With the recent launch of the first ever direct Eurostar service to the city earlier this year, it’s now more accessible than ever. Cutting out the awkward airport run means Londoners can now arrive at central station in just over three and a half hours, nudging it up the to-do list for an easy weekend city break (although border control niggles mean the return leg is still via Brussels). With autumn days providing no end to opportunities for lazy cycles around the Vondelpark, canal-side beers around every corner and literally dozens of festivals keeping the spirit of summer alive, there’s no time like now to get a trip in the diary.
While the city has no shortage of accommodation, the central canal belt can end up becoming an incredibly busy tourist trap, particularly in the summer. Just a few minutes walk in the opposite direction from the station lies the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre, a spacious alternative to the middle of town with spectacular views of the city to boot.
With 408 rooms it’s big, and yet somehow manages not to feel it. While the hotel may be geared in part towards the business traveller, its size affords it a list of bonuses some of its smaller city centre counterparts may miss out on. Should it tickle your fancy there’s an in-house gym, Finnish sauna, bio sauna, ice fountain and massage room - just the ticket after a day pounding the city streets.
Choose a room with a city view and you won’t be disappointed. Our suite afforded us a breathtaking sunset across the river and city, while the twinkling lights of the city unfolding beneath meant once the sun went down, the view was equally as pretty.
Sustainability is high on the agenda at Mövenpick and not only did the luxuriously comfortable king size bed come with organic, fair-trade linen, but the bathroom was full of eco-friendly toiletries.
With a welcome gift of Mövenpick chocolate and jam, a well-stocked minibar (of course featuring Heineken…), on-demand movies and an envious room service menu, you’d be forgiven for spending a night in, revelling in the bathtub and ordering dinner from the kitchen which, after an extremely drizzly Saturday walking miles on end and getting soaked to the bone, I admittedly thoroughly enjoyed. Needless to say the bathrobe and slippers provided were utilised!
The hotel’s Silk Road restaurant offers a seasonal a la carte menu, heavily influenced by the brand’s Swiss roots. My Friday night supper involved a delicious roasted goat’s cheese on a potato rosti (a menu staple…) followed by a simple, yet fulfilling, linguine Alfredo with plenty of parmesan. With other dishes ranging from the likes of baked salmon and spinach and ricotta ravioli to Zurich-style veal and a beef tartare, there’s plenty of choice, though as luck would have it, my friend who joined me for dinner was vegan, which proved a bit more difficult. Luckily, the kitchen was incredibly accommodating, with the chef whipping up something off-menu to satisfy his palate.
Breakfast is a more laid-back affair, with a buzzing breakfast buffet in the back of the Silk Road’s main dining room. It can get pretty busy given the number of hotel guests, so it’s worth bearing in mind that an Executive Room grants access to a separate, smaller dining room with a slightly more relaxed vibe in which to enjoy a leisurely continental breakfast. Be sure to indulge in the Dutch tradition of chocolate hagelslag (sprinkles) on toast. It might seem lie breakfast for a five year old, but trust me, you won’t regret it!
While on the subject of food and drink, the Executive Lounge also offers complimentary beverages and light snacks in the early evening, while the Silk Bar on the ground floor has a fairly extensive cocktail menu and a decent array of whiskies to try before hitting the town. It’s also worth noting there’s a great bar on the river just across the road from the hotel, dripping in fairy lights and calling out for an evening tipple.
Tempting as it may be to book a city centre something for your summer stay, you’ll be missing out. Amsterdam’s Mövenpick outpost is worth a visit for the views alone, but with the new SLEEP rooms starting at just €115 per night, it’s a small price to pay for a perfect night’s sleep and a spectacular city sunrise.
Mövenpick Amsterdam City Centre
Piet Heinkade 11
A summary of our experience at Mövenpick, Amsterdam
Best bits: Endless space compared to most hotels in central Amsterdam and fantastic views across the city
Worst bits: The restaurant doesn't really cater for vegans (although to be honest, this could be said for many places in Amsterdam)
Most suited for: Those wanting to be away from the crazy bustle of the central canal belt yet only minutes from the action
*During my stay I was hosted by the lovely team at Mövenpick Amsterdam. All opinions are my own.
Our experience overall