Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

The Dylan

Netherlands

Elegant 5-star canal front mansion in the heart of Amsterdam’s Nine Streets

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The Dylan

Location

The Dylan is located in the middle of Amsterdam, on the Keizersgracht canal in the heart of the 9 Straatjes district.

Travel Information

It’s a 9 minute taxi from Amsterdam Central Train Station, and a 20 minute taxi from the airport

Top Tips

Seeing the city from the water is a must-do in Amsterdam, and guests can hire the hotel’s own renovated 19th century boat for a bespoke catered canal tour

5-Star X-Factors

The hotel’s canal front location, looking out onto Amsterdam’s charmingly wonky gabled houses

The Dylan - Amsterdam's 5-star gem

Walking through The Dylan’s stately 17th century portico is to know you are stepping foot into a spot steeped in history. Spread across five canalside townhouses, with a peaceful courtyard garden at its heart, its main building dates back to the Dutch Golden Age, when Amsterdam’s famous canals were first being excavated. It sits proudly front row on the Keizersgracht (Emperor’s Canal), one of the city’s three prime waterways.

 

The privately owned property was originally a liberal theatre - the first in Amsterdam where females were allowed to perform on stage, and a place where Vivaldi debuted new work. And, while the hotel’s history can be felt in the twists, turns and narrow staircases inside, the property’s decor is decidedly old meets new. It’s sleek, sexy and design-focussed, with glossy black lacquer doors and details and marble floors. While the lounge - a cosy retreat for a cocktail - sports a modern glass fire place and curved leather sofas, it also retains its 17th century original flooring, walls and cornicing.

This is a 5-star boutique gem, in size and in feel, with only 40 rooms and suites. There are four quite distinct styles of room to choose from, catering for individual tastes, and making for a different hotel experience each time.

Top rooms

Our favourites are the “Loft” Rooms, with their bright white walls, soft creamy colour palette, and original wooden beams. If you can, book Room 25 - a light airy suite, with rattan carpets, modern lines, exposed pale wood, and a huge freestanding tub. The rooms have both canal and garden views.

Room 10, a “Loxura” room, is another standout. Based on the copper-coloured Loxura butterfly, with bronze mirrors, original antiques from China, and elegant leather headboards, it contrasts to the pared down aesthetic of the loft rooms.

The new Amber rooms overlook the garden, featuring a warming palette of amber tones blending old and new furnishings and custom made contemporary pieces; while the Serendipity rooms are sleek, dark and minimal with the best views overlooking the canal.

Whichever room you choose, The Dylan is the perfect base to explore the city. Lined up outside the front door are charming bicycles that are complimentary to take out, but most sights can be reached on foot.

Nine Streets

The Nine Streets is our favourite district of the city, with its picture-perfect flower-lined bridges, an endless array of individual shops, destination restaurants and cosy bars. You’re next to the Jordaan, another wonderful part of the city; a 15 minute stroll from the museum district;  and just a few minutes walk from Soho House Amsterdam.

Fine dining

Being a small city hotel, the facilities are limited to a small gym and the option to pre-book a soothing in-room massage, reflexology or zen-shiatsu. The star attraction is the Michelin-starred restaurant, Vinkeles, with its menu of exquisite French inspired cuisine.

At Vinkeles, we’re led to the back of the hotel and down some stairs to what was the property’s original 18th century bakery, its vast brick walls lined with bread ovens. We order the tasting menu, which is a tour de force of local ingredients and potent flavours, from charcoal-torched scallops with sea lettuce and sole with white grapes, fennel seeds and beurre blanc, to the chef’s signature pigeon breast with preserved blackberries, duck liver and liquorice sauce. Do book ahead, as it's a hugely popular spot as much with the locals as tourists.

Secret sushi

And if it’s foodie experiences that you’re after, there’s another exclusive option available at the hotel - only this one is shrouded in mystery. What we can tell you is that it is hidden behind a secret door, and serves up what is widely considered the best sushi in the city. Clues to how to book can be found on Instagram - rest assured it is worth the effort.

Breakfast is a similarly delicious affair, served in the laid-back Brasserie Occo, along a chic bar. Labelled milk bottles filled with freshly blended smoothies and juices, fruit, pastries, breads and cold cuts are all presented beautifully, and hearty hot options are on offer from the kitchen.

We’ve visited a selection of Amsterdam’s finest properties, and The Dylan is a real stand out. It offers peace and tranquility in one of the most prettiest parts of the city, while feeling in the very heart of the action. Unlike many other luxury hotels here, The Dylan feels modern and fresh, and extremely comfortable. We’re already planning our return.

Holly Rubenstein
Holly Rubenstein


Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer