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Bilderberg Garden Hotel 4.0

Oud-Zuid, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Quiet, residential location within walking distance of park and museums
  • 2015-17 renovations resulted in contemporary, stylish interiors
  • Spacious rooms with big windows, armchairs, minibars, and flat-screen TVs
  • Executive Rooms and Suites get free (limited) minibars and Nespresso machines
  • All-day French restaurant run by chef with two Michelin stars
  • Hip bar with lots of seating open late
  • Pleasant outdoor terrace with couches and dining sets
  • Five meeting rooms, the largest of which can accommodate 150 people
  • Bikes available for rent on-site
  • Free property-wide Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Removed from the city center
  • Gym is across the street and requires a fee
  • Hotel lacks a spa and pool
  • Complaints of shower/tub combos getting floors wet

Bottom Line

The four-pearl Bilderberg Garden Hotel is a modern, if unexceptional, property located in a quiet, residential suburb a 15-minute drive from Amsterdam's tourist center. Although not within some downtown sights, guests are a 10-minute walk from Vondelpark and 15 minutes from Rijksmuseum. Thanks to renovations in 2015-17, interiors are contemporary and attractive, including in the cozy bar and all-day restaurant run by a two-Michelin-starred chef. Although a tad generic, the 124 rooms are clean-lined and have some local flair, outfitted with photos of Amsterdam, kettles, bathrobes, and air-conditioning. Suites have Nespresso machines and living spaces. A notable downside is the hotel's lack of a spa, and its fitness center being across the street. Travelers willing to pay a bit more for a central location should consider the Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District, though it lacks a restaurant and gym.

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Scene

Contemporary, upscale property that feels a bit generic

Despite its name, the hotel doesn't truly have a garden, apart from the pleasant outdoor terrace overlooking the street and parking lot, and its exterior is jarringly modern and bland for the historic neighborhood. Still, renovations in 2015-17 resulted in a contemporary, attractive look that blends lots of wood, plaid patterns, and dark hues. For instance, the bar has a hip mix of cowhide print, blue ceilings, hanging bulbs, and tufted seating. A built-in fire display and leather booths add teal couches, and plenty of sleek dark wood furniture. The French restaurant, meanwhile, has distressed wood floors and wood slats on the ceiling, plus a mix of dining sets and blue curved booths with plaid armchairs on one side. Two walls of windows keep the space bright. Business conferences and all-day meetings are often held here, so the lobby does sometimes see groups of corporate travelers and meeting attendees lounging and chatting over a coffee or beer. The atmosphere is quiet and best for travelers who want an affordable rate and don't mind being outside the city center.

Unfortunately, the hotel doesn't live up to its advertised five-star rating. Travelers wanting a true luxury hotel should consider Hotel Estherea, though its flamboyant interiors won't appeal to everyone. The Conservatorium Hotel is a great five-pearl option, but rates are much higher than the Bilderberg Garden's.

Location

On a leafy, residential street in the Old South neighborhood

Tucked away on a tree-lined street between large family homes, the Bilderberg Garden Hotel is in the upscale area of Old South Amsterdam (Oud-Zuid in Dutch). The area is primarily residential and removed from the city center, but the hotel is within walking distance of plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Vondelpark is a 10-minute walk and the Museum Quarter is nearby, with major attractions like the Museumplein's (Museum Square's) Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum within a 20-minute walk. Trams stop down the street from the hotel and can take travelers to the city center in about 15 minutes. Schiphol Amsterdam Airport is about a 15- to 20-minute drive away.

Rooms

Contemporary, if generic, rooms with minibars, kettles, and robes

The 124 air-conditioned rooms are spacious and were renovated in 2017 for a contemporary, clean-lined look. The overall design is a bit generic, though appealing, consisting of brown patterned carpet, basic wood furniture, and gray drapes and accent walls behind the beds. Triptych photograph of Amsterdam, blue plaid bed runners, and blue throw pillows add some personality. Big windows let in lots of light and keep the spaces bright. Sufficient amenities include minibars, kettles alongside tea and coffee, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, desks, and armchairs. Wardrobes contain safes. Executive Rooms and Suites add Nespresso machines and free minibars (though these have just a few items), and the latter have separate living spaces with sofa beds and stereos. White-tiled bathrooms are underwhelming for an advertised five-star hotel, all outfitted with shower/tub combos that reportedly often get the floors wet. Hose-style hairdryers, L'Occitane toiletries, and bathrobes and slippers are provided.

Features

No spa or pool, but a well-regarded French restaurant and free Wi-Fi

The Bilderberg Garden Hotel lacks some amenities expected of a four-pearl property, notably a spa and pool. Additionally, guests looking to work up a sweat will have to cross the street to reach a fitness center, and it requires a fee for access. On the upside, the on-site Restaurant De Kersentuin opened in 1980 and is something of an Amsterdam institution. The well-regarded eatery is run by a chef with two Michelin stars, and serves buffet breakfasts and a la carte French fare for lunch and dinner, as well as tasting menus in the evenings. The attractive bar has a full bar menu and offers light meals. Bikes can be rented on-site, and there are three fully equipped meeting rooms available for up to 150 people. Free Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the hotel.

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Things You Should Know About Bilderberg Garden Hotel

Address

Dijsselhofplantsoen 7, Amsterdam, North Holland Province 1077 BJ, The Netherlands

Phone

+31 20 570 56 00

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