The Dylan Amsterdam

The Grand Canals, Amsterdam, Holland Book from

Reviewed by Laila Ram
Ultra-stylish haven in the heart of Amsterdam, where contemporary design blends successfully with Dutch colonial influences
As you walk through the 17th-century portico you can feel the history that surrounds this landmark canal mansion. However, nothing quite prepares you for the sensual delights that await within. Originally a theatre, then a Catholic poorhouse and bakery, The Dylan was created by London hotelier and designer Anoushka Hempel as a heady mix of traditional and modern, yin and yang, light and dark, East meets West. Design is the mantra here, and you can choose between various different styles of room - from the traditional creams and beiges of a classic 'Loft' room to a pared down aesthetic in the black and white 'Serendipity' rooms, or a flamboyant raspberry red in the 'Klassbol' rooms.

The Dylan's lounge and bar, redesigned and extended by the award-winning company FG Stijl, have become one of Amsterdam’s hippest hangouts, with open fires, velvet chairs and Fendi sofas. And the cuisine at Vinkeles - French-based, with modern twists - is a match for the setting: impeccably presented and delicious. All in all, it's a stunning urban sanctuary for style-seekers who fancy splashing out a bit.


  • Perfect location - along one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canals with many of the city's best museums, shops and cafés nearby
  • Our latest revisit was a truly spoiling experience and we loved all the thoughtful little touches - like a different gift with each evening's turndown)
  • Immaculate food at Michelin-starred Vinkeles restaurant, and a charming brasserie for less formal dining
  • Dramatic, ultra-chic décor - a rarity among olde-worlde Amsterdam hotels
  • Peace and tranquillity in a bustling city


  • It's almost too immaculate - you might feel guilty disturbing the perfectly piled cushions
  • Style doesn't come cheap here - and breakfast (which is excluded from the rates) costs the same as a modest dinner elsewhere
  • Some guests say service can be a little frosty, though we found it warm and welcoming
  • Some bedroom items seem to prioritise style over function

Best time to go

Any time you fancy a break. The city is pleasantly quiet during the summer months of July and August, when many of the locals are away on holiday. Bear in mind that winter can be bitterly cold but you can ice skate on the canals if they freeze over.

Our top tips

Don't miss ‘de Kaaskamer’, located in the 9 streets. It is filled, floor-to-ceiling, with the finest cheeses.

The hotel garden is seen as a secret gem by locals; a lovely, quiet place for a drink after shopping in the 9 streets.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 40
  • 2 restaurants and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available


The Dylan has 40 rooms, some up to 75 sq.m in size, and most with views of the canal or the stately interior courtyard. Room categories range from Luxury Single and Double to duplex rooms split over 2 floors. There are also several vast suites with four-poster beds and freestanding marble bathtubs.

Each category is available in various styles. The 17th-century main house, with its handcrafted beams, herringbone brick floors, classical porticoes and Dutch gables, is luxurious and opulent. The ‘Klassbol’ rooms here are predominantly raspberry red, with ginger and elephant grey accents. Their rich silks, mahogany screens and lacquered Chinese trunks are designed to recapture the feel of old-world travel to the Dutch East Indies. Similarly warm and elegant are the ‘Loxura’ rooms (including the huge signature Dylan Thomas Suite), whose copper tones reflect the colour of the Loxura butterfly after which they're named.

The ‘Serendipity’ rooms are the most recently created, bringing together simple luxury and traditional Dutch heritage; these include the 2 Jacob Van Campen signature suites. ‘Kimono’ rooms, as the name suggests, are influenced by Asian design and have black beds, navy murals and white walls. If you'd prefer classic Amsterdam style choose one of the ‘Loft’ rooms, which come in cream, beige or white, with wooden beams and city/canal views.

All rooms have satellite/internet-enabled TVs, phones, air-conditioning, desks, minibars and Bose sound systems with iPod docks; the suites also come with DVD players. Bathrooms are made of white Italian marble or limestone, and reflect the style of the room. Most have a separate bathtub and shower, and fluffy Frette bathrobes and slippers are provided. A minimalist fruit arrangement of 3 apples adds the finishing touch to each room.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


The Dylan's buffet breakfast of cold cuts and cheese is served with a selection of beautifully presented rolls and pastries in the main dining room: it’s pricey but you get an absolute feast. You can also order extras, including American pancakes, poached eggs and minute steak with fried eggs and roti.

On a fine summer’s day you can have breakfast, afternoon tea or drinks out in the lovely courtyard garden. The dramatic monochrome Long Gallery lounge and Bar Barbou are perfect for an early evening aperitif.

Dylan's Michelin-starred restaurant, Vinkeles, is so popular amongst the locals that there's usually a 1-2 week waiting list. However, a few tables are kept aside for hotel guests so if you're planning a meal here, book a table as soon as you have a room reservation. Echoing the décor of the hotel, chef Dennis Kuipers’ menu combines the traditional and the modern, with an emphasis on contemporary French cuisine. His signature dishes include roast Anjou pigeon with 5 spices, mousse of bitter caraibe chocolate, coffee couscous with marinated mango, and a delicious mascarpone sorbet. There’s also an excellent selection of vegetarian fare, including a goats cheese ravioli and a pearl barley risotto with truffles, roasted peppers and fennel.

If you really want to push the boat out (excuse the pun) you can book Vinkeles on the Water and enjoy a private dinner on the hotel's 19th-century wooden salon boat while cruising Amsterdam's canals. Available for up to 4 people, for lunch or dinner, exclusively to Dylan guests with advance notice only (see rates).

A newer addition is the Brasserie OCCO. It’s more relaxed and affordable than Vinkeles, but don’t worry, high culinary standards have been maintained. We enjoyed a tapas-like ‘lunch plate’ which included shrimp Caesar salad, a beef Carpaccio wrap and a creamy panna cotta. Those seeking a little more indulgence will love their ‘High Wine’. It's a selection of 4 different wines which match up with 4 individual amuse style bites - like high tea but boozy.

The restaurant is closed for dinner on Sundays, but there's no shortage of great little restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. Let the concierge know what you fancy and he'll come up with a list of suggestions - and make a reservation for you if necessary.

Features include:

  • 24hr room service
  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Coffee maker
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby


  • The concierge can arrange just about anything, from visits to a diamond factory to private boat rides along the canals

  • Museum lovers are spoilt for choice here - the famous Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum museums just a 15-minute stroll away, and there are modern galleries dotted around the city centre

  • Amsterdam is made for walking. Stroll along the canals, stopping off regularly at some of the wonderful cafés and shops

  • Go shopping at the trendy little boutiques in De Jordan (dubbed The Nine Streets) and the designer shops in the Museum Quarter. Most are open on a Sunday, which means you can shop till you drop

  • Get yourself a soothing in-room massage

  • The health club Splash is just around the corner if you want a workout

  • Relax in the lovely courtyard garden, the bar or the lounge, flicking through the wonderful collection of coffee table books on style and design

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets


Children are welcome and the staff will go out of their way to accommodate them. However, this is a designer hotel and some of the other guests might not appreciate noisy or boisterous children running around.

Family friendly accommodation:

An extra roll-out bed or a cot can be added to most rooms for an additional charge. Eight rooms can interconnect, creating a total of 4 family rooms (Junior Suite - Canal View and Luxury Suites only).


Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots, high chairs and small toys are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Smaller portions of the existing menu can be served on request.

Kid Friendly:

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