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Finding my own idea of luxury at InterContinental Amstel, Amsterdam

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I was back at the InterContinental Amstel in Amsterdam last Monday.  I reviewed the hotel last year so I won’t run through the basics again.  Essentially this is a very large historical hotel with very few rooms (55, plus 24 suites) which gives it a unique atmosphere.

I redeemed 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points for a room.  This was an outstanding deal since various events in the city meant that cash rooms were going for £800.  Paul McCartney had shared my good taste and was staying at the same time.

Due to my InterContinental Ambassador status, I was guaranteed an upgrade.  I was pushed up more than was strictly necessary and given a lovely – albeit overtly flowery – Junior Suite:

InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam review junior suite

I actually preferred this to the ‘proper’ suite I was given last year as I prefer having one large open plan room rather than a fully separate sleeping and living area.

InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam review junior suite

I also got the chance to try out the pool this time.  It sits at river level – you can just make out the barges floating outside the window!

InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam swimming pool

I also got to spend the evening on the riverside outdoor terrace again as the sun was out.

InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam bar terrace

Without getting overly philosophical, this stay did give me time to consider what we understand by ‘luxury’.  It isn’t necessarily about having the latest gadgets in your room or being in a property which was redecorated a week ago.

I live a busy life, with two young children and a wife who has her own successful career.  This site runs 24/7 and needs constant attention wherever I am in the world.

See the photo of the pool?  There is no-one there except me.  See the terrace?  It is empty.  See my big open plan room?  That space is all mine!  Some people would hate a hotel like this.  I certainly wouldn’t want to live my life that way.  But, sometimes, it is great to be able to spend 20 hours somewhere where you can relax and get away from it all.  That is what ‘luxury’ meant to me last Monday.

IHG Rewards Club update – January 2021:

Get bonus points: IHG is not currently running a global points promotion as of 1st January 2021.

New to IHG Rewards Club?  Read our two-part overview of IHG Rewards Club here and here and our article on expiry rules here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards Club points, you can buy them here. You will get a 75% bonus if you buy 10,000+ IHG Rewards Club points by 25th February.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (34)

  • Mik says:

    Any news on the new IHG membership level?

    • Rob says:

      Not yet. Some talk it will be delayed to January – or at least the benefits will be delayed.

    • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

      I checked into the Crowne Plaza Schiphol (well Hoofddorp) on Friday night, and was welcomed by the (dated) TV system as Ambassador gogd. I’m a fake (i.e. credit card) Platinum.

  • Dave R says:

    It looks like you got a good upgrade, especially for a reward night, and definitely a better upgrade than the River View Exec room I was upgraded to in April (which was still very nice and had an amazing view). Do you think your occupation has any influence over the upgrades you tend to get?

    • Rob says:

      No. If you book at short notice you get a good upgrades. When I booked there were NO basic cash rooms but 4 reward rooms. This meant, I think, that they had no basic rooms left and were using rewards to fill pricier rooms.

      • Dave R says:

        Ok, that makes a lot of sense. I did book months in advance.

  • Sarah Murray says:

    but..but.. why are the cash rates so expensive? Always €500+ and I can’t see how any of the above justifies that in relation to other hotels in Benelux / Germany / France

    • Dave R says:

      Probable because its a very nice hotel and they don’t have a lot of room to fill so can charge a lot. When we stayed there, I heard several locals referring to the Amstel as the best hotel in Amsterdam and this was also mentioned when we went past it on a canal boat cruise. With such a good reputation, I don’t think they have any trouble filling the rooms at the high rates they charge.

  • Mike says:

    Looks lovely. I certainly value that kind of space, I’d take that terrace over any in-room gadget.

    • Aeronaut says:

      IMHO, in-room gadgets and the like are vastly overrated! They don’t bring bliss like simpler things do.

  • stealthmoose says:

    Do you have your own oversized dinner plate for the buffet?

  • kelly says:

    I really adore this hotel, it’s a classy old dame of a hotel and the staff are wonderful!
    We used our IHG Credit card free night vouchers (we had two) last year and we received an upgrade.
    The Backstreet Boys were staying the same weekend we did; the concierge very nicely asked one of them to pose for a photo with my sister
    Totally agree with you on your thoughts about luxury!