The Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam is one of the newer luxury hotels in the city. Part of the Swiss luxury hotel chain of the same name, the hotel is located next to the Cruise Terminal and is a mere ten-minute walk from the Central Station, making it an attractive place to stay for both tourists and business people. As an Amsterdammer, I didn’t think much of the hotel when it opened. It looked pretty much like a standard, albeit upscale, city hotel from the outside: a gleaming tower of glass at the edge of the city centre. My perception changed somewhat when I was invited to experience the hotel myself.
The Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam was built as part of a new harbourside development that includes office, residential and cultural components. It’s a part of the city I, for some odd reason, rarely visit. As a consequence, I was quite surprised to see a host of new shops, swanky restaurants and cafés along the route from the Central Station to the hotel. The only thing that looked familiar was the floating Chinese restaurant. Pretty much everything else was brand new, including the cutting-edge public library (Openbare Bibliotheek). At the harbourside, there were new docking areas for the massive river cruise boats (some of which ply the route between Amsterdam and Budapest) and the futuristic Muziek Theater aan het Ij/Bimhuis (Music Theatre). The hotel is part of this huge complex which comprises the Music Theatre and the (Cruise) Passenger Terminal.
The grand view!
I entered the hotel’s gleaming lobby and was professionally greeted as I stepped up to the reception desk: a ‘good afternoon sir’, a big smile and a friendly nod. After checking in, I proceeded to my room on the 19th floor. I opened the door and gasped! The view of Amsterdam and the harbour was absolutely breathtaking. I could see the tops of most of the city’s major monuments like the Palace on Dam Square and the Westerkerk (church) right across to the financial district in the city’s southern fringe (I could even see my old office) and Schiphol Airport’s control tower! Below me, the harbour was buzzing with ships, barges, ferries, yachts, canal cruise boats and smaller leisure vessels.
I’m not sure how long I stood there admiring the view but I soon tore myself away from the window and checked out the room. The room was a tad small but that’s pretty much the norm in Amsterdam. I liked the clean lines and soft earthy tones, punctuated by the blue couch and the red chair. Very easy on the eyes. The bathroom was of a decent size and included a bath tub. What I really liked was the cool espresso machine next to the desk!
I decided to explore more of the hotel. As I closed my room door, I looked out the side window and noticed a large cruise ship docked right next to the hotel!
The delights of Mövenpick Amsterdam
I took the elevator to the restaurant floor and found a large, beautiful space divided into several sections, for groups and individual guests. The Silk Road restaurant, with its gorgeous views of the harbour, looked particularly inviting.
I stepped out onto the terrace and picked a sunny spot with a great view of the cruise ship. I ordered some sushi from the cheery waitress and watched the goings-on below as the ship’s crew prepared for departure. Needless to say, I stayed put for a while to enjoy the fascinating view and the delicious sushi!
After lunch, I headed down to the hotel’s spa for some well-deserved R&R. I was met by a lovely masseuse who showed me around the well-equipped gym and spa. We discussed the various treatments and I settled for a Shiatsu massage. Her strong yet nimble fingers worked wonders on my neck and back! Feeling refreshed, I hopped down to the hotel lobby to treat myself to another Mövenpick delight: ice-cream! Take my word for it….. they make seriously good ice-cream.
I continued my exploration of the hotel by visiting the Executive Lounge for a Happy Hour drink and a small bite. The lounge was busy and I soon realised why. There was a good selection of drinks but the delicious ‘nibbles’ were the main attraction!
That evening, I decided to explore the hotel’s surroundings. There’s a bike rental company located in the basement of the hotel as well as a tour company that offers tuk-tuk tours of the city in environmentally-friendly electric tuk-tuks. There’s also a tram-stop just outside the hotel – the frequent service whisks people to the city centre in minutes. In the direct vicinity of the hotel were a few cafe´s and restaurants, including the delightfully laid-back Hanneke’s Boom, the classy Samhoud Places (fabulous interior and gorgeous haute cuisine) and the casual Vapiano.
I returned to the hotel for one last treat: dessert. I figured it would be the perfect ending for a wonderful day… and it was! The lime sorbet, perfectly matched with fresh mango juice, was smooth and full of flavour. As I licked off the spoon, I couldn’t help but think that the Mövenpick Hotel is far from being just a standard city hotel. The views, service and food were simply outstanding. Its location, at the edge of the city centre, is perfect as it’s just a short walk or tram-ride to the main attractions yet sufficiently removed from the city’s hustle-and-bustle. I nodded in agreement with myself. Nope, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill city hotel.
Note: thank you to Mövenpick Hotels for your terrific hospitality. As always, views expressed above are mine, and mine only.