Labor Day Weekend
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I just returned from a whirlwind weekend in Amsterdam to celebrate the marriage of my sister-in-law to an incredibly charismatic Dutch fellow. With unprecedented sunny weather and a joyous occasion upon us, the weekend was a total success. Not to mention, I was fortunate enough to stay at the newly renovated, (to the tune of 61 Million EURO) De L’Europe. (formerly the Hotel de L’Europe)
Long considered a spot for respite right in the midst of the city’s buzzing center, the iconic hotel has furthered the notion by combining updated, Dutch-modern furnishings – think comfy white couches – within traditional 19th century architecture and reproductions of the famous, Dutch Masters artwork. The dimensions of the hotel’s new Dutch Masters Wing are rather substantial, particularly the 42 suites, whose ample space encourage a hosting of the beloved Dutch tradition of “borrel” (cocktails and appetizers) in one’s room. If you want to ensure the borrel of the year, book the six-bedroom signature suite, which features a wrap-around terrace overlooking the canal.
Whether the canal and city views are appreciated from your room’s balcony (if you can swing it, book it!) or from the terrace, or even the gym’s ground level windows, the view’s constant boat traffic and cling-cling of passing bicycles on the street is so wonderfully and iconically Amsterdam, that it makes staying at the L’Europe even more rewarding.
Must Do’s: Dining out on the hotel’s terrace, wisely equipped with heating lamps for the cool Amsterdam temperatures. The steak tartare is delicious and the wine selection wonderfully robust. Chef Richard van Oostenbruggee oversees all 3 restaurants and offers easily one of the city’s top dining options. Alas, if the weather just won’t cooperate (likely for Amsterdam), head to breakfast late and enjoy it with a view from one of the window-fronting tables in the dining room.