Almost a tulip throw from Amsterdam’s Central Station, the NH Collection Barbizon Palace is a collection of 17th century town houses discreetly converted into a 5 star hotel.
The genius of using Amsterdam’s traditional town houses as a hotel location becomes evident when you factor in Amsterdam’s canal system. Most town houses in the city are canal facing, so for a hotel it’s a no brainer. There is of course the added aesthetic value of the low timber beams and arched ceilings. Put it all together and you have an irresistible mix of old world charm and canal views that at one time, only Amsterdam’s master painters could capture.
The NH brand has its roots in high quality Spanish hotels, and the Collection series is their 72 hotel world signature portfolio which also includes NHOW Hotel Milan and The Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi.
As I make my way across the bridge from the station, I spot the hotel is Intriguingly close to Amsterdam’s infamous red light district. Now in any other country this would ring alarm bells, but in Amsterdam it is quite the contrary. Those famous shop windows aside, it’s right in the centre of town (The Centrum), full of restaurants and bars, an array of colourful characters and it’s very safe to walk around. Of course, Amsterdam’s many eclectic neighbourhoods are close by too, either on foot, by tram or by grabbing the free ferries from the station.
Upstairs, my premium room with a view doesn’t disappoint. A short set of steps lead down into a generous space topped with thick wooden beams. A Nespresso coffee machine winks at me from a corner table while the huge bed vies for my attention against the far wall. I’m drawn though to the open window, where true to form, a canal flows far below crossed by a narrow ancient bridge connecting to a typical cobbled street.
It is a perfect Amsterdam landscape.
In the bathroom, the de rigeur NH professional-standard hair dryer awaits with a collection of high end toiletries, but the rain forest shower is the star of the show for me.
Back downstairs the lobby is typically bustling, with a bar off to one side and the breakfast restaurant opposite. NH breakfast buffets are pretty legendary across the board; always fresh fruit (with kiwi in particular), local crusty breads, great charcutuerie and cheeses, power smoothies and plenty of hot dishes to order.
Almost as an afterthought, the hotel’s one Michelin star restaurant Vermeer lies tucked away near the hotel entrance. British Chef Chris Naylor has been at the helm for many a year offering 4,5 or 6 course tasting menus with seasonal themes
The NH Collection Barbizon Palace is a luxurious spot to rest your head after a busy day exploring Amsterdam’s many nooks and crannies. Just save a bit of time to paint the views.
Tell me more about the NH Collection Barbizon Palace Hotel Amsterdam
NH Collection Barbizon Palace Hotel Prins Hendrikkade 59-72, 1012 AD Amsterdam, Netherlands Tel +31 20 556 4564
Rooms from €175.50
easyJet flies regular services to Amsterdam Schipol Airport from London Luton.
Parking at London Luton Airport
One week’s Meet and Greet airport parking at Luton Airport with Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) costs from only £68.90. To book visit www.aph.com or call 01342 859536.