Hotel Okura, Amsterdam, Holland
What’s so great about this pool?
Although Amsterdam is an exciting city it is densely populated, so hotel pools are a rarity. This pool is designed for serious relaxation. It is deliberately calm and peaceful with an oriental tranquility. And the pool is nice and big, so after you’ve shaken off the jet-lag or recovered from a day shopping or sightseeing, you can do some exercise to put a spring in your step.
- The pool is a very generous 18 metres by 6 metres – ideal for laps
- There is a jet stream, which can be turned on for serious swimming practice
- The hotel spa, where the pool is based, has its own Jacuzzi and Turkish steam room.
- There is also a lounge chairs, where you can relax, and a special suite with artificial sunlight, intended to help jet-lagged travellers recover more quickly.
- Opening hours are from 6.30am to 10.00am on weekdays and 8.00am to 9.00pm at weekends.
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So the pool’s fab – what about the hotel?
The Hotel Okura Amsterdam is part of a Japanese chain of hotels – so it doesn’t offer a traditional flavour of Amsterdam. But it does offer incredible luxury. It it is very modern and has 23 floors, with 300 suites and rooms. It boasts four top class restaurants. Yamazato Restaurant, which has two Michelin stars, serves traditional Japanese food. The Ciel Bleu Restaurant – also with two Michelin stars – is famous for its tasting menu. The Serre Restaurant offers less formal fare – steaks, burgers, club sandwiches, soups. The Twenty third bar (unsurprisingly on the 23rd floor) is a great place to enjoy a drink and a great view of Amsterdam.
What else is there to do around there?
The Hotel Okura Amsterdam is just over a mile (1.6 kilometres) from the two great art museums of Amsterdam – the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. It’s a short tram ride from the beautiful canals and superb canal side houses. Go for a canal trip, see the historic museums and churches. Or you can just wander through the markets and shopping streets. And Holland is a small country, so it’s only a short train ride to the port of Rotterdam, or the cities of the Hague, Haarlem, Utrecht or Delft, all of which have charming centres, superb churches and great galleries. And Amsterdam has a wonderful nightlife with clubs and bars. And it also offers more dubious pleasures – it is famous for the cafes along the Leidseplein where you can legally smoke cannabis, and there’s a red light district where the curious can just go for a stroll.