There are sunflowers the bar… well, it is Amsterdam. But also an orchid by the bed and a floral display on the table.
Ambient music rises up to the high ceilings as we look out from our individually-designed canal suite onto the Keizersgracht in the De 9 Straatjes (Nine Streets) area.
This is the 5* Irish-owned boutique hotel, Dylan Amsterdam www.dylansmsterdam.com on the site of Amsterdam’s first theatre.
Fittingly, the Dylan has welcomed the likes of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Mariah Carey through Jacob van Campen’s 1632 Doorway.
We’ve been expecting you
And to that list they can now add the star of Aberdeen College’s 1983 production of John Byrne’s Slab Boys.
The Dylan is elegant, but unstuffy, and its courtyard haven is the ideal spot for a nightcap at the end of a long day.
We have a choice of dining options, the Michelin-starred Vinkeles or Bar Brasserie OCCO.
If you’re feeling extravagant, 50 grammes of caviar will set you back €275, if you think you could eat all 50 grammes.
Otherwise a club sandwich is a more competitive €15.
My concierge, Eric, has been there every day, only too happy to offer to organise our itinerary, cycling, river cruises, cultural tours or restaurant recommendations.
But we’ve already mapped out the day’s itinerary, Schiphol Airport and home.
We take one lingering look at playwright Joost van Vondel’s inscription on the archway which with the hall, is all that is left from the great fire of 1632:
‘The world is a play on stage, everyone plays his role and gets his part.’
This article was first published in the Irish Daily Mail in August, 2018.