The perfect 48 hours in Amsterdam by Joeki Genet

Day 1

Best thing after waking up is to treat yourself with a coffee in Oud West at “Trakteren”. Stroll through the nine streets in direction of Spui and visit the American book center or Hoogstins Bookstore in the Kinkerstraat. Feeling a bit hungry? Enjoy some sourdough bread at Bakery Levain et le vin or if you prefer bagels, try one at Flo’s Appetizing!

Rent a bike and cycle towards the Noordermarkt. At Saturdays it is worth to visit the Farmers Market for fresh biological products or go around the corner to the Lindengrachtmarkt for your weekend groceries.  On Monday morning the Noordermarkt has flea market for vintage clothing and other unique products.

Have a delicious sandwich at Smallworld or sit on the terrace of Café Thijssen and order a “tosti”.  In the mood for a local beer? Café de Tuin in the Jordaan is perfect to have some drinks with friends before you go to an early concert at Melkweg or Paradiso. Of course an Ajax match at the Johan Cruyff Arena can’t be missed from the list.  Have dinner after at  Kien at Witte the Withplein and end the evening in Cafe ‘t Loosje or Club NL.

 

Day 2

In need of a good coffee to start this day? Take a coffee to go at Lot61 and visit one of the many boutiques in the 9-streets or one of my favourite shops; Fillipa K, Baskets, Sneaker District, Paul Smith. If you would like to take something home for your loved ones, buy some flowers at the Pompon or go to the Logie for a beautiful bottle of wine. Reload during brunch at Wilhelmina and try the Reuben or Floris sandwich! After, take a long walk in the beautiful Vondelpark or just sit on a bench an watch the day go by. Have some “bitterballen” or a Special beer at Brewery ‘t Ij / Blauwe Theehuis. Too early for a beer? They have some delicious hot chocolate as well.

Bar Parry is a perfect bar to start your evening with some good wine and some snacks. For dinner go to the Golden Brown bar which is one of the hottest spots on the Westside of Amsterdam and it’s known for their good Thai food. Or if you are a fan of Ramen, try some at Betsubara or Otemba!

 

Concierge’s Choice November: Some Much Needed Wonder

Grey clouds are knitted together across the November sky and the temperatures have dropped to the single digits. Late autumn can feel a bit miserable at times and it may be difficult to find a silver lining. That’s why this month’s Concierge’s Choice is focussed on all things fun and exciting. From colourful museum experiences to upbeat musical acts to fascinating Amsterdam neighborhoods, here’s a selection of things to add a little splendour to your day.

Wondr Experience, Meeuwenlaan 88

Release your inner child at the Wondr Experience in Amsterdam Noord. Wondr is a candy-coloured, indoor playground experience for the young and the young at heart. Dive into a pool of marshmallows, snap an Instagram-worthy picture inside of a kaleidoscope and draw your own creations on the wall. If you’re looking for a dreamy, glittery escape from reality, then Wondr is the place to go. Corona safety measures are in place – and be sure to book your ticket online before visiting.

Nemo Science Museum, Oosterdok 2

Fascination with the human body has grown exponentially this year. What fortuitous timing that the Nemo Science Museum has finally opened the renovated and updated Humania exhibition. This exhibition takes a deep dive into what makes us, us. Learn about the body, our sociology and psychology with interactive displays and informative art pieces, like the 8.5-metre sculpture ‘A Handstand’ by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. To curb boredom at home, Nemo also offers a great selection of experiments you can conduct in your own living room.

MidWest Radio, Cabralstraat 1

Gloomy November evenings are best spent with friends, sitting in a cosy cafe and listening to a live music act. The organisers at MidWest Amsterdam had exactly the same thought, so for the autumn and winter they’re putting together a weekly – and corona-friendly – live music show called MidWest Radio. Straddling all genres from jazz to electronic to classical, MidWest believes that music and a good atmosphere will continue to get us through these unprecedented times. Book tickets online as they’re not sold at the door.

Zevenlandenhuizen, Roemer Visscherstraat 32II

Sometimes the best sights are hidden down a sidestreet. Such is the case for the Zevenlandenhuizen, the Houses of Seven Countries. Lovers of great architecture should visit this row of 19th century houses in the elegant Zuid neighborhood, just off of the Museumplein. Built by architect Tjeerd Kuipers in 1894, each of the seven houses represents a different European country. See if you can guess which house belongs to which nation (if you get stuck, there’s a plaque on each building to help you out).

 

 

Condé Nast Traveler 2020 Readers’ Awards: The Dylan Best Hotel In The Netherlands. 

Each year Condé Nast Traveler reaches out the Readers’ Choice Awards. This year over 715,000 travelers have submitted their vote. Since people cannot travel and the vote is based on memories this years’ edition is even more special. Ratings are based on various aspects, like service, food & atmosphere. The Conde Nast Traveler Awards (former Readers’ Travel Awards) started in 1998 in the UK and a year later Readers’ Travel Awards associated with Condé Nast Traveler. It are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of quality within the travel industry.

Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are divided in different categories. In the category Northern Europe the best 25 hotels are listed, including 9 Dutch hotels. The Dylan Amsterdam has ended in the third place of the category Northern Europe and with that is ranked as the best hotel in The Netherlands.

The Dylan Amsterdam is proud to be ranked best hotel in The Netherlands. René Bornmann, General Manager of The Dylan Amsterdam said, “We are incredibly proud to be recognized as a Top 3 Hotel in Northern Europe, and as best hotel in The Netherlands”. Employees of The Dylan are grateful that their hard work, to make every moment of our guests a memorable moment, has been rewarded. They’re very grateful for the recognition and would like to thank all loyal guests for their votes and support during these unusual times.

 

An Interview with Eddy Bierman

Concierge

What does your role at The Dylan entail and what does your typical day look like?

I am one of three concierges who work at The Dylan. I am there for the guests, to meet their needs and fulfill any wishes they might have, like if they want to book a restaurant or a flight or arrange transportation. Whatever their request, I am there as a concierge to take care of it.

What did your career look like before The Dylan?

I started out as a doorman at the Golden Tulip hotel in the centre of Amsterdam. After a year I became a starting concierge, I was fourth in line of the concierges. I worked myself up as a department head and then worked in that role for seven years. It was quite challenging, I had a department of about ten people. Balancing this responsibility along with those of my personal life became overwhelming, so I decided on my own to reduce my role to be just a concierge and not the head of the team. The hotel manager at the time understood and appreciated my honesty. So I became a concierge again.

Do you prefer this change?

Definitely. I love my role as it is now. After a year or two as a concierge again, my colleague Michael asked me to work at The Dylan. So I was at the Golden Tulip for twenty years and then now twelve years at The Dylan. It’s a big change to work for a hotel with several hundred rooms to one with only forty or so. There is more contact with the guest and you can give great personalised service. That’s difficult in a hotel with two hundred rooms. There it’s like a factory.

You make recommendations to guests – how do you stay informed about things going on in Amsterdam?

The Dylan is one of the most well-known hotels in Amsterdam, so a lot of event organisers come to us and inform or invite us to new experiences, like restaurant openings. On top of that, we are three people in the concierge team, so we keep each other informed. It’s a team effort. Since everyone has their personal interests and different networks, we bring those together.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

The people, for sure. I understand people quite well. I can recognise quite quickly what kind of guest I have in front of me and what their needs are, what they want out of their stay. Of course it’s not 100% accurate, but I can definitely read my guests and this helps to tailor their experience.

And what’s the most challenging part?

I always hope that guests enjoy their stay and that they leave satisfied by the entire service throughout the hotel. That’s how we keep our guests coming back. Our service level in every department is incredibly high and we all work together to keep it that way. Everyone wants to do their job well and that’s the challenge every day.

In your opinion, what makes an excellent concierge?

You have to be a listener and truly understand what a guest needs. You must do your best and always try to go above and beyond. It’s important to see the little details that make an entire stay memorable, from the limousine pick-up at the airport to the welcome, the rooms and also the goodbye. The guest can feel if you do things with passion – even if something doesn’t go as expected – so the more fun you have at your job, the better you are at it.

What’s the most fun / interesting / memorable request you’ve ever had?

Over so many years, of course there are many memorable guests and situations. As a concierge, I get a variety of questions or requests. One that stands out is during the release of the new 101 Dalmatians movie, a guest asked where would be the best place in Amsterdam to find a puppy! And then I start researching to find a solution to the request. Of course there are more simple wishes. If a guest tells me a little bit about their expectations and I recommend a certain restaurant, and after they return and tell me it was exactly what they had hoped for, then that’s a great feeling.

What would you recommend to guests to do in Amsterdam?

What I always recommend to guests who are new to Amsterdam – and it doesn’t matter where they’re from – I tell them to first not make any plans. First just walk through the city and explore. I have several good routes they can take. It’s a much different experience of the city, much more purposeful and you can really take in the surroundings and the sights. Then after a first exploration, I recommend renting a bike and then experiencing Amsterdam in that way. There is so much to see and so much variety, and that’s what makes the city so special.

 

 

Concierge’s Choice October: Amsterdam’s Best Interior Design Stores

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that life starts all over again when it becomes crisp in the fall. As the leaves turn into a golden brown and the sun hangs lower in the sky, we wave a slow goodbye to summer and look forward to cosy times spent indoors. Of course we have all seen plenty of our own four walls these last months, so maybe it’s time to freshen things up a bit. Below we suggest the top Amsterdam destinations for interior makeovers: where to shop and be inspired for everything home & living.

Moooi
Westerstraat 187

When visiting Amsterdam, a stop at Moooi is certainly a must, not in the least for its magnificent showroom. Located just a short walk from The Dylan, Moooi sells a perfect mix of decadent yet modern furniture as well as beautiful conversation pieces that give your home an elegant edge. To top it all off, Moooi also offers their own collection of luxury bath products and fashion accessories.

Blom & Blom
Chrysantenstraat 20A

Nothing beats the creative partnership between two brothers: A shared love for industrial artifacts inspired brothers Kamiel Blom & Martijn Blom to work together to recover and restore vintage light fixtures and also to design and develop their own unique creations. Schedule a visit to their showroom in Amsterdam Noord.

Hay House Amsterdam
Spuistraat 281 abc

From our neighbors to the north comes the cheerful Hay House, its Dutch flagship settled happily on Spuistraat in Amsterdam’s center. Quality Danish designs meet affordability with a full range of furnishings, accessories and objects to spruce up every part of the home. Hay strikes the balance between Scandinavian minimalism and much needed whimsy – so make sure to pop in!

The Modern
Jacob Obrechtstraat 26

Any design lover will probably have Charles & Ray Eames on the top of their inspiration list. For the best selection of Eames furniture in Amsterdam, head to The Modern in the museum district. Shop classics like the lounge chair and ottoman as well as a selection of other contemporary brands, like Fredericia, Massimo, or WDSTCK. Their team of interior stylists is also at the ready to help makeover your home project.
The Frozen Fountain
Prinsengracht 645

For nearly 30 years, The Frozen Fountain in De 9 Straatjes has been curating the very best of Dutch design. As a platform for both established and emerging local designers, this shop offers a colorful blend of furniture, lighting, wallpaper and fabrics as well as delightful accents that also make wonderful gifts for friends and family.

 

 

Sommeliers Choice: Veuve Clicquot Champagne

The story of the Wine House Veuve Clicquot starts with Mrs. Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin who made the company to what it is today.

In 1772 a banker and wool merchant Mister Phillippe Clicquot-Muiron started producing sparkling wine in the Champagne region of France. His son François Clicquot married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin in 1798. They shared their passion of making Champagne and where actively present with the production of the Champagne. In 1805 François past away and gave the opportunity to 27 year old Barbe to take responsibility of the company.

Mrs. Barbin was the one that gave the name to the Champagne “Veuve Clicquot”, “Veuve” is French for “widow”. It was very unusual in that time as a woman to take the responsibility over a company but with the support of here family and father in law she was able to succeed.

During here time as the first female CEO she was very involved with the production of the Champagne; she even helped developing new Champagne production techniques. For instance the “table de remuage”(riddling table) to clarify the Champagne and innovated the very first blend of rosé Champagne.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Madame Clicquot made strides in establishing her wine in royal courts throughout Europe, notably that of Imperial Russia, thus becoming the first Champagne house to ship Champagne through the blockade to Russia in 1811.

As a female sommelier, I love telling the story of “The Grand Dame” of the Champagne. Next to a beautiful historical history it is a delicious glass of Champagne, which we use as our house Champagne. Next time you have a reason to celebrate, enjoy a glass of Veuve Clicquot and remember this historical lady.

Natasja Noorlander
Maître Restaurant Vinkeles

 

 

Amsterdam Canal with a bridge with bicycles

Naughty Amsterdam

The Dutch and their openness

De Wallen is the oldest, prettiest yet most controversial part of Amsterdam. So, why did this area become a red-light district? We could only give a complex answer to this seemingly simple question. But in the end, it all comes down to the history, liberalism and economy of the city.

When Amsterdam started to flourish in the 15th century, its locals began to cater to the growing number of sailor men who visited the city. Once on shore and far away from home, these folks traditionally sought their distraction in alcohol and ladies of virtue.

Today, 400 years later, prostitution is still an elementary part of De Wallen, simply because the Dutch pride themselves on being liberal and tolerant. That is why schools, offices and apartments casually blend in with entertainment venues to naturally enforce a sense of social control. This interesting balance between liberalism and political sensitiveness makes the red-light district worth a visit.

Discover De Wallen district

Start exploring De Wallen at Quartier Putain: a coffee bar serving some of the most delicious coffees and cakes. From here, you can get a glimpse of how the area forms the backdrop of the daily lives of couples, families and blush-cheeked tourists.

Then move on to PIC: a visitor centre telling you all about the stories that hide behind the red-lit windows. Join one of the guided tours through De Wallen and meet with former ladies of easy virtue who will help you to place the district in its context.

End your discovery at the Oude Kerk: the oldest building of the city, located right in the centre of De Wallen. The old church is now a hub for contemporary arts and has always exposed a remarkable contrast between its serenity and edgy surroundings.

 

 

 

Sommeliers Choice: La vie en rosé

– by Natasja Noorlander, Maître at Restaurant Vinkeles

The sun is out, so it is my job to make sure that we have enough rosé wine in store.

This nice refreshing wine is great to drink in the sun on the terrace. However, rosé is not only for us to enjoy outside, it can also be delightful with dinner indoors.

Rosé is made by red grapes, but can be combined with white grapes. The skin of the blue grapes gives the colour to the wine, this is because the juice of the grapes is always transparent. With a short skin contact the wine turns pink, with longer contact the wine turns red. So, how longer the contact, how darker the wine. The origin of the grape plays a large role within the taste and colour of the wine. Together you get a wide variety of colours and flavours: from a light and elegant rosé to tasty, powerful wines.

It is not allowed to create a rosé by combining white and red wine. This probably gives the colour of the rosé, but never the fruity and fresh characteristic of a rosé wine. Within the European Union, red- and white wine may only be combined in the Champagne region to make a rosé Champagne.

From the worldwide total wine production, is less than 10 percent rosé. Nowadays, rosé wine is produced everywhere, but France is the largest producer. In France, the most well-known region for rosé wine is the Provence.

At The Dylan Amsterdam, we serve a rosé per glass from the Coteaux d’Aix-and-Provence. That is a appellation in the Provence. The wine of Château Barbebelle is very light of colour because the skin only had short contact with the juice. This makes the wine fresh, but still gives the beautiful typical red fruit aromas that you are looking for in a rosé.

This chateau is a family business. The father takes care of the vineyards and his daughter is responsible for business and sales. She also came up with the label with the hipster man with his flower beard. Do not let yourself be judged by the label or the colour of the wine. The wine has enough intensity to be enjoyed on the terrace, but is also delicious with fish or a salad.

 

 

”The first woman on the Dutch stage” – Ariana Nozeman

The architect, Jacob van Campen, was commissioned to build a stone theatre in 1632.

Van Campen was inspired by classical Italian architecture, as was later shown when Amsterdam Town Hall (the current Royal Palace on the Dam) was built. He must have been mainly influenced by the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, a building by the hand of his great mentor and presumed teacher, Andrea Palladio. The theatre was already too small within thirty years, though it was possible to appreciably expand the complex by the purchase of several neighbouring buildings.

The play “Gijsbrecht van Aemstel” was performed during the opening ceremony in January 1637. This play was written by Holland’s greatest poet, Joost van den Vondel. Its success was enormous and formed the basis of a tradition that has come down to us in the present century. “Gijsbrecht van Aemstel” has been performed in Amsterdam every January since then. Many national and international companies have performed it over the years. Many Dutch plays were performed, and also ones written by Shakespeare, Molière, Voltaire and Corneille.

It is of particular note that Ariana Nozeman was to make her debut here in 1655 as the first woman on the Dutch stage. She made her debut in 1655 in the drama ”Incomparable Ariana”. Men used to play all the female roles before this time. She is credited as the first ballet dancer in The Netherlands. She was often seen on stage together with her husband Gillis Nozeman either as a couple or as antagonists. Their daughter Maria Nozeman (born 1652) followed in her mother’s footsteps; she entered the stage at the age of six years.

The Nozemans supplemented their theatre incomes by running an inn called The Camel on one of the Amsterdam canals.

The present day Ariana Room at The Dylan Amsterdam is named after Ariana Nozeman.

 

 

 

Front of Hotel The Dylan Amsterdam

Where the Locals Go: Discover The Dylan’s Immediate Surroundings

Who says you can only discover a city when you’re a tourist? Sometimes a staycation is all you need to see your home with fresh eyes. With The Dylan’s unbeatable location on the charming Keizersgracht, you will be close to all the sights, shops and attractions that make Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

Culture & Museums

The Dylan is walking distance from a variety of museums that document both Dutch and world history. The Anne Frank House, where diarist Anne Frank was hiding during World War II, is located close by on the Prinsengracht. Huis Marseille, the first photography museum of the Netherlands, is practically next door and the Museum Het Grachtenhuis, dedicated to the history of Amsterdam’s famous canals, is also just around the corner.

Food & Drink

There’s no denying it: Dutch cheese is simply the best. And the best selection of cheeses, meats and wines is available at De Kaaskamer, which is located a few metres from The Dylan. Enjoy other nearby delicacies, like pralines from Chocolaterie Pompadour or have a drink at the quintessentially Dutch Café de Doffer. Whatever you’re in the mood to snack or sip on, Amsterdam’s best restaurants and cafes are just a short, picturesque stroll away.

Shopping & Lifestyle

Locals know to go to “De 9 Straatjes” when they’re in the mood to shop. Whatever your heart desires, you will find it one of the nine delightful streets densely packed with boutiques, restaurants, cafes, galleries and flagships of international brands. You can, for instance, discover luxury vintage fashion at L’etoile de Saint Honoré Vintage or pick up a new pair of frames from Dutch eyewear brand Ace & Tate. In the need of a shave and some art? Visit Artshop de Salon for both. With its seat on the Keizersgracht, The Dylan is conveniently situated right in the heart of the 9 Streets.