sleepover

Sleepover: Parc Broekhuizen

Just drive for one hour and you're a million miles away from everything you know. From the city we drove to the nature reserve in the Utrecht area. And suddenly in the far distant you can see Parc Broekhuizen. This estate was recently made into a hotel, but the history still seeps through its walls. A quick getaway that feels like a vacation. Isn't that what we all need sometimes? 

We were the only ones in the castle. Not that we would have noticed other people anyway. The interior is carefully chosen and the surroundings of the hotel are so relaxing. Unfortunately the kitchen closed early on Sunday, so we went out for dinner at restaurant Bentinck just a 15 minute drive away. Here we enjoyed lovely wine and tasteful dishes in the former horse stables. 

Short & sweet
Our stay was short and sweet. I would totally recommend staying here, but maybe on a "busy" day so you can really enjoy the kitchen and hotel vibe. Something we missed out on a little bit. Combine your stay with a trip to the city of Utrecht and a nice stroll through nature. You won't be disappointed!

Sleepover: The Dean Dublin

When in Dublin, do as the Irish: drink Guinness, enjoy your afternoon in the pub and spend the night at Dean's. Or rather; The Dean hotel in the city center. This super duper fun hotel is easy going and a great stay for your fun weekend away in the Irish capital. Continue reading for the full report:

First impressions
It was my first time in the land of rugby, Saint Patrick and U2. Just a short plane ride away and you're hopping on the quick bus (757) to Harcourt street. With luck, you're ready for the first round of beers within an hour of landing. The Dean is conveniently situated near the city center and important public transport stops. The hotel has this easy friendly cool vibe, like that friends that gets along with everyone. We could check into our superoom instantly. The room, #209 on the second floor, offers a large bed, two comfy yellow chairs and fun stuff everywhere. What I especially liked was the record player and the selection of vinyls in the room. Hello classics! With the tunes of Fleetwood Mac we got ready for the rest of the day. 

Food & drinks
The Irish are serious about their food and drinks. We ordered hungry and concluded quickly that the portions are a tad bigger than we're used to at home. But who's complaining with halloumi fries and nachos? Pub food? Check! After all that food we went for some shopping cardio. Something that's easy to do in Dublin. Then suddenly it was almost time for our reservation at Sophie's; the rooftop bar slash restaurant that's on the 5th floor of the same building at Dean's. The restaurant had great views of the city by night and was packed with gorgeous girls all dressed up and men who were ready to sweep them of their feet. The food was good, the service ditto but a little slow. It was very busy though!

Home stay at Dean's
Some hotel rooms you never really experience, but in our case we made the most of it. Breakfast in bed? Check! Roomservice and Netflix? Check! Drinking from the mini bar? Check! Waterfall showers whilst dancing to some records? Check! Jumping on the bed? Check! We felt freaking relaxed after two nights at Dean's. It felt like a sleepover at your BFF's house. Well, his name is Dean..! Just don't forget earplugs your new friends is a noisey fella (it's located in the heart of the nightclub area).

I would definitely recommend staying here as it is located very central and has an easy vibe. We'll be back Dean!

Sleepover: Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

How to compete with other luxury hotels in the higher segment? Little details, that count for a lot. The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam understands this very well. Here's my full recap on my sleepover at the Waldorf: 

First impressions
The centre of Amsterdam isn't my favorite place to drive. It's busy, bikes pop up out of nowhere and parking next to the canals is just plain scary (I'm so afraid I'll drive in the water). Luckily, Waldorf Astoria offers valet parking. You only have to worry about your handbag and the rest is taken care off. The check-in ritual is one of the better ones I've experienced. We even got to chose the fragrance for the turndown, something light and sweet to fall asleep in. A hot towel, some drinks and the biggest smiles behind the desk. And the dresses of the ladies...! Hello Jan Taminiau! Gorgeous waving dresses with the map of Amsterdam's city centre. Little details, again.  

The room
There's no place like home, right? But, a hotel can feel homely as well. There are in total 93 luxury rooms in the hotel, with the biggest being as big as any pied-à-terre in a cool, international city. The room I had (#131) was very spatial. I really enjoyed the desk because I had to do a lot of work. The bathroom was filled with great essentials and things you sometimes forget to pack. Oh, did I mention we walked in on a bottle of cooled Champagne, freshly baked Madeleines and a chocolate key to invite us to the vault? Walking around the room with soft slippers in the morning was just the cherry on top of a great sleep and stay. Breakfast was served from 7 until 10.30 and offered a large range of typical breakfast dishes. I went for a lot of coffee and the vegetable omelet, together with my delivered newspaper the perfect way to start a hectic day. 

Great history
The hotel can be found on the Herengracht, as part of the UNESCO site - views of the canals. The six canal houses that make up the Waldorf Astoria have great history. It's legacy can be found all over the hotel. Little signs, the black and white strips across the walls (reminder that you walk into the next canal house), the fresh tulips in the room and old details all tell us the story of life in the 17th and 18th century. It took a few years to completely renovate the property, but it was well worth it. This year the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam celebrates it's 4th birthday, but is already a household name. It's not without reason the hotel is on all the top lists concerning interior, service, food & beverages and spa. 

A lot to do
If you're in Amsterdam for leisure, make sure to spend some time in the hotel. There's a lot to do! You can book appointments for the Guerlain Spa, relax at the pool, enjoy tasty cocktails at the Vault bar and have dinner at the two Michelin star restaurant "Librije's Zusje". The restaurant is quite popular, so if it's full you can always book a table at the Goldfinch Brasserie. This restaurant shares the same kitchen as Librije's Zusje, so you are in for a treat! 

The verdict
My stay at the Waldorf Astoria was in one word: wonderful. The entire staff is easy to talk to and are helping you however they can to make your stay the best. The concierge tipped us for some great places to go in the neighborhood. I'm normally quite picky where to eat, but he understood our criteria perfectly. It's not the cheapest place in town, so I won't be staying here every time. But for a special occasion I'll be ready to check in!

This blogpost is written in partnership with Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. The opinion in this blog is mine and represents my true sleepover experience. If you have questions about this sleepover I'll be happy to answer them!