WELCOME TO AMSTERDAM
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam. My concierge team and I are truly delighted to be able to look after you during your stay with us and we will be more than pleased to assist you in any way.
The Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam has been the most prestigious hotel in the country for more than 145 years. The tastefully decorated rooms, easy layout of the hotel, Michelin-awarded restaurant and delightful health club, make it a very comfortable and enjoyable place to be. Our beautiful terraces during the summer months are a real treat, while throughout the year our exclusive river boats outside the hotel enable our guests to tour the city's historical canals.
Aad van den Berg, Chef Concierge
LOCAL ESSENTIALS - THE PERFECT DAY
Whether you are a first time visitor or seasoned traveller, a boat trip in one of our authentic saloon boats along the canals in the morning is an unbeatable experience. We will arrange for you to meet one of the boat captains in the hotel lobby who will take you down to our own quay where the boats are moored. The skipper will then set off to show you Amsterdam's most beautiful canals while you enjoy a full breakfast or just some coffee. It's a wonderful experience - cruising past the many glorious old houses, warehouses and mansions that line the canals, passing under the countless small bridges that span the waterways. You can either be dropped off at the reopened Rijksmuseum, or be taken back to the hotel just in time for lunch.
A table with spectacular views over the Amstel River will be waiting for you at our Amstel Brasserie. After lunch you can walk along the canals to the Hermitage Amsterdam Museum or Van Gogh Museum. Enjoy the latest collection at Hermitage of Rembrandt or Van Gogh paintings on display and then, should you wish to buy an old masterpiece, an unusual antique or simply a souvenir, we suggest that you finish your afternoon with a walk along the 'Spiegelkwartier' antiques district, a charming area situated between the Hermitage and the Rijksmuseum, or do some shopping in the 'Nine Streets' area where you can find all the boutique shops. After this, return to the hotel for our famous Afternoon Tea.
To round off a perfect day in Amsterdam, we recommend a visit to the Koninklijk Concertgebouw (Royal Concert Hall), located across the road from the Museumplein. A concert by the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (Royal Concert Orchestra) in this venue is a real treat; the acoustics are among the best in the world. For dinner, choose to either start off the evening with a pre-theatre meal in the restaurant adjacent to the Concertgebouw, called Brasserie Keyzer, or conserve your appetite for a relaxed, after-concert dinner. A table with spectacular views over the Amstel River is waiting for you at our very own restaurant La Rive. Unwind with a signature cocktail after a fun-packed day at A bar.
Bicycles are the fastest and most efficient way of exploring the city, however they can also be a bit of a nuisance when walking around the city. Before crossing the road, always take care to look in all directions, as you often don't hear them approaching.
Please try and use TCA or MTA taxis only. You ask for a taxi to pick you up from any location. The phone number for TCA is: +31 (0)20 777 7777, and for MTA call: +31 (0)6 260 68 999. Always ask for a receipt as this comes in handy should you have forgotten something. When in doubt about the service given, always ask for a receipt and also take a note of the vehicle's registration number.
Service is always included in The Netherlands. Only when the service has been exceptional, is it customary to leave a gratuity of 5-10 percent of the total amount. This applies for restaurants, taxis and the entire service industry.
Amsterdam is a very flat and compact city and as a result the city centre is easy to walk around. If you get lost, simply find a nearby main canal (Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht or Prinsengracht) and walk in the direction of rising house numbers, which will finally bring you back onto the Amstel river. When reaching the Amstel river, you should be able to see the Intercontinental Amstel Hotel on your right, on the far side of the river.
DID YOU KNOW ?
The Amstel Hotel was originally planned by Dr. Samuel Sarphati to be four times as big. Unfortunately, Dr. Sarphati died before the property was completed. When the hotel opened in 1867 the most expensive rooms were on the ground floor as lifts did not exist yet. In the first years of existance, the Hotel owed its exceptional clientele of royals and celebrities to Dr. Mezger who started his practice in the Amstel Hotel during the opening years. In the Amstel Health Club of the hotel you can still find a remembrance plaque.
AMSTERDAM'S THREE CROSSES
The city's official motto "Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig" (Valiant, Resolute, Merciful) which is displayed on the coat of arms, was bestowed on it by Queen Wilhelmina in 1947 in recognition of the city's bravery during World War II.
Amsterdam: 17th Century
In the 17th Century Amsterdam was the most important city in the world in terms of trade. The most successful businessmen had houses on the main canals and in the nearby countryside along the rivers, like the Amstel and the Vecht. The inner ring of city canals has recently been nominated by UNESCO as World Heritage.
AMSTERDAM: CAPITAL CITY
Although Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands, the Houses of Parliament, ministries and embassies are all based in The Hague.
Built in 1648, this former town hall was built during the Golden era of the Netherlands but turned into a Royal Palace in 1800 by Napoleon's brother Louis. As the Amsterdam soil consists mainly of marshy subsoil (peat) it was built on 13,600 piles driven 20 metres deep.
WHAT TO PACK
Summertime is usually mild, wintertime can be cold, with occasional periods of rain. Appropriate clothing is necessary. A cardigan, summer jacket or raincoat is recommended.
It is recommended to exchange some money to cover airport incidentals and transportation to the hotel. Best Euro rates are given from nearby ATM machines. Changing dollars can be done at the cashier or from the GWK exchange offices at the main stations or at various places in town and also from cashier desk in the hotel itself.