Amsterdam’s swankiest boutique hotel, The Dylan, is tucked away behind an impressive stone gateway with its own courtyard on the Keizersgracht canal, in one of the city’s most sought-after districts.
The gorgeous old building began life as a theatre in the 17th century, but it has gone through several incarnations and is now a luxurious hotel with a two Michelin-starred restaurant and Les Clefs d’Or concierges.
The Dylan is best suited to couples on a romantic getaway. If you appreciate the finer things in life – whether it is art and architecture, fine dining and a carefully curated wine list, or staff who are at the top of their hospitality game – you will be in your element at this hotel. And if you are looking for an intimate location to say “I do!” in Amsterdam, The Dylan would be an excellent place to choose for a wedding.
There are 40 individually designed guest rooms at The Dylan, spread throughout historic buildings around the hotel’s quiet central courtyard. There are some elegant, contemporary suites fronting onto the canal in the Serendipity building, but those we loved most are the quirky loft suites overlooking the garden. These rooms go up into the eaves, the ancient wooden skeleton of the building laid bare.
Whichever room or suite you choose at The Dylan, you will find simple but impeccably tasteful decor and carefully chosen furniture and soft furnishings. Even the single rooms have queen sized beds, and they are surprisingly roomy considering the age of the building and its city centre location. The sound systems in every room are by Bang & Olufsen, and the bath amenities are by Aesop, so do treat yourself to a room or suite with a bathtub and allow plenty of time to relax.
Food and drink
The Dylan really is a hotel for foodies: it was its culinary reputation that drew us here in the first place. The hotel’s flagship restaurant, Restaurant Vinkeles, has two Michelin stars. Executive Chef Jurgen van der Zalm and his team experiment with the very finest modern French cuisine. If you are celebrating a special occasion, reserve a table at Vinkeles and choose the mouthwatering, seven-course Chef’s menu (EUR 195).
For something truly unique, you can also dine at até, Amsterdam’s smallest restaurant. This intimate chef’s table accommodates a maximum of six guests per sitting, and chef Filip Hanlo tells stories about the food as he cooks.
At lunchtime, or if you prefer something a little less formal, OCCO Bar & Brasserie is open all day. This sumptuously decorated room runs alongside the courtyard and has its own menu of dishes prepared with ingredients from local suppliers. Look out for the High Wine option: EUR 49.50 buys you a selection of four food and wine pairings chosen for you by The Dylan’s Executive Chef and Sommelier.
Although The Dylan is primarily a leisure hotel, it is well suited to hosting events and so does have some facilities for corporate and social gatherings. There are several flexible meeting spaces, rooms for private dining, and the building is licensed for weddings, too.
Double rooms start from EUR 350 per night including breakfast.
Walk out of The Dylan’s front door and you are straight onto Amsterdam’s Keizersgracht canal. It’s a fantastic location for a stroll, and the vernacular architecture is very photogenic. Many of the city’s Jewish sites are nearby, and you can easily visit the new Holocaust monument, the Jewish Museum, and the Portuguese Synagogue.
As the canals are such an integral part of Amsterdam’s identity, plan a boat ride in the evening. The Dylan’s concierges can arrange this for you. Most of the boats take a circular route which incorporates the Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht canals. When the trip finishes, you can wander gently back to the hotel, perhaps stopping en route for a drink in one of the many lively local bars.
You would be hard-pressed to find a hotel with more history and style than The Dylan, and the fact that it also has some of Amsterdam’s finest dining options within its walls makes it irresistible.