Amsterdam, Hotels, Hotels - Design

A Curious Hotel: Canal House, Amsterdam

Canal House has been top of my ever increasing travel list, so I was delighted to be staying at one of Amsterdam’s hottest hotels on my spa and wellness trip with Dutch airline KLM.

Canal House is located across three 17th century merchant’s houses on the Keizersgracht, in the historial Jordaan neighbourhood.

One of Amsterdam’s most picturesque and creative neighbourhoods, Jordaan’s cobbled streets are filled with art galleries, independent and designer boutiques, speciality delis and adorable cafes.

Owned by A Curious Group of Hotels, which includes Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds and the renowned L’Hotel in Paris, Canal House is a bijou boutique design hotel with just 23 rooms that combines plush, contemporary interiors with traditional Dutch touches.

The narrow hallway resembles a mini Rijksmuseum with dozens of framed prints of iconic Dutch paintings, including Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’.

The hall leads on to the atmospheric bar and lounge with black lacquered walls, ornate ceilings, gilt mirrors, candle-lit tables and a luminous central bar with high chairs.  The check-in desk is neatly adjoined and the ever-so-stylish and friendly staff presented our room keys and marked our location on a sleek black pocket map.

I stayed in a ‘Good Room’ (the starting room of five categories) on the top floor, which had a loft-style sloped ceiling and original timber beams.  The cosy room was a perfect ‘crash pad’ size and they made good use of the given space with clever storage, multiple mirrors and floor to ceiling windows.

All rooms feature unique artwork and are designed in a seductive palette of damson, mauve and shimmering grey with raw silk and sumptuous velvet textures.  The king size bed was extremely comfortable, with crisp white linen and adorned with plump cushions and a luxurious, thick dark purple velvet throw.

Amenities in the rooms include a slick LCD screen, Bose iPod docking station, Blu-ray player, a stack of glossy magazines and complimentary wifi.  If you’re planning an indulgent night in, there is a Blu-ray and DVD library available at reception.

The shower with Philippe Starck bathtub is all open concept, which could make it a little awkward if staying with a friend or family member, but in liberal Amsterdam, that’s how it goes!

The shower area and separate toilet were covered in tiny, richly coloured iridescent mosaics and a collection of five full-size Green & Spring products were provided for use during the stay.  This may vex collectors of hotel bathroom mini products, but if you really love the products, you can buy them at the reception to take home.

A great feature is a box of extra bathroom amenities including a shaving kit, toothbrush and paste, shower cap and plenty of cotton wool, so you don’t have to call down to reception and admit your packing failures!  I also loved the petite double sinks, extra large towels and waffle bath robes for lounging in.

Later in the evening, we came back to the hotel bar for a nightcap were invited through to the Great Room, which was hosting a private party for Esquire Best Dressed Man 2011.  We spent the night chatting with Dutch celebs and young creatives, including Dutch rock group A Silent Express, singer Steffen Morrison, artist Ari Versluis and winner Felix Maginn of rock band Moke.

In the morning, we had breakfast in The Great Room, which has been swiftly transformed from a boozy party venue to an elegant dining room.  I was instantly offered tea served in stunning white china and asked if I would like eggs for breakfast.

I picked a few mini muffins and delicious cloudy apple juice from the continental buffet table and was tucked into a beautifully-presented plate of poached eggs on toast with grilled tomato and streaky bacon.  This set me up well for a morning strolling around Amsterdam, taking in the sights on a route planned just for me by the delightful receptionist.

As our visit was in chilly December, we warmed up in the cosy bar, but in the milder months, guests can soak up the sun in the garden and summer house, which can be hired for private events.

Canal House is the perfect city bolthole for a romantic or relaxing weekend break in Amsterdam.  The hotel blends sophistication and cutting-edge style with exceptionally friendly, caring service and a warm atmosphere.  The location in Jordaan is ideal for experiencing Amsterdam’s artistic, stylish Nine Street district.

Rates start at €220 for a Good Room and the Best Room is priced between €595 and €700, with a complimentary in-room bar.  All room rates include a full breakfast.

KLM operates 11 daily flights from London Heathrow to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with lead in fares from £99 return including all taxes.

Chérie City was a guest of Canal House and KLM.

Photos by Chérie City and Canal House.

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