Conservatorium has a fascinating past. It started as a bank, then became a music academy, and was finally transformed by renowned Italian designer Piero Lissoni into a hotel in 2012. The building itself harmoniously blends old and new, with modern steel beams and glass walls complementing original brickwork and wooden beams. The hotel houses one of the city’s largest and most decadent spas—a subterranean temple to holistic wellness, with its own hammam, Watsu pool, lap pool, and more. Its restaurants and bars are also among the trendiest and most highly acclaimed in the city. Upon arrival each guest is assigned a personal host to offer recommendations, reservations, and historical tidbits.
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On a main avenue between the Museumplein and Vondelpark, Conservatorium is within a few blocks of many of Amsterdam’s most famous sights, including the recently reopened Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Van Gogh Museum. The picturesque canals are just a short walk (or bike ride, of course) away—and perfect for some scenic exercise—as is lively Leidseplein, the city’s main square. P.C. Hoofstraat, with its many designer shops, is just around the corner, and although the Museum District isn’t best known for its top-notch restaurants, the city’s trendier neighborhoods are within easy reach.
Need to Know
Rooms: 129 rooms, 46 suites. From $585. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:Set in an airy, avant-garde atrium-style courtyard that spills out onto a sun-soaked deck, the hotel’s signature Brasserie serves modern spins on classics like steak tartare and the club sandwich all day long. A traditional Dutch afternoon tea is also offered, and should be booked in advance. The attached Lounge is a trendy spot for guests and locals to sip cocktails and fine wines, and to nosh on light bites, throughout the day and well into the evening. The Japanese-inspired Taiko is the hotel’s lively fine-dining eatery, a sleek, modern fusion of culture and design whose tasting menu regularly requires reservations. The sultry cocktail bar, Tunes, is popular with in-the-know locals. Head here to nibble small plates and on Thursday through Saturday evenings listen to the resident DJ spin. Spa and gym details: Amsterdam’s largest hotel spa and gym complex, the subterranean Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, gives all hotel guests free memberships during their stay, offering access to such decadent facilities as a lap pool, sauna, steam room, nutritionist-designed lounge bar, 1,615-square-foot gym, and fitness and wellness classes. The spa also has a wide range of wellness and beauty treatments, which include a hammam, Vichy shower, and Amsterdam’s only Watsu pool. Personal training and wellness coaching are also available.
Who's it best for: Design lovers, spa junkies, and other well-heeled travelers. Our favorite rooms:It might be cliché to call a suite the best room in the house, but there’s nothing derivative about the “I love Amsterdam” suite, a top-floor triplex with original wood beams, a limestone bathroom with a sunken bathtub under the eaves, and a private roof deck (the only one in the building) with panoramic city views. Cigar bar: Cigar buffs shouldn’t miss the mezzanine level at Tunes, which not only offers a full menu for an after-dinner smoke, but also affords excellent people watching.