and personal attention makes it an ideal base for a memorable stay in Amsterdam.
# The classic building with a modern interior is set in a beautiful mixture.
# The hotel is not specially for children. If you’re looking for that you will not find a lot in this vibrant city so this will still be one of the best bets. The city itself has so much to offer if you want to step outside this beautiful building.
This property can be booked through www.i-escape.com/thedylan.