A trip down memory lane... Or perhaps June which seemed forever long ago but I've finally come to editing my pictures from my visit to Amsterdam and am truly missing everything about the city.
Amsterdam's a weird place and was actually one of my top destinations to visit in Europe. It's an extremely walkable city (or bicycle-friendly despite its mad bicycle traffic everywhere you go) with its Instagram-haven-canals and its proximity to the UK. The only thing I would be dying go back to do, right now, is probably to take a river cruise tour but it seemed difficult to put together considering I was only there for 3 days.
Prior to my visit, I searched (and searched) for hotels and tried to understand where is the best place to stay. Amsterdam is quirky - everywhere seems rather central. The fact that most hotels are actually located at the Centraal station is rather a pun itself, but it's extremely busy and touristy due to its neighbouring red light district where locals would seriously deter away from. So for hotels, look beyond the Centraal and aroudn the edges of the canals.
You'll find the Andaz Amsterdam close to the city centre, but also close to my favourite area - Vondelpark which I suppose is known as the Mayfair of Amsterdam. It's much more peaceful and brings a very New York feel to this Dutch area. Adding on to the whole quirkiness of the city - Andaz is no less so; the basement itself is decorated in plush red walls. There's a garden separating the two buildings of the hotel known as the Alice in Amsterdam with its tulip chairs and holographic lucky cats. Lifts walls are decorated with a wallpaper imitating a book shelf. There's also eccentric statues laying here and there where I even found hotel staff posing next to them for pictures (new or otherwise, to apply to both staff and statues).
In terms of the food - Bluespoon serves fresh seafood and local produce. The modern side of the hotel continues with the restaurant's open kitchen. Chef Kasper Stiekem sources local ingredients to create European cuisine with a Dutch edge. I didn't really plan where to eat prior to my trip because it was difficult to find restaurants that serve good Dutch food. Amsterdam is not a place that advertises food very well (though its stroopwaffels may) and this makes it difficult to find quality food. I even remember passing by a Thai restaurant spontaneously, and wandered into it (it was closed, sadly, but I would've happily had my Pad Thai if I could). Going to hotels for food is a safe option and ironically Sunday Brunch here is well-advertised in the city. So if you happen to be in Amsterdam over a weekend, and so luckier than I was, be sure to visit this quirky space.
See more on Andaz Amsterdam.
To be continued... #tbc