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Room Report: Okura Hotel Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Arrival Experience: The towering Okura Hotel Amsterdam has excellent views from all sides including the canal that fronts the property and the nearby Rijksmuseum. Of Japanese influence, the property offers a unique experience that no other hotel in Amsterdam can match. Top-hatted doormen greet arrivals and assist with luggage while the swift reception desk takes care of the check-in process. Following a total renovation, the lobby is as modern as ever with comfortable seating and beautiful glass light sculptures hanging from the ceiling. Four elevators are speedy and require a swipe of the key card to gain access to guestroom floors.

Dining: Home to two Michelin-starred restaurants, this hotel stands out from the crowd offering an exquisite dining experience that also attracts locals. Le Camelia serves a plentiful breakfast buffet with cooked-to-order omelets and a Japanese station preparing steaming noodle bowls. Yamazato, with one Michelin star, has a kaiseki menu that is open for lunch and dinner. Its menu is steered by a Japanese chef providing the most authentic of cuisine. Sazanka continues the Japanese theme, but this time with teppanyaki tables that entertain diners as their food is being prepared for lunch or dinner. Ciel Bleu on the 23rd floor offers exquisite views of Amsterdam as guests enjoy Chef Onno Kokmeijer's two Michelin-starred fine dining creations. Chef Kokmeijer's famous menu has also been adopted by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to be used in its business class cabins on flights from Amsterdam to destinations across the globe. The Twenty Third bar shakes and stirs cocktails in the evening hours. Serre restaurant serves lunch and dinner with a menu similar to Ciel Bleu, but adding a modern twist.

Accommodations: Guest rooms were part of the complete overhaul here and look as good as new. Modern décor includes duvet-topped bedding and adjustable bedside lights. Lights and curtains are electronically controlled by snazzy stations by the bed, which sit near convenient electrical outlets. Superior rooms are the standard category while Deluxe rooms benefit from massive bathrooms with a wall of windows behind the vanity. Rainfall showerheads, large towels, and verbena-scented towels are in all. Spacious work desks feature numerous types of electrical plugs, wireless and wired high speed Internet, and multi-line phones with voice mail. Flat-screen cable TVs are large, and bathrooms in the Deluxe and suite category have soaking tubs with TVs facing them. Rooms on the club level enjoy turndown service and access to a club lounge serving all-day refreshments including beer and wine.

Conclusion: Meeting space is a hallmark here with plentiful convention and conference rooms available. The business center provides a full range of services, and a unique cooking station facility allows groups to commune with each other and the chef as they prepare meals from scratch. The team-building function of cooking together is something that even local groups make use of and has brought significant attention to the hotel's Michelin-starred dining rooms. Following all of that delicious food, guests can work out in the modern fitness center. Nagomi Spa also features an indoor swimming pool and spa menu boasting numerous massage and beauty treatments. Also available is a whirlpool, sauna and steam room circuit and kinesis wall. The staff at the hotel is happy to provide guests with umbrellas on a rainy day and even provides bicycles that guests can use to stroll around town. This is one of Amsterdam's finest hotels. In fact, it played host to an entire building full of royalty and diplomats during the king's recent investiture ceremony. For visitors to Amsterdam, this is the ideal location for both business and leisure, and its high-rise stature gives photographers great view of the city (something no other hotel in town can match).



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