The gal loved her brief introduction to the first Kimpton outside the USA, Kimpton De Witt Hotel Amsterdam and now was a perfect opportunity to see what it was like staying at this friendly old-and-new luxury hotel. It seems that brand-Kimpton has got through to American travellers, all ages but mostly child-free. Since their flights typically arrive early morning, they are delighted to find a multi-function lobby area, with lots of seating, and sockets and good WiFi, and always-there boiling water in a silver samovar, for make-your-own teas.
From five every night the lobby becomes cocktail-hour, or rather 60 minutes of wine-tasting, liberally poured by hotel managers – see the image above. There are so many fascinating spaces in this 274-room hotel, a conversion of a Crowne Plaza. I like the deliberately industrial feel of Wyvers Bar.Restaurant, a free-standing facility to 90% of the guests who come in from Nieuwzijds but, for hotel guests, it is reached via a zigzag walkway past an inner courtyard with hanging hammock-seats. Come to breakfast and there is no buffet but you are immediately brought a blue and white Delft-look Villeroy & Boch plate holding glass cocottes of cut fruit, and honey with granola atop.
A server in dark grey, matching the ceiling, comes round with a wicker panier of croissants and petit pains au chocolat. The menu lists such What’s For Breakfast offerings as a cauliflower and tabbouleh salad but I must confess I preferred my simpler order for two eggs sunny side up produced eggs with the crinkly-crisp edges that I just adore. Plain wood tables have teatowel-look napkins and matching wood Peugeot mills (I have only just learned that, far from being a modern diversion of the car maker, Jean-Pierre Peugeot started by making coffee grinders in the late 18th century). I eschewed a pay-extra ginger-glow smoothie in favour of yet more excellent coffee and went back up to 622.
This, dear readers, is decidedly Best In House. 622, the Penthouse Suite, is duplex, with 14 spiral wood stairs taking me to a living space where everything, desk and chairs, feels so silk smooth I simply, well, stroke them. Sofas are covered in soft tweed, the bathroom has a most useful electric rail, and easy-pump Marie Stella-Maris toiletries. I love the bright blue floral cushions on the bed, which delightfully is not too soft. The terrace, with 270-degree views of Amsterdam’s rooftops, is big enough for cocktails for 20. Such heavy hardcover books as Amsterdam Canals, Surf Odyssey: The Culture of Wave Riding; High Tide Surf Odyssey; David Hicks’ A Private World of Interiors indicate that this is a modern-luxury hotel for Nihi-type globalists when in Amsterdam. And being ten minutes’ walk to the station is such a plus: I got there in ample time and, as contrast to yesterday’s gourmet lunch, I left town after snacking on a paper bowl of just-fried frites and a bitterballen croquette. NOW TOUR THE LOBBY, AND THEN THE PENTHOUSE SUITE