While it's difficult to fathom going back to our usual travel schedule, we're still craving the ultimate relaxation that comes with staying in gorgeous hotels. The sheets are better, there's room service and you never have to think about restocking your toiletries. There are so many wonderful hotels across the world we're missing - Ett Hem in Stockholm, Santa Clara 1728 in Lisbon, the Aman in Tokyo - and we can't wait to get back to them. But in the meantime, we're treating ourselves to a lovely little staycation every now & then. And where do we like to stay when we're here in Amsterdam? The Dylan, of course.
We were lucky enough to have a chat with The Dylan's General Manager, René Bornmann, to find out all about this wonderful hotel. Get ready for a little armchair travel because we're headed to The Dylan!
gloobles: Though there are many dreamy hotels here in Amsterdam, we think The Dylan really stands out. What do you think sets it apart?
René: Our basic principle is “quality prevails”. We put a lot of passion & attention to detail in everything we do. We also avoid departments becoming islands, so receptionists can also take a drink order if needed, and office staff assists with luggage if they happen to be the first to spot a guest arriving. We also do a lot of painting & upkeep to keep the appearance of the hotel on the level we want it to be.
gloobles: Ahhh that makes sense! We always feel as if The Dylan has just had a little refresh. Can you tell us a bit about the building’s history?
René:The building was once the first theatre in Amsterdam back in the 17th century. The Dutch word for theatre (Schouwburg) was created for this theatre by Joost van den Vondel. The painter Rembrandt was a production assistant at the Schouwburg, and we know approximately where in the building he sat to make drawings & sketches of the actors on stage.
gloobles: No way! That's some serious history. If you weren’t working here in Amsterdam, do you think you’d live here? What do you love about the city?
René: I actually live outside Amsterdam in a smaller city that's very green. I love the international atmosphere of Amsterdam, the many great restaurants and the proximity to water.
gloobles: There is something so magical about being surrounded by water. It gives you space to breathe even in such a densely populated city. Tell us about your favourite spot in the hotel.
René: I really like what we’ve done with the reception area. We’ve turned this into a space where guests are actually welcomed with refreshments and can have a seat & unwind as they check-in. No traditional reception desk, but much more a true boutique experience.
gloobles: It makes it feel so personal, which is all the more appealing these days. What does a typical day look like for you?
René: I typically get in a little early and make sure the hotel is in good shape. I'm here to protect & optimise the quality of our service. After my rounds in the hotel, we start the day with a morning meeting with the heads of department to make sure everyone is in sync on what's happening on that particular day. After that, I work on e-mails for a bit and typically have various colleagues pass by with specific questions or ideas.
gloobles: Sounds like your days are quite busy. Do you have a 'best' moment of the day?
René: When we have a big party in the afternoon, the whole day leads up to that moment. What I love the most is the 30 minutes before our guests arrive. The room is ready. The champagne is cold. All pawns are aligned. And I know: we’re ready. Guests pour in, & I can welcome them to my home. That is what it feels like.
gloobles: It's like the buildup to a performance at the theatre! Which spots in Amsterdam would you recommend to guests staying at The Dylan?
René: Definitely getting on a private boat in the afternoon with some bites & a good bottle of wine to admire Amsterdam from the water. I also love the brown cafés in Amsterdam, like Hoppe or De Eland.
gloobles: If you were ordering room service, what would you get?
René: I love the Udon Noodle Soup that our Chef Dennis makes or the Black Angus grain-fed flat iron steak, depending on how hungry I am.
gloobles: Oh man you're making us hungry! Other than The Dylan, what’s your favourite hotel in the world?
gloobles: Ahhh one of our favourites too. Alright, René, we've got one last question. What’s on your travel bucket list?
René: I’d love to sail around Scandinavia for an extended time.