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The Dylan, Amsterdam

The Dylan is a Dutch five-star boutique hotel owned by an Irish family and named after a Welsh poet (Dylan Thomas), a bemusing concept that translates into an elegant canal-front city base with a Michelin-starred restaurant and an appealing design. Once Amsterdam’s first theatre and then an orphanage it opened as a hotel in 1999 – Blakes – and was renamed and totally refurbished under its current owners in 2004. The Dylan is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and has 40 rooms and suites spread over five brick townhouses.

At the centre is a tranquil courtyard garden, ideal for afternoon tea or summer dining in one of Europe’s most historically captivating cities.

the-dylan-amsterdam-keizersgracht.jpgFront row: Keizersgracht canal

Where is it The Dylan’s location is on point. It is in the heart of Amsterdam beside the small boutiques and intimate bars and restaurants of the “De Negen Straatjes” (Nine Streets) and front row on the highly-prized Keizersgracht canal.

This is one of the three prime waterways in Amsterdam that date back 400 years to the days of the Dutch Golden Age and an easy walk to all of the compact city’s prime attractions. Style It’s the assured mix of old and new that marks out The Dylan.

The classic seventeenth century buildings with super-sized windows and dark bricks are expertly matched with contemporary interiors of tastefully toned-back pale greens, blush pinks and sparingly used splashes of shimmering gold, creating an elegant city hotel. Facilities The delightful courtyard garden complete with trees, birdsong, dining tables and comfortable sofas is at the heart of The Dylan, a peaceful place to start or end the day.

There are a number of elegant meeting spaces that convert into stylish private dining rooms catering for anywhere between 8 to 100 guests. Guests have a small gym with Technogym equipment and weights but in this city of architectural beauty the very best tip is to hire one of the hotel’s bicycles and take off on two wheels (EUR15 for a day) exploring the canals and parks. Or hire the hotel’s own renovated nineteenth century boat The Muze for a bespoke, catered canal tour.

the-dylan-amsterdam-wedding.jpgPerfect wedding spot


Amsterdam’s long-established reputation for a winning European city-break has been reinforced in the past five years by a growing cultural and style scene. The red light district and smoking cafes are still easy to find but today visitors are more likely to head to the wondrous museums, art galleries and winning mix of designer shops and small boutiques. Special mention should go to the Dylan’s award winning concierge team.

They are the people to ask for top city tips including the best way to dodge the often painful queues at the museums and how to bag a last minute table at the city’s best restaurants. Food and drink Locals as well as hotel guests come for The Dylan’s two restaurants.

The newly redesigned Occo bar and brasserie opened in 2016 with glossy tiled floors and atmospheric lighting. Occo serves an appealing, well-edited all day menu of burgers, steaks, salads and pastas. Top billing goes to Vinkeles, an atmospheric and intimate Michelin-starred restaurant in the former brick bakery.

The Dutch chef turns out a modern take on classical French cuisine.


Which room The 40 rooms and suites all have garden or courtyard views and come equipped with Bose sound systems, Illy espresso makers and Frette linens. The Dylan Thomas Suite – Room 10 – on the first floor has an entire wall of windows facing onto the courtyard garden and an enveloping low-level sofa.

Guests undeterred by stairs should climb up to the ultra private and exclusive Loft Suites with exposed pale wood ceiling beams and contemporary clean lines. The Serendipity rooms overlooking the canal are the most modern in style and can interconnect to cater for families. Best for

Guests come from North American, the UK and Western Europe and include couples, families, style-focused tourists and anyone looking for a central and spoiling break in Amsterdam. The best time to visit Amsterdam is between mid March and the end of June and September to October. December and January can be cold and wet but are substantially less crowded, ideal if you are coming predominantly to visit the museums.


Double rooms start from ?261 per night;[1]

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