Imposing best describes the facade of the stunning Conservatorium Hotel, a property that takes its name from the history of the building itself. But step inside this majestic hotel, and the imposing exterior gives way to a welcoming and well-lit design that combines old world elegance with modern flair.
This five-star property located centrally in Amsterdam’s Museum Square was initially built in 1897, and was once the site of the Rijkspostspaarbank (or the Dutch Savings Bank). It then became a music conservatory called Sweelinck Conservatorium, and today, it serves as home (even if temporary) to travelers from Europe and beyond looking for some luxury and respite away from their own houses.
Guests are immediately assigned a host upon arrival, who plays the role of both a concierge and guest relations professional to ensure that both your stay at the Conservatorium and your trip to Amsterdam are near perfect. And given that you’ll be just around the corner from the Van Gogh Museum, Concertgebouw, Rijksmuseum, and Vondelpark, as well as Amsterdam’s high-end shopping district, you’ll have more than enough amusement to fill your days (even without the help of your host).
Masterminded by Italian architect Piero Lissoni, the most iconic element of the hotel is undoubtedly the glass-enclosed lobby, an expansive space that is a study in mixing leather textiles with metallic finishes and surprising pops of greenery color from other flora. The exposed brick gives the lobby an industrial feel, while friendly staff make guests feel right at home. Indeed, there’s a reason that this lobby, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry or two, has been nicknamed the Living Room of Amsterdam by some locals.
Like the lobby, the 129 spacious rooms and suites blend history with modern sensibilities. The rooms feature neutral color palettes that are highlighted by bright accent colors, and feature dark hardwood floors. Thanks to large windows, you’ll be able to take in stunning views of the cityscape and surrounding areas, and relax in your well-appointed bathroom with toiletries provided by British perfumers Floris.
If you can, it is well worth it to book one of the hotel’s famous suites. The Concerto Two Bedroom Suite is modeled after a music room; the I Love Amsterdam Suite features a private rooftop terrace; and the creme de la creme, the Penthouse Suite, boasts floor to ceiling windows that may just offer the best views in the city.
To pay homage to its rich musical history, the Conservatorium continues to hold concerts, often in collaboration with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam music school. As part of the Expression of the Art Award series (begun by the hotel and the conservatory), students compete in a jazz competition, with the winner receiving a scholarship. But beyond jazz, you’ll also find a range of visual art in the hotel; the Conservatorium frequently rotates its lobby art collection, and some rooms and suites also feature original works.
For those looking to achieve some real R&R, the Conservatorium does not disappoint. The famous spa, the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Center, features four distinct areas each drawing inspiration from elements from nature. There are seven treatment rooms that combine western techniques with eastern traditions, and the Center features the city’s only Watsu pool for hydrotreatments and guided meditation (there’s also a large 60-foot subterranean pool). A large gym also offers LifeFitness equipment, and if you’d rather, you can engage in private sessions in yoga, pilates, Tai-Chi, and meditation in a fitness studio.
The Conservatorium’s dining also draws inspiration from its musical past; the name of the restaurant Taiko references Japanese percussive instruments and offers contemporary Japanese (and pan-Asian) cuisine featuring local, seasonal ingredients. Alternatively, The Brasserie, found in the central atrium of the hotel, offers daily breakfast and lunch, with a special live jazz brunch on Sunday and dinner on Mondays.
For the ecologically minded traveler, the Conservatorium is the first in the Netherlands to be awarded certification to the Green Globe International Standard for Sustainable Travel & Tourism several years running. In order to do so, the hotel makes use of a thermal energy storage system and recycles swimming pool water in its sprinkler system. The team also minimizes use of plastic containers, instead opting for reusable and sustainable items.
If you find yourself in Amsterdam and in search of a luxury experience, the Conservatorium is simply not to be missed.
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The Vibe: Luxe, modern design and amenities that pay homage to its history as a music conservatory
Food + Drink: There are three dining options at the Conservatorium headed by Dutch chef Schilo van Coevorden. The Brasserie & Lounge offers casual dining and high tea in the atrium; Taiko offers contemporary Asian cuisine; and Tunes Bar serves up cocktails and bites.
Amenities: Fitness center; Restaurant; Bar; Spa; Personal Host; Meeting Spaces
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: The light-filled lobby makes a stunning first impression that lasts throughout your stay. Sit for awhile for some people watching or to soak in the sun.
5 Nearby Attractions: Van Gogh Museum, Concertgebouw, Rijksmuseum, Vondelpark, P.C. Hooftstraat
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs?: Be ready to shop til you drop at P.C. Hooftstraat
Rooms: 129 rooms and suites
Pricing: Rooms start at $680/night
Closest Airport: Amsterdam Schiphol
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