We arrived at Amsterdam Central Station via Eurostar which was a simple 4 hours journey from London St Pancras. Our first stop was the NH Noordwijk Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst, just a 30-40 minute drive or 20 minutes from Schiphol Airport.
The hotel was originally built as a monastery and in the 1970s was converted into a 513 bedroom hotel with 125 meeting rooms (mostly with natural daylight), including the beautiful Rotonde with stained glass windows which can seat 250 cabaret or 600 theatre. The Rotonde was the chapel in the monastery days and is an amazing space! The location is rural and in the heart of the Dutch flower fields, so if you visit during March-late summer the views are breathtaking. The Cheers Sports Bar even has it’s own 4-lane bowling alley, pool table, table tennis, air hockey and squash courts – we sadly didn’t have enough time to experience any of this, but it’s a great space for winding down in the evening! If you fancy some outside fresh air the hotel also has a walking or running route map for the sand dunes and beach…
The town of Noordwijk, also known as Amsterdam-by-Sea is an upmarket Dutch seaside resort, only 10 minutes drive from the hotel. This area provides many venues for beachfront offsite lunches and dinners, for example the Alexander Beach Club.
We can’t write a blog without mentioning the staff at the hotel – everyone was so friendly, efficient and welcoming, and they are so creative with the rates! We were really blown away by how hospitable they were. Thank you to Natasja Steenwijk, Martine Conings, Sylvia Hiep-Hurkmans and the whole team !
We also visited the stunning Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky located right in the heart of Amsterdam on Dam Square. It is a 15 minute walk from central train station and 45 minutes from Schiphol Airport. The hotel began in 1855 by the Krasnapolsky family as a Cafe, and has since grown into a 402 room hotel, a seamless combination of no less than 55 buildings! There are 15 event spaces all with state of the art AV equipment, and the beautiful historic Wintergarden with its glass ceiling is ideal for receptions or gala dinners.
Sustainability is important to the hotel and what we really liked was the collaboration with Earth Water which helps to eliminate plastic water bottles. Dion Savelkoul was of course the perfect host and thank you so much to him too for his time and wealth of knowledge!
Minor Hotels have many other hotels within walking distance of the Anantara, namely the NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace, NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market, NH City Centre Amsterdam, and Tivoli Doelen Amsterdam. For offsite venues, we visited Beurs van Berlage, ideally located next to the hotel for offsite dinners or meetings; there are many other venues in Amsterdam such as Tobacco theater and The National Maritime Museum, but please click here for more creative ideas.
Amsterdam is such a great city to experience on foot with over 165 canals which is actually more than Venice! The charming old quarter with the merchants buildings along by the canals many of them leaning into each other is full of quirky shops, bars and restaurants, but not, of course, forgetting the special ‘coffee shops’ which sadly we didn’t have time for….
Have a look below at some extra facts and special phrases that we practiced to perfection during an amazing 48 hours!
Did you know:
- Amsterdam receives 20 million visitors per year
- Schiphol Airport is the number 1 airport in Europe in terms of flight connections
- The are over 1,000 windmills in The Netherlands, but only 8 in Amsterdam!
Some useful phrases which we practiced well, especially the last one…
- Bedankt (thank you)
- Hoe is het met je? (how are you?)
- Het eten is uitstekend! (The food is outstanding!)
- Mag ik nog een drankje? (May I have another drink?)