Smith Travel BlogTravel tales and hotel news from the boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith

Summer in the city: Amsterdam

Posted by Andrew Wilson on May 30th, 2013

Stay in Amsterdam | Canal Festival 2013 | Photo by Ronald KnappIt’s not just about a new royal reign in the Dutch capital: the Venice of the North is turning up the heat with a clutch of cool reasons to celebrate, from canalside concerts and new boutique hotels to the reopening of the Rijksmuseum. Here’s a procession of fanfare-worthy reasons to stay in Amsterdam this summer…

Museum land looks better than ever…
The Rijksmuseum is expecting an inrush of eager art-seekers this summer after a decade out of the limelight. An epic 10-year overhaul has provided this 19th-century arthouse with the style chops to exhibit some of the world’s most revered canvas creations; The Night Watch by Rembrandt still takes centre stage after 200 years on display. Not to be outdone, the Van Gogh Museum overlooking Museumplein has undergone a revival of its own. Unraveling the tale of this Conservatorium hotel Amsterdam | Tunes Barprolific artist’s vaunted career are galleries galore of extraordinary paintings, striking sketches and personal letters.

Bolthole bars are buzzy as can be…
As fate would have it, all this historic culture is within an easy cobblestone stroll of the super-slick Conservatorium, one of Smith’s coolest Amsterdam South stays. The elegant decor of the hotel’s Tunes Bar (right) is just the ticket for breathing a bit of life back into those museum-weary bones. Your feet won’t be up for too long, though: each Thursday the resident DJ kicks off their three-night weekender set while staff dish out Tunes’ signature gin-based cocktails – well, this is the city of sin after all.

More orchestras than you can shake a baton at…
Why not raise a glass for the 400th anniversary of Amsterdam’s iconic canal system? Amsterdam city break | Canal Festival | Photo by Robert Knapp In August, the 10-day Grachtenfestival gets underway, putting on a stream of musical performances up and down the waterways – not to be missed is the final open-air concert performed on a floating stage set on the Prinsengracht canal (left). And the musical medley doesn’t stop there: 125 years ago, the Concertgebouw first opened its doors, and Amsterdammers are celebrating with a succession of commemorative concerts throughout 2013.

Flower shows are in full bloom…
Getting in on the act is the Open Garden Days  (or Open Tuin Dagen) festival held over the third weekend of June. A bouquet of Amsterdam’s most treasured canalside gardens and terraces will be pruned to perfection for a three-day array of tulip tints and summer scents – our advice for any budding florists out there would be to shoot over to the beautiful Brouwersgracht district for the pick of the bunch.

Andaz Amsterdam hotel | Summer events 2013

Style-studded stays set the scene…
Neatly planted along Prinsengracht is the second of Smith’s top spots to stay. Andaz Amsterdam (right) is a fantasy world of funky furniture and mesmerizing motifs, enhanced by an easygoing attitude. Its Bluespoon Restaurant is no less laid-back, but benefits from an enlivening injection of fiery French panache at the hands of executive chef Julien Piguet: it’s a stylish setting for spectacular farm-to-table fare.

And the flair doesn’t stop there…
Braced along tree-lined Keisergracht, two 17th-century merchant’s houses have been given a 21st-century makeover: new-look Canal House (left) strikes a punchy style note between Dutch tradition and modern glamour. Just off the picture-lined marble entrance hall is the dramatically designed Bar – gilded mirrors, matte black walls and brushed steel stools all set just the right mood for a martini. At the rear, overlooking a beautiful sun-dappled gardenCanal House hotel in Amsterdam | Events summer 2013 terrace sits the Great Room restaurant, decked out with intricate ceiling mouldings, rich furnishings and a Designfenzider Dear Ingo chandelier. If all that wasn’t enough to have you reaching for your suitcase, you can stay at Canal House and get your third night free, with August’s early-bird 3 for 2 Smith offer.

Take a look at more Amsterdam boutique hotels, or check out our Amsterdam city guide for more things to do…

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3 Responses to “Summer in the city: Amsterdam”

  1. I’ve been to Amsterdam before but obviously would have enjoyed it more if I had had the opportunity to read this before I went! Sounds wonderful and look forward to my next visit.

    By Ann Hallett

  2. Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum of modern art and design also reopened last September after a major revamp if you need another reason to visit. It’s hard to beat Amsterdam in spring.

    By Sophie Davies

  3. By Mr & Mrs Smith blog | Andrew's Portfolio

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