The Dylan Adds Rooms and Preserves Old Amsterdam
PHOTO: The Dylan Thomas Suite, like The Dylan itself, was named for the fiery Welsh bard. (Photos courtesy of The Dylan)
One of the best ways to gauge whether or not a hotel is an authentic part of its location is by noting how integrated it is into the lives of the local people. If you’re having a drink in The Dylan’s courtyard you’ll probably find some local Amsterdammers drinking Geneva nearby. You’ll certainly find them in the restaurants. In Amsterdam, you can’t really get more authentic than The Dylan, the luxury boutique created out of a few 17th century buildings, one an old theatre where Vivaldi is said to have played, located right in the city’s core overlooking the Keizersgracht Canal.
It originally opened as a hotel in 1999 under another name, but the owners decided shortly after to name it after the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Today, it’s a popular choice for high end guests. Try to get a canal-facing room for the best views.
“We get a great mix of local Amsterdam people and guests from around the world in our restaurants,” said Audry van de Merwe, the hotel’s deputy manager. “About 38 percent of our guests come from the United States. Americans love the history of the hotel and the neighborhood. Basically, it’s exactly where you want to be if you’re in Amsterdam, for business or for tourism.”
Recently, the hotel went from 24 rooms to 40 rooms when it unveiled 16 new rooms and suites, designed in collaboration with Dutch interior designer Remy Meijers, titled the Serendipity Collection. The hotel was able to add the rooms thanks to the acquisition of a third adjacent building, which also made it possible to surround their interior garden. The original core rooms are a combination of loft rooms and suites. They lofts are located in the attic, the style is minimalist and the wooden beams are original.
The Dylan is located in Amsterdam’s “Nine Streets” of galleries, antique and clothing shops. It’s really in the heart of the city where the original ring of canals was dug in the 1614. It’s an area that restricts vehicular traffic and where people skate on the canals in winter. In fact, The Dylan often offers canal skating packages at that time of year. It’s also about 10 minutes by bicycle (the preferred way to travel in this part of the city) from the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. “The Nine Streets area is very authentic,” said Van de Merwe, “the shops sell real Dutch merchandise. You don’t go there for Louis Vitton and other international designers.
“Many of our American guests are also interested in exploring the great art in the city,” said Van de Merwe. “Many of them are combining a stay with us in Amsterdam with Paris and Brussels because of the Eurostar linkage. It’s all very convenient.”
PHOTO: The interior design at The Dylan is modern without imposing a harsh modern feel on the hotel’s historic motif.
The Dylan provides a modern décor and extremely attentive personal service and also features one of Amsterdam’s Michelin Star restaurants, Vinkeles. The Dylan also serves a “High Wine,” which is a pairing of fine wines and savory dishes. “The High Wine is a take-off on High Tea and is served between 3 and 6 in the afternoon,” said Van de Merwe. Executive Chef Dennis Kuipers overseas Vinkeles and Vinkeles on the Water, a chef’s table experience onboard a 19th century canal boat.
The Brasserie OCCO offers its version of a traditional Dutch noon break called the “Lunch Plate.” It features four small dishes and is served Monday to Friday from noon to 3 p.m. A sample tasting may include Caesar salad with roasted prawns; fresh pasta with pancetta, garlic and parmesan cheese; veal sirloin with asparagus, green peas, crispy potato and black olive sauce; and a terrine of pure chocolate and gingerbread with marinated mango for dessert. Brasserie OCCO is open daily from 11a.m. to 11 p.m., serving lunch and dinner.
Through June 30, the hotel is offering the two-night Day at the Parc package from about $958 per person double. The package includes daily breakfast buffet for two, use of the hotel’s bicycles, a blanket and Champagne basket with glasses and Dylan brand nuts for the park, tulips in-room and vase to take home, city guide, Nine Streets shopping map and more.
More by James Ruggia
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