Autumn is a fine time to take in this design city’s restaurant-lined canals, boutique hotels, and world-renowned art galleries.
Built in the 17th century as residences and offices for wealthy merchants, Canal House was converted in 2011 into an elegant 23-bedroom boutique hotel on the Keizersgracht, or the “Emperor’s Canal.” Restored timber beams and ornate ceilings complement the sleek leather headboards, bespoke ebony-stained furniture, silk wallpaper, and deep-purple velvet curtains in the guest rooms. The hotel also boasts a large private garden, a great room, and an intimate, chandelier-lit bar for a rendezvous any time of day.
Canal House, 148 Keizersgracht, canalhouse.nl.
Conceived by the eco-chic Dutch interior designer Robert Kolenik, Skyrestaurant Pi (a reference to its circular shape) offers guests unprecedented views of the city from the top floors of the brand-new Fletcher Hotel—not to mention a lounge featuring a Whaletone, a huge piano that resembles a diving whale. Menu options range from wild bass medallions stuffed with lobster to grilled prime rib to pan-fried wolffish with mussels, all with wine pairings.
Skyrestaurant Pi, Fletcher Hotel, 50 Schepenbergweg, fletcherhotelamsterdam.nl.
Beauty Takes Time
After a decade-long, $480 million renovation, the Netherlands’ grandest museum, the Rijksmuseum, relaunched in April with much fanfare. Its 80 redesigned rooms showcase art spanning 800 years, including Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch, as well as works by Johannes Vermeer, Jan Gregor van der Schardt, and Jan Steen. The space itself, meanwhile, is just as breathtaking as the art: Spanish architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz, as well as interior designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte (the master behind several of the redesigned Louvre galleries), gave the massive Gothic building a complete makeover, converting its inner courtyards into a 24,000-plus-square-foot atrium and adding two cafés, a garden, and a shop. They also created a modern Portuguese sandstone-and-glass pavilion to house the Asian art and artifact collection.
Rijksmuseum, One Museumstrrat, rijksmuseum.nl.
“Ming: Emperors, Artists and Merchants in Ancient China”
In collaboration with China’s Nanjing Museum, priceless Ming Dynasty artifacts will be displayed alongside examples of blue-and-white Delftware from the Netherlands.
10/5–2/2/2014, De Nieuwe Kerk, Dam Square, nieuwekerk.nl.
“Van Gogh at Work”
More than 200 rarely seen objects—including the artist’s sketchbooks, letters, and paint tubes—come to the Van Gogh Museum from Paris’s Musée d’Orsay.
Runs until 1/2/2014, Van Gogh Museum, 7 Paulus Potterstraat, vangoghmuseum.nl.
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
Housed in the former Amsterdam Public Library, this fresh, modern, 122-room hotel offers guest rooms with pristine white bedding accented by yellow furnishings.
587 Prinsengracht, andaz.hyatt.com.
Renovated by the architecture firm MVRDV, this boutique hotel, which reopened in 2004, has 117 unique rooms.
34 Oostelijke Handelskade, lloydhotel.com.
This former Victorian-era music conservatory was masterfully converted into a boutique hotel with 129 guest rooms—complete with a glass atrium and an underground pool—designed by the Milan-based designer Piero Lissoni in 2011.
27 Van Baerlestraat, conservatoriumhotel.com.
This two-Michelin-star establishment showcases innovative molecular gastronomy, served up in multiple tiny dishes.
5 Oosterdokskade, Amsterdam, samhoudplaces.com.
Designed by BK Architects and housed in the Sir Albert hotel, Izakaya offers sushi, small plates, and robata-grill offerings.
2–6 Albert Cuypstraat, izakaya-amsterdam.com.
The French-inspired Lion Noir is admired for its deep green interiors—complete with a taxidermied peacock and hanging bird cages.
28 Reguliersdwarsstraat, lionnoir.nl.
An ode to the markets of Catalonia, this hip spot features Spanish tapas with a contemporary twist.
4 Oostelijke Handelskade, mercat.nl.