Historic luxury in Amsterdam
274 Rooms / 7 Suites
The entrance to the Red Light District might seem a rather incongruous place to open a luxury hotel like NH Collection Barbizon Palace. But that’s what happened in 1988 when Amsterdam’s local government wanted to improve the reputation of the area. In 2002, this former Golden Tulip Hotel became the NH Collection Barbizon Palace — part of the NH Collection Amsterdam, all of which are hotels with historical significance.
In the case of the Barbizon Palace, this is evident everywhere: 19 typically Dutch 17th-century houses were converted into the hotel you see today, and their façades are still very much intact.
Inside the hotel, you’ll spot bare brickwork and wooden beams that are original features from these historic homes. Also part of the hotel is the Sint Olofskapel (Saint Olof’s Chapel), which dates back to the 15th century and makes for an atmospheric space to hold events throughout the year.
But it’s not just about history at NH Collection Barbizon Palace. The hotel restaurant has made quite a name for itself, too. The esteemed Restaurant Vermeer, headed up by chef Chris Naylor, specializes in natural produce, elevating vegetables to new culinary heights. The interior is informal, simple, and what the Dutch would call gezellig.
• The entrance hall is designed to look like a street with “buildings” along each wall. The buildings house the restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, business suite and so on.
• Thanks to the monument status of the buildings making up the hotel, every room is unique because certain original features cannot be changed or moved.
• All bedrooms and suites feature wallpaper designed to resemble the latticework of small windows you see on many buildings around the city. In each “window” is a quote of one of NH’s company values.
• History enthusiasts will love Sint Olof’s Chapel (which dates back to 1400, although much of it had to be reconstructed in the 1990s), as well as the beautiful wooden beams in the junior suites that make you feel like you’re staying in a true Amsterdam apartment.
• The meeting rooms are worth a look even if you’re not in Amsterdam on business. One of them features a huge classical painting on the ceiling (gifted by the Dutch government), and another boasts an original wooden fireplace and glass chandelier.
Things to Know
• Despite the hotel’s location in one of the busiest areas of the city — sandwiched between Centraal Station and right along the canal in the Red Light District — excellent soundproofing on the windows means the rooms are remarkably quiet.
• Although the Amsterdam hotel was mostly renovated in 2016, some renovations are still ongoing.
• Private underground parking is available, but only for 27 cars, so be sure to book your spot in advance.
• Although there aren’t any spa facilities, there is a fitness center that’s fully kitted out with equipment and weights, as well as complimentary water and apples.
• The Amsterdam hotel has 274 rooms, of which 11 are apartments opening onto the bustling Zeedijk, one is a master suite with kitchen, four are junior suites set into the wooden eaves of the building, 52 are premium rooms and the remainder are superior rooms.
• Many of the accommodations have views over Centraal Station, the Zeedijk, Prins Hendrikkade, and the boats pulling up along the water outside.
• Tech amenities include USB ports, Nespresso coffee machines and large flat-screen TVs.
• All rooms have a comfortable seating area, as well as a sizeable desk.
• In the bathroom, expect a heated mirror (which stops it from steaming up, even right after showering), rain shower (some rooms have baths as well), professional hairdryer (Black Mambo), bathrobes and slippers.
• Restaurant Vermeer is the jewel in the luxury hotel’s crown. It focuses on seasonal, often plant-based dishes in a sophisticated setting.
• Breakfast is served in Hudson's Terrace & Restaurant, which offers plenty of healthy, local options to start your day.
• The bar (which is soon to be renovated and renamed) serves coffees and drinks in a comfortable, living room-style atmosphere.