Today, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Roberto Payer, the mastermind behind our very favourite luxurious hotel in the city, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. We couldn't be more jealous of his job; what about you? Keep reading to find out what makes this amazing hotelier tick.
You might have heard the good news: we're having a baby! Well, a book baby, that is. After years of bringing you the best of the best of travel tips on the web, we decided to take pen (or printing press) to page & bring you an amazing, practical, beautiful guidebook to the city that is nearest & dearest to our heart. Which city is that, you ask? Why, Amsterdam of course! So now it's time for the countdown to begin.
As our publishing date grows ever closer, we want to give you some sneak peeks into what's to come to get you as excited as we are. Our book is nothing without the incredible shops, restaurants, bars & businesses we love, so it's important to us that you get to know them a bit as well. That's why, until the launch of our book, we are going to be bringing you interviews with the inspiring founders of some of our very favourite spots.
gloobles: Roberto! We are so happy to get some insight into the life of a hotelier, particularly at a hotel as wonderful as Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. The building is pretty incredbile. Can you tell us its history?
Roberto: Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam was able to obtain six houses in a row from the previous inhabitants, the bank Mees & Hope (the most important bank in the Netherlands). The six palaces are located in the UNESCO area on the first canal ever built in the 17th century by the merchants of Amsterdam, the Herengracht. The six townhouses have a strong historical background: there's the house of the mayor from 1725 to 1766, the family Van Loon (who now own a museum on the Keizersgracht & were the first to introduce the share markets with their Far Eastern Company) and Brentano, international art trader. The houses still carry the names of hte very important families who lived there: De Wildt, Kemp, Hooft, Marot, Sautijn & Brentano.
gloobles: It seems like you couldn't resist that kind of history. We know we couldn't! Is that why you chose this location?
Roberto: It does not happen every day in Amsterdam that you are able to obtain six palaces situated in the most expensive area of the Herengracht, the so-called Golden Elbow. Therefore, when the occasion arose, the Waldorf Astoria decided to introduce the brand to the Netherlands.
gloobles: Makes sense to us. These days, you can actually find quite a few luxury hotels in Amsterdam. What sets the Waldorf apart?
Roberto: There are only six hotels recognised as Luxury Hotels in Amsterdam, but there is only one located on the Herengracht. In addition, the hotel is as unique for its historical background as it is for its contemporary furnishings & focus on service. We are recognised as the best hotel in the country, the best hotel in Europe by Travel & Leisure & one of the best five in the world by Virtuoso.
gloobles: That's a pretty impressive resume. Now if you weren't staying at the Waldorf in Amsterdam, where would you stay?
Roberto: I would stay in my own house, which is also located on one of the three best canals.
gloobles: Aren't you lucky! We know that it's like asking a mother to pick a favourite child, but do you have one room in the hotel you like more than all the others?
Roberto: Yes, all the rooms are different, but the one I think is the most romantic is our Loft on the third floor where the original beams have been brought to life & are part ofthe interior.
gloobles: Oh, wow. We'd love to stay there for a night or two. What does your perfect day in Amsterdam look like?
Roberto: To wake up & read my newspaper, my reports, enjoy breakfast, visit galleries in the area, cook dinner & go to sleep early. At work, my perfect day is to be able to coach my team to deliver the highest performance every day.
gloobles: We also love a leisurely day in Amsterdam. You really get to enjoy the best of the city. What are some of your must-visit spots in Amsterdam?
Roberto: I like to shop - I'm always looking for something that I can put in my house or have for myself - & I like to visit brocante or antique shops, as well as modern art galleries. I like to walk & look and be surprised.
gloobles: There is so much opportunity for that here, so you're really in the right city. Though we love it, Amsterdam can be a bit overwhelming at times. Where do you like to go to escape the city?
Roberto: My house in Italy.
gloobles: Jealous! We wish we could come with you. We think that Amsterdam is a pretty year-round city, but is there a time you think beats all the rest for a visit?
Roberto: Spring & summer, but the forgotten highlight is December, when the Amsterdam Light Festival is on and the city sparkles with lights.
gloobles: Too true! It's stunning that time of year. How do you like to unwind from a busy day at work?
Roberto: I like to cook & go to the theatre or films.
gloobles: We like the sound of that. If you were ordering room service at the Waldorf, what would you order?
Roberto: My preference would be the Kabocha Squash Soup & the Thai Green Curry.
gloobles: Mmmmmmmm... we'd like some of that right now. Alright, last one: which other Waldorf property do you love?
Roberto: There are two properties that I like: The Waldorf Rome Cavalieri with its amazing views, service & 3-star Michelin restaurant and the Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria with its great rooms, especially the dressing room connected to the bathroom.