A couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to be the guest of the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam to check out their hotel. This property has been wowing guests since it opened its doors in 1867. The moment I walked into the lobby I was overwhelmed by its palatial grandeur: the high-ceiling, the grand double staircase, the grand piano, nothing about this place isn’t grand. Including its clientele–you can find practically any celebrity in town holed up in one of the InterContinental Amstel’s posh and enormous suites.
When you step into your room, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a traditional and classical era. A time when fresh-cut flowers were a luxury standard. Let me just tell you, fresh flowers go a long way with this girl. The last hotel I remember seeing them in the room was the Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires (another classy joint). An enormous vase of fresh tulips adorned my coffee table. A touch that I always find surprises and impresses me. Think about it, how often are you greeted with fresh flowers in a hotel? (Or in your home for that matter!? On second thought, don’t go down that dark path…). The rooms are elegant yet evoke country themes with wonderful wallpaper (forgive me I don’t know what it’s called) that matches the bedding. The furniture was antique in line with the traditional feeling of the room. The room itself was spacious and had a fabulous coffee machine, which for someone who gets hit hard by jetlag is a necessity when traveling. When it’s time for bed, the rooms are super quiet so don’t worry about being bothered by your neighbors. Each room is soundproofed, which is again, imperative when you need to get a good night’s rest after traveling. Although the rooms’ decor is traditional, its amenities are anything but old-fashioned. Rooms include large flatscreen televisions and high-tech sound systems. Wi-Fi is also available.
The bathroom, which as you know if one of my favorite parts of staying at a luxury hotel, was as gorgeous as I hoped. The toilet enormous rain shower and deep soaking tub were all separate. My bathroom dreams truly came true once I spotted the L’Occitane luxury bath products, plush robes embroidered with the hotel’s crest and comfy slippers, which I took and used for the duration of my trip in Paris and London.
Once my husband convinced me to leave the gorgeous room (not an easy feat I assure you) we explored a bit of the hotel. The hotel has a business center with free Internet access, which of course I appreciate as someone who works on vacation (duh! I am a travel writer after all). For fitness buffs out there (Lord help me, I’ve never worked out on a vacation to this day!) the hotel has a fitness room with LifeFitness equipment and free weights. There are also jogging maps available, which if I did workout while on vacation would be my preference. (In case you’re wondering). The biggest surprise for me was the 15 meter, indoor, heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi! Wow!
The hotel is also home to La Rive, which is a Michelin-starred restaurant and definitely one of Amsterdam’s finest. For guests looking for a more informal option, The Amstel Bar & Brasserie overlooks the river and serves up delicious fare. The breakfast that was included in my stay was a fabulous spread of everything from crisp croissants to strawberry smoothies. Included in the breakfast, the chef will also cook up a range of the usual breakfast suspects.
I found the staff extremely friendly and not pretentious at all. In fact, while taking a photo in the lobby, a staff member asked how our day was going and when we mentioned that we were on our way to the Van Gogh exhibit at the Hermitage Museum, he went and grabbed us VIP tickets (which we paid for upon checkout) so that we didn’t have to wait in line. It’s the little touches that make life easier that I really appreciate in a luxury hotel.
The Part I Whine a Little
In all my reviews, I like to be honest and say the things I didn’t like as well as those I did–especially when I have been hosted by the property. My devoted readers out there know that my opinions are honest and that’s why I always include the bad along with the good. In this case though, I really can’t think of something to complain about. I was wracking my brain and honestly couldn’t think of something. Then I found myself trying to almost come up with something, which I thought, well was preposterous. So there you have it, check my other reviews you will see that I do whine a bit here and there but today, I drew a blank, which I think speaks volumes to the property.
The Bottom Line
This is a gorgeous landmark and I wish I could have stayed longer. Of course it’s a bit pricey but it’s a Five Star hotel, what did you expect? You get what you pay for, right?
Address: Professor Tulpplein 1 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0)20 622 60 60
*Travelingpanties was hosted by the hotel for purposes of a review. As always all opinions herein are my own. Please feel free to ask me any questions on the Contact page*