I rarely give a hotel five stars but the Okura impressed from arrival right through to check out and was a brilliant base for a weekend visit to Amsterdam.
The location of the hotel is on the south side of the city in De Pijp neighbourhood. It’s convenient for the Rai centre at around a ten minute walk, but to get to the more touristy centre of Amsterdam is around a twenty to thirty minute walk. It is an easy and pleasant walk with plenty of restaurants, cafes, canals and sightseeing, but if you like being right in the centre of all the action you might wish to look elsewhere. Getting to the Okura from the airport by train was a breeze - two stops from the airport is the Rai station. The journey took around ten minutes, was easy to understand and cost around €4. Its then a simple fifteen minute walk past the exhibition centre and street side cafes to the hotel.
The revolving entrance can be reached up a few steps from the Amstelkanaal. Friendly door staff welcomed us as we entered the large lobby, fantastically decorated with a stylish contemporary feel. The lady who checked us in was very helpful and perfectly fluent in English. An upgrade to a deluxe junior suite put a smile on our faces as we made our way to the lifts for our room on the fifth floor (you do need to use your key card to access the bedroom floors).
The suite gave an instant ‘wow’ factor upon entry - place the keycard in the slot by the door for the lights to automatically raise in brightness and the curtains to slowly draw open. The lights, curtains, air-conditioning, ‘do not disturb’ light and night lights can all be controlled from a unit each side of the bed. This is a brilliant and useful touch which made the room stand out. The room was very spacious with a large desk and two chairs, two armchairs with table, television unit and built in wardrobe. There was plenty of storage even for a long stay and the Nespresso machine continued the high end feel. The bathroom was complete with his and her sinks, a bath, separate toilet cubicle, separate shower cubicle with brilliant rainforest head and of course all the toiletries you could wish for. There was also a small TV above the bath which was a great touch! We eventually found the bathrobes and slippers hidden away in the wardrobe rather than hanging in the bathroom but there were plenty of towels. It was a pleasure to see no signs of ageing or mould between tiles or along the edge of the bath, nor was there any limescale on the shower etc. Along with the rest of the room the hotel was spotlessly clean!
Both TVs had decent reception and there was access to BBC channels as well as Sky News. Wifi throughout the hotel worked well, although you do have to log in every 12 hours. As an alternative there is great 4G coverage throughout the hotel. It was great to find both Euro and UK plug sockets in the room, preventing the need to share adaptors between devices - a nice touch I’ve not recently seen elsewhere.
If I was to have a complaint about the room it would be for the timing and reliability of the house keeping. Despite having the ‘do not disturb’ light on we were woken at 8am on the Saturday for house keeping. Instead we requested it later in the day via phone which took place fine, but were then offered turndown at 6pm. Asking for it to take place an hour later when we had finished changing and gone out for the evening it was disappointing to return that night to find it hadn’t happened. As a result the tea and coffee, toiletries etc hadn’t been replenished for the morning. Not enough to ruin a stay, but even with the large number of rooms it would have been nice to have this timed better and personal requests remembered.
There are two bars in the hotel, one on the ground floor lobby and another on the top 23rd floor. The latter is obviously sold on the views over Amsterdam and the hotel itself being one of the tallest buildings in the city. The bar itself though is surprisingly small with only four windows, each one with a narrow sofa style seat. The rest of the seating is around the small bar and even with a comprehensive drinks menu it did feel a little crowded late in an evening. On the evening I visited it would be fair to say that experiencing the ‘view’ was struggle. The bar staff however were very friendly and great with their English.
It was much easier to relax in the Lobby Bar on the ground floor; armchairs and sofas provided a greater level of comfort with the same, if not better, drinks menu compared to the 23rd floor. As on the upper bar complimentary nuts are provided with the drinks and the staff fantastic.
For me, there was a clear Japanese influence to the hotel and this helped with the surprise element and it standing out positively from the expectations I had. Adding the friendly staff, cleanliness and feature-full room I was totally satisfied. The location might not be ideal for everyone but despite this I would certainly return on any future visit to Amsterdam; the walk to key tourist locations wouldn’t put me off again. Following my stay I have found myself highly recommending the hotel to others in passing conversation and for these reasons I can’t justify anything less than five stars!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Contemporary High-rise Hotel with a Dutch & Japanese flair located in the cozy neighborhood De Pijp and within walking distance of the RAI Convention Center. Hotel Okura Amsterdam facilitates four restaurants of which all have been awarded by Michelin. On the 23rd floor one can find two Michelin star Ciel Bleu Restaurant. On the ground floor, Teppanyaki Restaurant Sazanka is located, this restaurant has been awarded one Michelin star and here chefs prepare your dishes right in front of you on the hot griddle. Then, Yamazato Restaurant, awarded one Michelin star as well, serves the authentic Japanese kaiseki cuisine. And lastly, Serre Restaurant is inspired by Ciel Bleu and has received a Bib Gourmand by Michelin which awards the great price-quality relation. Furthermore, Hotel Okura Amsterdam facilitates Nagomi Spa & Health were guests can relax by means of treatments and workouts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Okura Hotel Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Okura Hotel