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