Chateau St. Gerlach
With a location in the sweeping Geul Valley, the opulent Chateau St. Gerlach offers the area’s best luxury and amenities. Dating back to 1201, this ancient estate was a former nunnery before being purchased by hotel guru Camille Oostwegel as part of his Chateau hotels collection. The property’s history shows, with much of the original architecture preserved and incorporated into the hotel.
The hotel’s 97 rooms are luxurious but traditional. This might be a five-star accommodation but there’s an overwhelming feeling that you might be staying at grandmother’s formal, spacious country home. The rooms are spacious and comfortable but do not offer the modern amenities of other hotels in Maastricht. The amenities, however, are unparalleled. Guests have access to the hotel’s Turkish baths, indoor Roman swimming pool and indulgent spa. The grounds include a multitude of lovely gardens and a monastery park that features sculptures from the property’s past.
Interiors at the College Hotel are stylish, with crisp fabrics, sleek furniture and mod light fixtures, and the forty rooms have flat-screen TVs and custom-made furniture, some of which is on the small side. The staff—made up, in keeping with the collegiate theme, of students from Holland’s most renowned hotel-management school—is friendly and eager to please. The only caveat is the location, in the more residential southern part of the city and removed from the central canal belt. According to several locals, the restaurant, which is in the school’s former gym, is worth a trip if you’re not staying there.
De L’Europe Amsterdam
Overlooking the beautiful Amstel river, the De L’Europe originally opened in 1896, and though its 111 rooms now feature millennial tech amenities such as iPads, flat screen televisions and Bose sound systems, the overall vibe is that of an old fashioned era. Crystal chandeliers deck the bright red lobby, where guests are greeted by top-hatted doormen. And while the hotel was once the place to see and be seen, the De L'Europe has since been surpassed by newer properties.
Thanks to a partnership with the Rijksmuseum, each room at the De L'Europe features a different reproduction of a Dutch Master hanging in the museum. The color scheme in rooms can range from a heavy black and red to a softer mix of florals, and feature somewhat corporate furnishings. The best accommodations are the canal-view rooms in a newly renovated section of the hotel.
Owned by the Heineken family, the De L’Europe has a bar, Freddy’s, where regulars as well as the Heinekens themselves gather for after-work drinks. Fine dining restaurant Bord’Eau also draws a crowd, but my personal favorite was Het Terras, the expansive outdoor terrace that’s ideal for sipping wine and watching boats on a warm afternoon. There is also an impressive gym as well as an indoor pool, both facing the river, and a spa.
Location-wise, the hotel sits directly in the city center. Although the blocks just around the hotel feel a bit busy, it’s an easy walk to sights, museums and restaurants as well as quieter neighborhoods to wander and admire the historic homes (best at dusk when lights come on and you get an architectural peep show). There’s also a private jetty for exploring the city via boat, a must for first-time visitors.
The 42-room Derlon is one of Maastricht’s most coveted culinary and hospitality destinations. The restaurant’s hotel is one Maastricht’s best and always has a buzzy, lively scene in the sleek dining room and bar area. Plus, its location in Maastricht’s historic city center (Onze Lieve Vrouweplein) means that the best in shopping and cuisine are only steps away.
The spacious, sunny rooms are predictably Dutch and simple. Understated yet luxurious, all rooms are decorated in soft gray tones and feature plain furniture and exposed light fixtures. There are small touches of functional glamour (Bose sound systems, Nespresso coffee machines), but don’t expect the amenities of a traditional five-star property. For large groups or families, the hotel offers a set of impeccably decorated apartments with rooftop terraces that are just down the street from the main hotel.
The Estheréa's 93 rooms are modest in size but immaculate and feature pretty touches like bright wallpaper and reproduction antique furnishings. Bathrooms are snug (some showers remind of those on boats). Some rooms have more than one bed, ideal for families or friends traveling together. Service is personal as well as efficient (not always a given at family-run places), and afternoon tea and homemade cookies are set up daily in the somewhat dim lobby, which has plush couches and chaises. If you want the same view that you would get at the Dylan or Hotel Pulitzer for a fraction of the price, book a top-floor canal room. The hotel has few amenities but does have a small gym (although exploring the city on foot or bike is the best way to get exercise in Amsterdam).
The Amstel is still the place where many of today’s high-profile travelers (royalty, politicians, celebrities) choose to stay when in town, and frankly, the location is best for those who have a driver. Despite its size, the hotel has just 79 spacious rooms and suites, all different in layout. The details are well done: each room is stocked with L’Occitane bath products and an Illy coffee maker; some boast walls covered in pastel toile de Jouy; old-world touches include whimsical Delft pottery and well-chosen antiques. The accommodations to get are the ones on the higher floors (there are five altogether) facing the Amstel river, which snakes by the property and, from some angles, makes it appear as if on its own little island. Ask for romantic suite 422, tucked under the roof, with amazing views from four small window nooks; and Penthouse Suite 414, a red duplex extravaganza with round windows. But even a standard room like the well-laid-out No. 106, on the first floor, has high ceilings and a nice river view.
The river plays an important role in many of the common spaces as well. There’s something magical about watching the afternoon melt into the early evening, when the water sparkles with hundreds of small light reflections, while seated in the Amstel’s main lounge. It’s a great spot for a cocktail if you’re heading to De Kas restaurant, a fifteen-minute taxi ride southeast. Another draw for families or serious swimmers is the beautiful health club, which has a sunken pool facing a long floor-to-ceiling window so that, floating in the serene space, you’re eye-to-eye with the river.
Be sure to take advantage of the concierge, a charming, plugged-in Amsterdammer who can arrange everything from private canal tours to tickets for performances at the Concertgebouw. He also prides himself on staying abreast of new openings and current hot spots—an unexpected bonus from such an old-school institution.
This converted 15th-century cloister and Gothic church is now the sleekest hotel in Maastricht, with contemporary interiors and a fashionable following.
A master class in modern design and conservation, the Kruisherenhotel combines old-world charm with breathtaking contemporary design. Part of Camille Oostwegel’s Chateau hotel group, this unique property is housed in the former Kruisheren cloister, which dates back to the 1400’s. The church's nave has been transformed into a soaring lobby area, complete with breathtaking stained-glass windows and original Gothic architecture. Even more impressive, the hotel’s modern interiors perfectly contrast with the medieval architecture.
The 60 guest rooms are all unique and a stay in each one feels special–because of the configuration of the monastery no two are alike and all have been configured around the original architecture. Each room features original paintings and poems and the latest in modern technology, including flat screen TV’s and Wi-Fi.
The historic Pulitzer Amsterdam spans 25 400-year-old canal houses, offering a modern representation of Amsterdam both past and present.
The Dylan Amsterdam
Opened in 1999 as Blakes, the Dylan was designed by the brilliant Brit Anouska Hempel (of Blakes London fame), who made sure that each of the forty rooms was unique and stunning, with bold colors and furnishings. When the hotel was sold and turned into the Dylan, in 2005, the new owners made the wise decision to keep most of Hempel’s work intact, and it has aged well.
Guests pass through a 17th-century stone archway, cross a small courtyard and arrive in a series of cozy rooms outfitted with plush modern furniture where they are warmly welcomed by über professional staffers dressed head to toe in black or grey. As in all Hempel’s projects, design takes center stage: big, bold colors, often dramatic monochromes and rich reds and gold, dominate, and most of the furniture was made especially for the hotel. Among the original details that were retained are the wide-plank wooden floors and the red-brick walls of the renowned Vinkeles restaurant (formerly a bakery). In addition to the Michelin-starred* *Vinkeles, the hotel is home to a more casual bar and brasserie, OCCO, which opened in 2017 and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. A stylish and intimate lounge with wideplank wood floors, a modern fireplace and warm lighting is also located adjacent to OCCO for guests to enjoy.
Most rooms face the serene, leafy courtyard, although thanks to a new addition, the Dylan now also boasts two suites and six rooms that face the Keizersgracht. Designed (but not by Hempel, and thus lacking her inspiration) for travelers who appreciate a mod, all-white aesthetic, the two canal-view suites are spacious, airy and bright, sporting limestone bathrooms and painted floorboards. Guests will find the hotel offers room categories in two buildings, the “Original Building.” which embraces the historic and authentic design the hotel is known for, and the “Serendipity Building,” which features a more modern aesthetic.
Amenity-wise, the Dylan has bikes for guests and a small but functional gym. While there is no spa, the concierge will happily arrange in-room massages.
The Hoxton Amsterdam
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
Set in a string of 17th century rowhouses on the iconic Herengracht canal, the Waldorf is Amsterdam’s most luxurious hotel. Read Indagare's review.