Part II of our honeymoon took us to Amsterdam! Where I, like the nerd I am, quoted parts of my thesis (my topic was marketing Amsterdam to Millennials) to Mike the entire time between beers and bitterballen and long afternoon naps.
I had booked this trip as a surprise for Mike...two weeks before he got sent there on a business trip this Spring. Just my luck. Turns out, we fell in love with the city during our brief weekend there in April, and it was a pleasure to go back. Honeymooning somewhere you've already been (like fellow blogger Betsy, who took a staycation in London on her honeymoon) is a far better idea than it sounds like. We felt no pressure to 'see the sights'. We were content to luxuriate in the hotel I splurged on: The Dylan.
In 2013 it's certainly passé to profess an undying love for hotels, but I do love them. Always have, always will. And this one more than all the rest.
The Dylan. Where do I start? It's tucked away on the Keizersgracht canal (my favourite area of the city). It's facade is refined, in the way that really posh hotels are. It is actually an old historical building (hence the original porte cochere in the photo above - hello art history geek!) and you feel like you are entering a wonderful old home when you step through the front door.
We chose a Kotura room - there are several different room styles available to request - with a view of the hotel's quiet inner courtyard. Just three days after our wedding party I was still exhausted, and beyond thrilled to find a Nespresso machine in the room's beautiful bar. Every detail in the room oozed luxury: every surface made of the finest materials. For a visually-oriented person like me it was a treat.
The courtyard of the hotel came alive at night as the Brasserie OCCO opened its doors. We ended up eating there two nights during our honeymoon, since we have picked up the Mediterranean habit of eating dinner after 9 pm and found not many restaurants in Amsterdam could accommodate late diners like us. The food at the Brasserie was excellent. And the waitstaff were fun too!
I like to acknowledge when hotels have great staff, but The Dylan's housekeeping team deserves particular praise. Our housekeeper was a no-stone-unturned type, with the kind of attention to detail any Type-A could appreciate. He/she even noticed that I have a glass of water next to my bed every evening, and began leaving bottled water there for me. So sweet.
I feel a bit weird admitting that my favourite part of staying at The Dylan was our turn-down gifts. The entire experience was perfect, but it's so often the littlest things that make hotel stays truly memorable. And I'm not talking chocolates on the pillow. The first night we received complimentary pillow cases, embroidered with a Dylan Thomas quote. Then Dylan-branded candy hearts, mini wooden clog keychains, and an ice-your-own cookie kit. It became a sort of game to return to our room in the evening and wonder what we might find.
If you're a hotel-lover like me I highly recommend using Booking.com. I use them so often I've earned a 'Booking Genius' status (it's their loyalty program) which gave me a discounted rate on The Dylan that brought it within budget for this recent graduate. Combine the thrill of a deal with a start-to-finish perfectly luxurious hotel experience and I was in heaven.
Hotel heaven. It exists people.
*psst...this post was not sponsored by The Dylan or Booking.com. I just like sharing good things.