I have visited the city of Amsterdam for the last 20 years and I always loved its unique architecture, canals and what this city has to offer when it comes to unique experiences. So for me the world of luxury is all about exploring new places to stay and eat. I am a huge fan of family owned hotels because they certainly offer a very personal stay. The owners of Dikker & Thijs have along history with this hotel since 1995 and in 2016 this hotel is redefining itself. So when I entered the building, I soon realised that even though the staff were very young, they offered an excellent personal service. A hotel stay for me is all about the extra mile staff members are willing to go no matter how busy they are.
I also noticed the staff were wearing a lot of denim which gave an instant message about the hotel, they were in touch with their trendy customers. This hotel hosts many tourists and therefore those suits just did match the hotel let alone the city of Amsterdam. Amsterdam fashion is very much about comfort and denim. So it came to no surprise to see that some staff members in the restaurant were wearing denim aprons.
As far as shopping locations go you cannot get better access than this. The Dikker & Thijs Hotel is located right along the Prinsengracht Canal, in the heart of Amsterdam’s charming city center and close to the Leidse Square. The tram from the central station stops right opposite the hotel. Therefore you’re capturing the very essence of the shopping hub of the city. There are many restaurants and bars close by and it is a great location to understand how the Dutch live, work rest and play.
Superior Room With Canal View
My room was a superior room with canal view, this was fantastic as you could really capture the Amsterdam culture. The room was 30 square metres and I loved how it was situated on the corner of the main building overlooking the Leidsestraat and the beautiful Prinsengracht. On the Prinsengracht, there are unique denim shops to explore and plenty of boutiques with some literally opened recently. This street has very edgy leather goods worth investing in. So make sure you take the time to explore this street and what Amsterdam is all about.
All superior rooms are equipped with a flat screen television, super up to date air conditioning, hairdryer, safe, minibar, free coffee and tea facilities. The free WiFi is very good which is important during my stay. But with a view like I did not need the TV, it was nice to put your feet up and watch the people cycle around and watch the canal traffic. I also loved seeing the trams going up an down, I never had a tram view like this before. I have been told that the rooms are all going to be refurbished soon which is exciting too.
Thijs Restaurant – Beer Oysters & Snails
Once I starting exploring the hotel I was very impressed on how the restaurant looked, I was told that it had just been refurbished. It was my birthday so what a great way to celebrate in this restaurant. First a started with some local new beers, a new trend of micro brewing has emerged in Amsterdam. Young innovative locals are brewing their own beer and literally delivering it door to door themselves. So my first beer was actually created by two women called Gebrouwen door Vrouwen. I drank a Gin Weizen which was really yummy, I also tried the Tricky Triple. I like this last one because the beer tasted very different and it was refreshing to see so many new labels. It also reflects that this hotel are very keen to promote local produce as well as up and coming businesses.
Beer With Oysters
The restaurant is all about high quality food without the intimidation of feeling uncomfortable. The staff all serve people walking by as well, so this urban, rustic approach to both the menu as well as offering new beverages is why you should come here.
To kick start the evening, Marc my waiter, gave me an aperitif called an Aperol Spritz, which was very refreshing as it was a hot summer night in Amsterdam. My entree was teamed with another beer, brewed by two local guys and the name of the company is called, two chefs brewing. It was unusually presented with Fines de Claires Oysters. So that stereotypical champagne drink we are so use to, has now been replaced with a Louie Louie white beer. You are either gong to love this or not. In my case the combination of oysters and beer worked perfectly
I am a huge fan of trying new things and even though I have eaten snails before. I was keen to see how the Dutch could do it, the vineyard snails with homemade garlic butter were the best I’ve had. Little did I know the chef actually was trained in France, so they were fantastic and I did drink it with my beer too.
Main Course Bavette
Marc had a clear picture in mind of what I should try and on this occasion I chose the most popular sought after dish on the menu. I was given Bavette which is a gorgeous steak teamed with seasonal vegetables, french fries and homemade mayonnaise. The Dutch use a lot of mayonnaise especially with chips and this was the best homemade mayonnaise I’ve tasted. Marc gave me a bottle of red wine called Beaurempart a nice grande reserve from France, the combination was fabulous. The service by the very young Marc was impressive, as he knew everything about the history of the food and anything he was serving. Marc rocked the denim apron too and his relaxed approach created a confident rapport which I like to see in our youth today.
Gin Made In Holland
This refined modern image of Gin in the last year has been a revolution when it comes to alcohol marketing, but it has a few skeletons in the closet in terms of its history. Did you know that it was the Dutch that created Gin. A Dutch scientist in the 1600’s, originally formulated juniper berry oil as a medicine and it was added to distilled spirit along with botanicals in order to make it more palatable. It was so palatable in fact, that cases of reported illnesses soared as the masses tried to acquire this ‘genever’ that was only available in pharmacies. The demand was so high that numerous small distilleries emerged and the commercial, non-medicinal version was born.
I was given five Gin’s to taste without the tonic water, and they were all very different on the pallet. It made sense to try the very original Gin called Genever first. My favorite I had to say was from Belgium called Copper Head. Once my world of Gin was over Marc completed the night with a Crème brûlée. I often eat this both in Spain and France but on this occasion it was the best Crème brûlée I have had in a very long time.
Breakfast is very simple with a small selection to choose by. The selection is healthy and Holland is known for its great yogurt choice and bread. So if you don’t want to explore breakfast outside the hotel this is a nice way to wake up.
In the world of luxury today, dining out with people that make you feel welcome and at home is more important than ever. To have staff cater for your personal needs during travelling for me is so essential. The Dikker & Thijs Fenice Hotel offers a very update approach to where hotel experiences are heading. The hotel is perfectly situated in one of Amsterdam’s trendy and vibrant areas. Having everything so close makes the stay that much more fun and convenient. For me I like to stay in places where I would choose to return. For the staff alone the Dikker & Thijs Fenice Hotel is one of those places I would love to come back.
- Room reviewed: Superior room with canal view
- Website: www.dikkerandthijshotelamsterdam.com
- Address: Prinsengracht 444, 1017 KE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Phone: +31 (0)20 620 1212