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HOW TO SPEND A STYLISH WEEKEND IN AMSTERDAM

A weekend in Amsterdam needn’t be a lost weekend… Spend a night or two in style at The Dylan hotel, historical and quaint, or check out the modern art-influenced stylings of the Andaz, before hitting De Negen Straatjes  

Words: Madeleine Howell

If you only have a short weekend to spare, but plan to take in as much culture and shopping as possible, The Dylan in Amsterdam is the perfect port of call. Amidst the higgledy-piggledy townhouses of the Keizersgracht (Emperor’s Canal, no less), it’s laid-back, full of history and at the same time, incredibly lavish.

With just 40 spacious rooms, designed by celebrated Dutch designer Remy Meijers, each complete with luxuriant bathtubs, the hotel is a home from home with the added bonus of a Michelin-star modern French restaurant downstairs.

Restaurant Vinkeles overlooks the picturesque courtyard, the centrepiece of the hotel, and is flanked by rustic 18th century ovens that once served the poor of the city. Breakfast is also served in this sunken, wood-beamed dining room. It’s tempting to while away the whole morning in there, but after playing the tourist, there’s the bar and brasserie to come back to, OCCO – a welcoming retreat that serves up cocktails made with The Dylan’s very own homemade liquors.

The surrounding streets are De Negen Straatjes, the ‘Nine Streets’, famed for boutique shopping. They’re a pleasant alternative to the overcrowded Damrak and the infamous Red Light district. Just steps away is the Spiegelkwartier, or antiques district, where you can peruse everything from traditional Delfware pottery and glass to modern art and vintage clothing.

On the Keizersgracht itself is the renowned Foam photography museum, which from 23-25 September 2016 will be hosting the Unseen Photo Fair, focussing on undiscovered work.

The Andaz hotel’s ultra-modern design, open kitchen and madcap décor by Marcel Wanders makes for a fun contrast to The Dylan’s historical charm

On the Saturday evening, we canal-hopped over to the parallel Prinsensgracht for dinner at the Bluespoon Restaurant in the Andaz Hotel, where the menu has a Dutch spin – think guinea fowl sourced from Gelderland and white asparagus from Limburg. The ultra-modern design, open kitchen and madcap décor by Marcel Wanders made for a fun contrast to The Dylan’s historical charm.

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On the third Sunday of each month over on the Museumplein, in easy walking distance, there is a spectacular street food and craft market. We treated ourselves to fresh coconut and open sandwiches and made a point of going to see the Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings on display in the now fully renovated Rijksmuseum.

Then, there’s the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. As we meandered back to The Dylan, we also indulged in some serious Dutch cheese tasting and stocked up on foodie gifts at De Kaaskamer and Kasshuis Tromp. It’s not all about the rather more notorious coffee shops, you know…

Trip notes

The Dylan is an independently owned, 5* boutique hotel. Overnight stays start from €375 euros/£312 per night based on two people sharing a double room. Email reservations@dylanamsterdam.com or call +31 20 530 2010 for more information or to book a stay

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