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Inside The Dylan Amsterdam, One of the Legendary Designer Boutique Hotels

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  Site Where: Keizersgracht 384, Amsterdam, Netherlands
August 11, 2011 at 6:36 PM | by | Comment (1)

Unless you're staying at the The Dylan Amsterdam, you could easily walk right by it along the picturesque Keizersgracht canal without realizing you were passing one of the original five-star, design-oriented boutique hotels of the world. In car terminology, The Dylan is a "sleeper." So calm on the outside and blending into its 17th century surroundings in De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets) neighborhood, The Dylan conceals its opulent modernity only for those staying the night to discover.

Indeed staying here and experiencing the intimate service isn't cheap; nights in one of The Dylan's 40 rooms go from $460 and up, but for that you get seriously stylish (and tech-friendly) design, a location to make others jealous, free and fast WiFi, a massive bathroom and hotel staff that will go so far as to remember your name and help you park and lock one of the hotel's rental bikes.

If you're booking a room at The Dylan, the coolest thing is that you can choose from several room styles to match your own aesthetic. The newest (just unveiled this spring) are the butterfly-inspired "Loxura" rooms, with leather headboards, pearl shell detail, jade and copper mirrors and an extremely updated bathroom with vanity, separate bath, shower and toilet (and Zenology toiletries). The Loxura room is what you'll see pictured in the gallery, but here are the others, including the stark "Zensation White" and the Dylan Thomas suite.

Oh—what's that giant cabinet off to the side of the room? Open its mother-of-pearl handles—it's a minibar! The Dylan has had these cabinets custom made for the rooms, and they contain everything from an espresso machine and bottle opener to Pringles and a fridge of champagne and soda. Other little extras include the plug panel that pops up from the desk, the TV with built-in access to social media like Twitter and Facebook, and the easy lighting controls to dim and create a sexier mood.

If you do ever make it out of your room, the hotel has Vinkeles, a Michelin-starred restaurant, right downstairs, as well as a large sunny courtyard, a small bar and a lush indoor lounge with fireplace. The latter is kind of a hangout for celebs in town trying to stay under the radar, since The Dylan only has 40 rooms and therefore the public areas will never become a rowdy, noisy party. Inviting anyone over for a drink in the lobby would almost feel like inviting them into your private space, like telling a secret.

And, surprise surprise; one of our favorite parts was actually the staff, who genuinely all seemed like happy people with good humor, and all proud of their hotel. Don't neglect to ask them about renting out one of the hotel's custom bikes, or taking it up a notch with an evening on the hotel's private canal boat.

Disclosure: We stayed at The Dylan as a guest of Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (@VisitHolland), but rest assured that all photos and opinions presented are completely our own.

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for HotelChatter]

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