Luxury Hotels

AMSTERDAM – 6

Hotel De L’Europe Amsterdam is more than a lifestyle collection of art gallery, great food and drink and retail. It is also a heritage hotel, first comiled from various adjourning structures back in 1896. The latest upgrade, just coming to completion, is the opening of 14 designer suites, of which the Van Gogh tribute will undoubtedly be the most famous.

Suite #248  is authorised by the painter’s family, the foundation in his name, and the Van Gogh Museum. Surprisingly it is not painted sunflower yellow but pale grey, but the big working desk is that sock-it-to-‘em yellow. On the wall above hangs your choice of the most recognisable Van Goghs, perhaps a sunflower special. A standing caddy holds a collection of his sketch books, and empty ones for you to fill. A special memory, too, will undoubtedly be the personalised welcome note from Willem Van Gogh, the family’s representative.

Girlahead’s favourites of these specialty suites is probably headed by #148, an all-white interior by couturier Ronald van der Kemp who works as RVDK (he’s known for recycling fabrics and designing with already-loved bits and pieces). The suite has a blissful all-white bed held in a white frame, with string-like white curtains around. A rare burst of colour is a collage on the underside of the bed’s over-hang – see below. By contrast, suite #252 is not for the faint-hearted. It is a riot of colour, from blueberry mousse as you enter through to orange and reds – this one is designed by the Curacao-based Janssen sisters, Tisja and Ziarah Janssen, with support from their artist parents.

Girlahead stayed this time in end-suite #102, which had a rather sobering living room – the designers are a Dutch married couple in their 40s, Dax Roll and Joyce Urbanus, working as Nicemakers. High points were the lighter-brighter bedroom, and the over-Amstel view from three balconies. It was also a delight to have newly-introduced Lifestyle Liaisons, butlers and more, very willing and capable of doing almost anything.

And a final highlight in this memorable return to Heineken’s Hotel De L’Europe was undoubtedly the property’s golf buggy, which in this bike-chaos of a city is the best ‘house car’ imaginable. See above.