72 Hours at the W Amsterdam
Sometimes in life there are extraordinary experiences waiting to be discovered. Well the fact that you are staying at a luxury hotel can be one of these experiences. But when is it actually accurate to call a hotel a luxury hotel? How is luxury defined in the 21st century, when hotel star ratings disappear more and more? Can an uber-cool design hotel be luxurious at all? Well, we don't know the answer to these questions, as luxury is defined by each individual in themselves. It is just an amazing feeling when you visit a city for your first time and stay at the best hotel or at the best location - best case, both are met. Now, let's consider a city like Amsterdam. The best place that meets both conditions is without any doubt: the W Amsterdam. Situated behind the Royal Palace and with amazing rooms, a top spa and even more spectacular dining venues; this is definitely a luxury hotel.
It was a sunny, wonderful Friday, we were arriving at the W Amsterdam by our Uber (interestingly a Jaguar through Uber X) and welcomed by an array of bellmen. Well not an array but for a city like Amsterdam, three staff members outside the hotel is a lot. The hotel is actually divided into the Exchange and Bank building - where we arrived at the only inconvenient thing about the W: You have to decide what you prefer in order to choose the building where you want to stay ;). If you have done that heavy decision, you are free to enjoy your stay. As everybody might already know, we prefer to Spa. Furthermore we were having a dinner reservation at THE DUCHESS, so no further doubts, we had to stay at the Bank building. I was curious as well since this was the newer building being reopened in October 2016 - so everything is brand new while the Exchange building has been reopened in October 2015already. Check-in was nice and welcoming and we made our way up to the room (W Hotels normally do not provide tours as this is part of the philosophy). Once we arrived at our WOW Suite, we were impressed. Never would we have expected to find such a vast suite with high ceilings in a city like Amsterdam.
From previous experiences in the city we thought we knew what to expect from Suites in Amsterdam, this time, we were surprised to see the opposite. Where should we start with the wow things inside the suite? Was it the amazing round bed, the super cool safe-like minibar, the vast living room, the record player with funny records, the bathtub inside the bedroom or the gorgeous bathroom with automatic lightning. We cannot decide. Probably it was the bottle of Veuve Cliquot as a welcome and the peaceful view of the canals of Amsterdam. Every detail of this gorgeous WOW Suite was perfect. I loved the minibar with all products and the gorgeous glasses, while Lukas enjoyed the record player and the fact that the music from the player could be played over the Bose speakers in the entire suite. Literally we arrived in heaven. In fact it is exactly what we love and appreciate. The dark colours made the total W experience complete and proved once again - it's the coolest global hotel brand.
How about the comfort inside the room? Well, the beds were magnifique, the bathroom had so many towels that we could have taken a shower three times within morning service and turn-down service, plenty of full size bliss toiletries as well as a separate guest toilet next to the entrance. There was absolutely no noise from outside, and that's also what makes Amsterdam so adorable. We just had fire alarm one night which probably was due to a guest forgetting what he signed at check-in: the no smoking policy. But don't forget you are in Amsterdam, coffee shops are on nearly every corner. Well, you are not in Amsterdam every day and you need to make the most out of the short time :)! Let's not forget about these heavenly beds so the next day we hardly remembered. But how can you focus on the past if your day starts in the most amazing way possible. We love the fact that you can choose between having breakfast in THE DUCHESS and MR PORTER, which is currently one of Amsterdam's most exciting restaurants.
While the breakfast at THE DUCHESS is more casual with wonderful egg dishes and some outrageous specials such as Egg Benedict in Tomato Sauce or the Avocado Boiled Egg, the breakfast at MR PORTER is more sophisticated in terms of views and dishes. You could even order a freshly prepared beef steak with French fries. I absolutely fell in love with this amazing dish - since MR PORTER is a steakhouse, their steaks are amazing and I thought myself why not having brunch in style? At least it was Sunday so it was a more than perfect breakfast. Although the steak was amazing, I would rather THE DUCHESS for breakfast since the atmosphere is more laid-back and the interior is more glamorous. I found it super cool that even as a guest of the Bank building you could have breakfast at MR PORTER and vice versa. You just have to bring your jackets in winter as you have to cross the street.
After we explored the beauty of Amsterdam (a truly wonderful city) including a visit of the Van Gogh Museum, a shopping tour in the big Department store where we of course found some nice things plus having been to Amsterdam's north quarter with the renovated Adam Tower, we were looking forward to experience the highlight of the Bank building: the AWAY Spa! With one of Europe's coolest indoor pools, the spa was definitely breath-taking. I simply love to have a choice of pools, especially warm pools. Inside the spa, which by the way is in the vault of the old bank and therefore includes old safe doors and gold tiles, there was a sauna and steam bath area where you could find the cold pool and a hot pool. Next to this area was the main pool area with the indoor pool and super comfy and secret daybeds (we loved the one opposite the fire place) as well as another hot jacuzzi. Furthermore we had the pleasure to enjoy a wonderful hot stone massage, which was perfect and very relaxing. Generally said, we were simply impressed by the spa, and this is definitely reason number one for another stay at W Amsterdam along the perfect location next to the Royal Palace.
On Friday evening we enjoyed a wonderful dinner in THE DUCHESS Restaurant. The atmosphere of the restaurant is simply amazing, being an old bank hall and some additional monuments make it even more unique. Exclusively for us they served a selection of different dishes including finest wagyu beef, Tagliatelle with caviar as well as finest black cod along a lobster-based dish. It was simply amazing and is definitely one of the fanciest and most glamorous places in the entire Netherlands! Together with the dinner we had a truly perfectly matching white wine from Israel, which made the whole evening even more unforgettable. As we were also having a gourmet dinner on Thursday night, we wanted to try the famous burger bar THE BUTCHER on the corner of the Bank building for Saturday. THE BUTCHER is a brand by the Entourage group; owned by Liran Wizman, the owner of the W Amsterdam and Food and beverage partner Yossi Eliyahoo. They have the BEST burgers we ever tried in Europe so far. You have the choice between the classic burgers, but without doubt go for their Truffle burger - what a fancy dinner option! I would say the concept of THE BUTCHER is simply gorgeous if you want something sophisticated but in an uncomplicated atmosphere. After the spontaneous burger dinner we went out and enjoyed the beauty of Amsterdam at night. If you are in for a truly outrageous experience, familiarize with the key staff members and try to get the password for the Private Club where the hidden bar is located at THE BUTCHER Albert Cuyp (not THE BUTCHER at Bank building but the other one opposite Sir Albert Hotel). We had the chance to get there due to the Personal Assistant of Liran Wizman (the owner of W Amsterdam and Europe Hotels Private Collection) - it's really just about connections and contacts.
Generally said, W Hotels are always a cool spot and perfect for young luxury travelers as well and stylish travelers alike. We already stayed at the W Bangkok and Bogota as well, but the W Amsterdam is definitely different. The spa is simply wow, the restaurants amazing and the rooms quite unique and more luxurious than the other W Hotels we have stayed so far. On top of all that, the design of the two buildings is something truly special! In fact, the prices are also higher than at other W properties, but the +200 euros a night are very fair and compared to other luxury hotels in Amsterdam, you get more than you pay for!
This article might contain external pictures provided by the hotel, based on a strict policy of the hotel owner not to present self-taken pictures on online platforms.
We were hosted by Europe Hotels Private Collection and Liran Wizman.