I always pictured just like in the movies right after I book my hotel room. In Paris, your window is facing the Eiffel tower, in Egypt, the pyramids are right there and in London, facing Hyde Park. In movies, every hotel has a symbolic monument right outside their window. So, it’s only natural to feel the same here in Amsterdam when I stayed at The Dylan. Right outside my window is the 17th century historic landmark the ‘Keizersgracht’ – one of Amsterdam’s most famous canals. History are told in stories so we never forget, so in a way, I am making history too, which I hope no one forgets.
Location: It took 35 minutes to reach by taxi from to The Dylan Amsterdam from Schipol Airport. I picked this hotel because I needed something close to the center, but not too close to the night life. My 4th time around the city, I found the need to party less and discover more. (I can party back home with my 3 year old I thought to myself!) The hotel is situated just 7 minutes away from main attractions like Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Stedejlik museum, the Canal Museum and most of all the flower market. Everyone knows the shopping in Amsterdam is the trendiest so I also wanted to be close to de negen straatjes which is translated to the 9 streets and yes, they are filled with galleries, boutiques, bars and something for foodies.
History: It’s never easy to forget how much history Amsterdam holds. In my mind, people don’t talk enough about it. The Dylan Amsterdam holds 400 years of history and is one of the most historic locations reaching back to 1613, when construction workers began excavating the fifth canal, the ‘keizersgracht’. Five years later, a wooden building was constructed & a theatre was founded in the building called the ‘duytsche Academie’. It was then decided to donate most of the profits to the city’s orphanage. It was then, in 1632, many Dutch plays were performed on stage. Plays by writers such as Voltaire, Shakespear, Moliere and Corneille. On the 100th anniversary, in 1737, Antonio Vivaldi himself conducted the theatre’s orchestra. The prince of Orange, the Russian Tsar and the Elector of Brandenburg were said to be present on that day.
Monday the 11th of May 1772, turned out to be a black day in the building’s history. During a performance, the building caught on fire and completely burnt down. Only the present doorway, what we see today in front of the hotel, survived. In 1773, the site was sold to one of the Regents of the Roman Catholic Church charities known as the Old & Poor people’s office.
In 1998, the building and owners retained ownership, renovated and re-opened as a history luxury boutique hotel in 1999. Today, the memory and history of the place is seen at the entrance gate (The theater) and the memory of the ruins of the old & poor people’s home is clear inside the hotel.
The hotel keeps on renovating but maintaining the artifacts and the memory.
Rooms: The Dylan has 40 rooms in total and are all considered suites. My favorite ones are The Jacob van Campen Suites, a duplex, named after the famous Dutch architect with the view of the gateway Arch and the canal. The Serendipity collection, bringing both worlds, the modern luxury and the heritage charm and the loft. I stayed in the serendipity room. I was upgraded and loved every minute. The room faces the canal with both windows from ceiling to almost floor. Attention to details are obvious in every room. Amnesties were perfectly selected and I even took some lemon shampoo back home with me. (They are considerable ‘stealables’ so we’re ok!)
F&B: Breakfast was served at the one Michelin star restaurant Vinkeles, a french style with a contemporary twist.The perfect amount and quality of food was served for those who eat smart. The thing that amazed me the most is the authentic 18th century oven that once served as a bakery for the Catholica Poor People’s office with views overlooking the garden with a setting of the old world of Amsterdam with the new modern style of today.
Brasserie OCCO, our casual lunch and dining restaurant and high wine seemed to be very popular amongst locals. Although I did not have the chance to try dining here, the place was almost full with a fantastic crowd and happen to be THE place to dine.
Recommended: It was a short visit to The Dylan, but I almost understood what this place stands for. It’s a place where history meets luxury. A hidden gem where you visit Amsterdam to learn about the truth and beauty this place has. In the heart of the city, The Dylan is located just perfectly in an alley where the 9 streets are. Perfect boutique shopping districts with little homemade coffee shops on the corner. I sat down in my room in the evenings, inspired by the view, the rain and the cold imagining what it would have been like in the 18th century. It’s a place for honeymooners, solo travelers, even families and those who are looking for some peace and quiet can also find it there. I would return for a longer romantic stay!
1016 GB Amsterdam
T +31(0)20 530 2010
F +31(0)20 530 2030
For my Arabic post on Gheir please click here