A Dam good hotel
Hotel TwentySeven is not just a hotel, says the blurb on its website, it’s a destination, and when you read that you think, yeah right, a load of pretentious twaddle, but then you step through the door and…..you don’t want to leave.
From the moment the butler (yes, you read that right) ushers you from the ground floor lobby into the lift up to the cozy third-floor office where you check in over a glass of Moet, you know you’ve landed somewhere special.
However, it isn’t the elegance of this turn-of-the-century building or the exquisite, no expense spared décor, or even the presence of said butler that makes the HotelTwentySeven so fabulous because, let’s face it, this is exactly what you’d expect from a five-star deluxe hotel that comes with a high price tag. What’s so refreshing about this place is the fact that while service at many upscale hotels is as stiff as a starched collar, at HotelTwentySeven, it’s relaxed, friendly and comes with a healthy dose of banter, instead of the sort of sycophantic bowing and scraping that makes me squirm inside.
Check-in completed, our butler (I just love saying that) loaded our Champagne glasses onto a silver tray and escorted the five of us to our suite, a grand two-bedroom, two-bathroom affair over-looking The Dam Square. Installed with the most modern of modern gadgetry, from self-opening-closing loos seat lid to mood lighting in the vast marble walk-in showers, it was also sumptuous and elegant with hand-made Italian curtains, Nepalese carpets and luxe velvet wallpaper.
As you’d expect, there was a giant plasma TV fitted with Bluetooth that connected our iPhones to its sound system, a coffee machine, rainmaker showers, a Jacuzzi bath, Dyson hairdryer and two different kinds of posh toiletries. The temperature in all three rooms could be individually controlled from an iPad, which you could also use to change the lighting in the living room, open and close the shutters and all sorts of other stuff we didn’t bother with.
But it was the human-touches I loved, such as when we called the butler to request an iron and an ironing board, he took one look at my friend’s silk trousers and returned with a steamer and did the job for her.
Sinking into the giant squishy sofa in our own private living room, it was hard to get up again to go explore Amsterdam, so it was good that we didn’t have to stagger far. HotelTwentySeven is slap bang in the middle of the town, opposite the Royal Palace, so almost all attractions are within walking distance. However, if you do need a cab, the staff in the lobby will arrange one in a jiffy.
I’d recommend starting the evening in the hotel bar, an opulent but intimate space filled with gold poofs, velvet chaise longs and candlelit tables for two, plus a shiny black Onyx bar and a waiter to rival Tom Cruise. Like I said, it’s hard to drag yourself away from somewhere so glorious, and even harder after sinking a couple of cocktails, but it would be a shame not to explore some of the nightlife on the hotel’s doorstep, after all, this is Amsterdam.
If you’re looking for a fabulous restaurant nearby, I’d recommend The Duchess, a beautiful Belle Époque-style dining room inside the W Hotel, only a short walk away. However, you should ask the TwentySeven to make you a restaurant reservation well in advance as Amsterdam gets really busy, especially at weekends.
The hotel will also help you plan any and book excursions you fancy. We took a private bike tour of Amsterdam, using a company recommended by Hotel TwentySeven, which also offered to make the reservation for us before we arrived.
Unfortunately, the cold air during the bike ride aggravated my friend’s already sore eye, and when she woke the next morning it was the size of a golf ball, so the hotel summoned a private doctor (we had to pay, of course).
We missed breakfast while dealing with the medical emergency, but no problem, the elegant dining room was kept open for us and if the staff were annoyed that they had to work at least an hour longer to serve us they didn’t really show it. We didn’t have much of an appetite due to the sore eye saga (not to mention the blow-out meal at the Duchess the night before), but the omelettes they served were delicious, as was the coffee.
If I’m being picky and trying to find fault with the Hotel TwentySeven, I’d say that the self-opening-closing loo lid was a bit unnecessary, especially as it sometimes moved in the wrong direction, leaving us hopping on the spot. Also it was a tad embarrassing to have to point out as we were checking out that we’d been charged €20 extra for an additional bed, which was supposed to have been included in our room rate. Finally, the hotel was hard to find due to the entrance being so very, very discreet. However, I really am being picky.
The only real problem with staying in somewhere so splendid is the disappointment of returning home to a big pile of ironing and having no butler to do it for you.
I miss Jos. Sigh
But this, not so much