Smart city breaks are a great way to get out and about and see the world. There’s nothing quite like the buzz of a whistle stop tour – packing in as many restaurant and attraction recommendations as possible.
All you need is an open mind and a comfortable pair of shoes – oh, and a swanky hotel to lay your head, of course. We’re living ‘luxe’ after all.
Amsterdam is an easy getaway for us here in the North East, with regular flights from both Newcastle and Teesside airports, as well as the ferry from North Shields.
The travel is easy, and what is even more wonderful is the spectacular range of hotels and hospitality options available in the Dutch capital.
Our home for the weekend is Hotel TwentySeven, a beautiful boutique hotel offering one of the most unique city break experiences we’ve had.
Its location on Dam Square is a big attraction, but there is so much more than meets the eye when you check in and experience this place for yourself.
The staff, for one, are the best of the best. Genuinely friendly and happy people, going about their job as if it is a way of life – effortless and extremely personable.
After an easy check-in following a short train ride from Schiphol Airport, we start our stay with a drink in the bar before being shown to our two bedroom loft suite.
The word ‘suite’ can be thrown around quite a lot in the hotel world, but this place takes the suite and gives it a new meaning altogether. I wouldn’t call it a ‘home from home’ because it is way beyond that. It’s an incredibly special and unique experience where five star hospitality far exceeds itself.
We are given a tour of the suite by the smart and dapper porter, who brings us up to speed with all of the tech, in-room, gadgets, special effects and more.
Beyond the impressive mod-cons and multiple mini bars, you’ll find chic, moody interiors, out-of-this world bathrooms which offer a full spa experience, beautifully crisp white bedding and views over Dam Square.
The bathrooms are a real talking point here. The hotel owner wanted to create the ultimate spa experience without compromising on suite space, so each room comes with a large jacuzzi bath and double shower, which on the switch of a button, is transformed into a steam room.
We kick off our chunky trainers (comfort is key when city breaking!) and melt into our fluffy robes
and slippers – well set for an afternoon of pampering.
Complete with luxurious Lalique toiletries, surround sound to set the mood, and a very well stocked mini bar, it’s the perfect way to get our weekend underway.
For those who like to keep busy, the city is quite literally on the doorstep – and the concierge is on hand to ensure you get the best of your Amsterdam break. Let them know how you like to city break, and they’ll happily guide you to the best of the best for food, culture and sightseeing.
We’re indulging in all that Hotel TwentySeven has to offer, with our main activity being a partnership with the hotel – a special invitation to the historic diamond factory of GASSAN Diamonds.
One of the stores shares the same building as the hotel, which is well worth a visit, whether you’re looking for something special or simply window shopping; but the factory is a destination of its own, just 15 minutes away by foot, bike or car.
A car picks us up from the hotel and we are greeted with a glass of champagne as we are guided around the factory. Diamonds are being mounted, fine jewellery is being made and we see where the magic happens when it comes to crafting beautifully bespoke jewellery and timepieces.
We don’t leave with shopping bags on this occasion, but I do leave with a shiny diamond that sparkles like new, thanks to the complimentary goldsmith cleaning service.
Back at the hotel, not only does the service, style and in-suite spa experience blow us away, but the food and hospitality alone sets this place apart. Dining here is an absolute must, it’s an experience we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Finding a comfortable hotel to lay your head and fuel you up for a day in the city is key when it comes to filling up your cup and exploring. But finding a hotel with so much unique charm and character, offering exquisite experiences, is a real game changer.
Yes, getting out and wandering around the city is the best way to get to know a place, but when a hotel is as sumptuous as this one, you can really get a sense of place just by being in it.
We, of course, spend some time venturing out into the city, circling the canals, shopping and dining at buzzy restaurants such as The Butcher Social Club, but it’s Hotel TwentySeven that has really won us over this time.