By Don Heimburger
Photos by the author
Situated in the bustling heart of cosmopolitan Amsterdam, a city of some 800,000-plus residents, sits a friendly, welcoming beacon for travelers.
The Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam in the City Center is a 20-floor, 408-room haven of rest and quiet, which has been devotedly serving its guests in the Swiss tradition since 2006. The hotel’s rooms include 20 junior suites and an Ambassador Suite, as well.
With spectacular views of the Eastern Docklands area of the city, and sitting on the banks of the River IJ, the Mövenpick offers Executive rooms on the 19th and 20th floors, which includes access to the Executive Lounge, complete with its own espresso machine.
The hotel, one of the taller structures in the city, is easily seen with its large, bold red letters announcing its presence within sight of the busy Amsterdam Centraal train station, and close to the many river cruise docks that attract thousands of visitors to the city every year.
Overlooking the bay called the IJ and North Sea Canal, the hotel plays guest to many of the river cruises that begin or terminate there. Amsterdam is the second largest Netherlands port after Rotterdam, and the third largest cruise port in Europe, with as many as 140 sea cruise ships and 1,500 river cruise ships docking annually.
Such river cruise lines as AMA Waterways, Viking, Avalon, Uniworld and Tauck use the nearby harbors for docking, thus the river cruise traffic is significant, especially in the summer when the river ship sailings are in full swing. Also, ocean cruise lines such as Holland America, Regent, Royal Caribbean and Carnival frequent the port.
CONVENIENCE FACTORS OF MÖVENPICK AMSTERDAM
Not surprisingly, many of the Mövenpick guests choose to stay at the hotel right before and after their cruises, both for the convenient location and the many amenities that are offered to guests. As an example, you might be offered some of the delicious Mövenpick chocolates in the spacious lobby when you arrive. Or you might want to use the business center where you can check on your plane flight status or print out your boarding pass.
Other hotel amenities include air conditioning, coffeemakers, daily maid service, iron and ironing boards in many rooms, hairdryers, mini-bars in some rooms, all rooms are non-smoking rooms, telephone, voicemail, refrigerator, safe, ATM on site, cable/satellite television and internet access (high-speed wireless for an additional fee, or is complimentary on the executive levels).
The hotel also offers babysitting/child care services, complimentary pickup and drop-off transportation to the central train station, the services of a concierge, crib/rollaway beds, a currency exchange, gift shop, laundry/dry cleaning service, paid onsite parking, room service, wheelchair access to common/public areas and a multi-lingual staff.
In addition, there is a lifestyle studio with cardio vascular equipment, a bio-sauna, Finnish sauna, a foot spa and a relaxation area, and massages are available.
Many business travelers also use the hotel because of its convenience next to the train station and the easy connections to busy Schiphol Airport, which is 11 miles away. The nearby Amsterdam train station with its 15 tracks serves more than 162,000 passengers each day. The hotel’s frequent shuttle service to and from the station allows guests to make easy transfers for local and international trains and also for quick train transfer to the airport.
EXECUTIVE LEVEL PRIVILEGES
Guests staying on the Executive level of the hotel have access to a private lounge area on the second floor stocked with bottled soft drinks, juices and water, along with various snacks which are refilled during the day. At night between 5 and 7 p.m., the lounge features a happy hour complete with complimentary alcoholic beverages and snacks. The special second floor lounge looks out onto the harbor area of the canal, and features large windows, comfortable chairs and roomy tables.
Hotel guests can enjoy meals all day in the Silk Road Restaurant which presents creative international cuisine for up to 220 guests at a time. The restaurant is located on the second floor with a view of the River IJ. Executive Chef Jamie Sharatt and his team prepare all dishes in an open kitchen with live cooking, including a selection of starters, main dishes, drinks and desserts.
From starters like home-made roasted tomato soup or fresh Caesar salad, to Linguine Alfredo and sliced veal (Zürich style), or various varieties of sumptuous steaks, to desserts such as Mövenpick ice cream creations, cheese cake or a cheese platter, the Silk Restaurant is worth a visit. The hotel also has a wide selection of Mövenpick wines to chose from when dining.
The large, multi-menu breakfast is a feast to behold. I am not sure I have ever seen such a wide variety of foods available at any first-class European hotel as here at the Mövenpick.
From any kind of egg creations, and several meat selections including fish and bacon, to about a dozen kinds of breads, rolls and croissants, to a wide variety of delicious fresh and dried fruits, yogurts and juices, the enticing breakfast buffet offers guests an overwhelming selection of foods. I enjoyed the freshly-baked, golden-toasted croissants with various jams and jellies, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, and cereals. Cold menu items include a choice of cut meats and cheese selections. Breakfast begins at 6:30 a.m. every day at the Mövenpick. Guests may special order breakfast omelets or eggs.
SILK BAR OFFERS ITS OWN CREATIONS
The smart Silk Bar is known for its extensive cocktail menu, and features a changing bar menu every day. It even offers its own original cocktail menu, and has a large whisky selection. Patrons can also enjoy a light lunch here, a quick snack, or a cup of Mövenpick coffee.
Helpful concierges are on duty in the lobby to assist Mövenpick guests locate points of interest in the city for sightseeing, modes of transportation, obtaining tickets for plays and museums, guided city tours and other questions that require a knowledgable answer. Looking for one of the city attractions—one of the smallest houses in the city—the hotel concierge quickly pulled out a city map and pointed out how to get there. I noticed later that he was the concierge supervisor, and his photo was on the cover of the printed, four-color map he handed me.
Because of all the city canals, one thing many visitors want to do is take a canal cruise. All you have to do is step out the front door of the hotel and you can embark on one of the many flat-bottomed canal boat tours offered in the city.
The hotel is also one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the city. The hotel uses heat and cold from the outside to help set room temperatures, and the hotel only uses fair trade linen.The hotel is Green-Globe Gold certified.
The Mövenpick, in keeping with the thousands of Amsterdam residents, supports guests who wish to do as the Dutch do, and ride their way through the city on two wheels. The hotel recommends Amsterbike which offers bike rentals, bike delivery, professional cycling tours, skip-the-line tours, as well as combination deals with boat tours, and walking tours in and around Amsterdam. The hotel offers a bike rental service on site.
Also, right next door to the hotel is the Muziekgebouw, a large concert and recital hall, and the most important stage in the Netherlands for contemporary music, offering more than 250 concerts annually.
For business travelers and business meetings, the hotel offers 12 state of the art “flexible” meeting rooms with such names as the Matterhorn, the Zurich, the Paris and the Dubai room.
In our opinion the outstanding Amsterdam Mövenpick in the city center rates a very high four stars, and is definitely passionate about serving its guests.
IF YOU GO….
The hotel is located at Piet Heinkade 111, 1019BR Amsterdam. Phone is +31 (0) 20 519 1200, or email the hotel at firstname.lastname@example.org. The hotel’s general manager is Albert Rouwendal.