It had been over ten years since the last time that I visited Amsterdam and when the opportunity to return presented itself, I couldn’t wait to see those distinct gingerbread canal houses, pretty vintage shops and to explore the unique culture of the city. The perfect city break, it was less than an hour’s flight from London Gatwick and within half an hour we had arrived at the city centre at Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam.
It turned out that our arrival time was perfect as after a speedy and friendly check in we were quickly shown to our room in the stylish boutique hotel, the first in Europe for the Kimpton brand. There are 274 rooms in the hotel but you wouldn’t really know it, the feeling is intimate and the staff are friendly, remembering our names and breakfast preferences.
Our junior suite was like a stylish studio apartment, entering via a staircase you can really see that design is at the forefront of this Amsterdam hotel. With a soothing palette of blues and greys, the room is all clean lines and funky angles. Huge floor to ceiling windows mean that light floods through and you can look out watching the trams glide by and the cyclists rolls past.
Something I really noticed during our stay at the Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam was the attention to detail; there’s a bottle of prosecco, tulips and macarons in our room on arrival plus the thoughtful inclusion of umbrella, a yoga mat and inspiring books about the city.
Local artworks line the walls…
While the bathroom tiles are inspired by the art of Dutch graphic artist, M. C Escher and local Marie-Stella products are there for your use. If you want even more privacy, book the three-storey Little House, which was originally the childhood home of Dutch playwright P.C. Hooft.
Remember I said we arrived at just the right time? Well 5pm is wine hour at the hotel and after settling into our room, we headed down to take advantage of free wine and snacks. At this time the lobby was buzzy and friendly as people relaxed various cosy nooks around the hotel to enjoy their wine. And if wine isn’t your thing there are free tea and water stations around the reception – it’s those little things that really make a hotel.
As you can imagine this is a hotel that doesn’t take itself too seriously and there are lots of witty touches around the interior. Such as a feature vertical garden with a neon ‘and breathe’ sign.
There’s also an indoor / outdoor garden area, the perfect place to hang out with swing chairs and hanging plants cascading from the ceiling.
The design was the project of Ave Bradley, global senior vice president and design and creative director of Kimpton Hotels along with London-based firm Michaelis Boyd. Whilst planning the hotel Ave was keen to keep local culture at the forefront and give interior an authentically Dutch feel with a twist. With the building actually being two 17th-century houses (albeit in an eighties shell) there are still those historic details present such as the exposed beams in some of the rooms and stained glass.
The result is a lobby that mixes cosy comfort with contemporary design and those all important Dutch elements meticulously woven in.
For example the blue and white tiles that are a distinctive feature of the lobby have been inspired by Delftware, the famous blue and white pottery made in the Netherlands.
The lobby is broken into separate sections, so you can meet friends for a drink…
Grab one of the coffee table books and lounge on a comfy sofa or draw up a chair at the table and send some emails. I love the fact that each area has a different feeling or mood to it – whether it’s for work or play!
Each area is enhanced with original artwork as Ave Bradley shopped in nearby antique shops and galleries to create interesting details throughout the public spaces. She even found a gallery that specialises in orphan art. Flowers and plants everywhere bring the outside in, inspired by the Dutch appreciation for nature and reminiscent of Amsterdam’s hidden courtyards.
In house eatery, Wyers Bar and Restaurant is so much more than a hotel restaurant, it’s a stylish destination dining location. Take a seat at the bar, a banquette or one of the high level tables to sample the menu of American cuisine with a Dutch twist by in-house chef, Sam Demarco (Sammy D) who hails from Brooklyn.
The style is urban and rustic whilst still feeling luxurious and inviting and artwork on the walls once again brings in that local element.
Breakfast can make or break a hotel for Mr S and personally I’m not a fan of a breakfast buffet so we were both very impressed by the à la carte menu offered in the mornings.
Fruit, yogurt and granola and a bakery basket are bought to the table and you can then choose a more substantial dish from the menu.
I highly recommend the smoked salmon on toast whereas Mr S was a fan of the pancakes and poached eggs. There’s plenty of options for juices and hot drinks too.
The lunch and dinner menu bring comfort food classics to the table. After a day of walking around chilly Amsterdam I was very much in need of the hearty French onion soup which has heady barbecue flavours from the wood fired grill that you can spy in the open kitchen. Whilst seabass and mash was my main course choice there are more hearty American options available such as pulled pork, burgers, lobster rolls and hot dogs plus other soups and salads. Another day we snacked on the lollipop chicken wings which were highly addictive!
Another destination in its own right is House Bar which is located in one of the 17th century buildings, a former family home dating back to 1645.
The room itself has a historical feel to it as the timber panelling ceiling beams are the originals and the bird wallpaper pays homage to painted murals from the Dutch Renaissance. As with the rest of the hotel the blend of old and new is seamless and the glossy bar, teal interiors and moody lighting makes this bar one of Amsterdam’s hottest hang outs.
We started our night here and when we came back after dinner, the bar was still buzzing late into the evening.
One thing I loved about Amsterdam was how easy it was to walk everywhere. Kimpton De Witt is so perfectly located being right in the city centre, a few minutes walk from Centraal Station and an easy distance from the main canals and attractions such as Anne Frank’s House and the Van Gogh Museum. Or you don’t fancy walking there are VanMoof Bikes that you can borrow from the hotel – this is Amsterdam after all.
For once I didn’t overly plan a trip and we strolled along the canal paths and bridges, enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of the capital of the Netherlands. Dodging bicycles and admiring the canal houses as well as visiting the flower market with frequent coffee shop stops to warm our cold fingers and noses.
I won’t leave it so long before I return to Amsterdam – it’s a city that has everything, so fun and lively and so beautiful – and our stay at Kimpton de Witt Amsterdam made it even memorable.
PIN FOR LATER:
Kimpton de Witt Amsterdam
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 5
1012 RC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Paid partnership in collaboration with Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam.