Explore Amsterdam Like An Insider

Conservatorium Hotel's In-The-Know Host Manager Shares Her Top 5 Amsterdam Tips

Isabelle Post

Host Manager, Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam

Guests who step into the luminous open-plan lobby at Conservatorium Hotel, a retouched neo-Gothic edifice next to Amsterdam’s Museum Square, will often find Isabelle Post, head of the hotel’s Host Program, perched at the shimmery white round table. She’s most likely accommodating a range of complex requests spanning the gamut from orchestrating a rooftop-wedding proposal and drawing milk baths to coordinating a private after-hours visit to the world-renowned Rijksmuseum. “We’ve had some guests refer to us as the hotel’s very own ‘Genius Bar’,” she laughs.

Isabelle, who was born in the tech and design hub Eindhoven in the south of Holland, was treated to a peripatetic childhood (her father worked for the multinational technology company, Philips), with stops in Pakistan and Spain before returning to the Netherlands at the age of 19. “I’ve lived here for sixteen years now, and what I love about Amsterdam is its vibrancy and the fact that it opens its doors for everyone. But at the same time, it’s like a village, full of hidden treasures only locals can show you.”

Isabelle Post, host manager at Conservatorium Hotel.

Local Recommendations

Isabelle Post Unveils Some Of Amsterdam’s Most Exceptional Experiences

Whether you’re visiting a master florist or tucking into inventive takes on traditional Dutch fare, Isabelle Post’s Amsterdam picks are a window into the waterside city’s lesser-known corners, filled with great restaurants, boutiques, and off-beat workouts.

Don't Leave Your Fitness Regimen Behind

Start Your Day With A Killer Workout

Saddle up, the local way. Isabelle recommends a sweat session at Rocycle (12 Nieuwe Passeedersstraat; +31-20-369-7074) a sleek spin studio with a cold-press juicery and soothing canal views. It’s just the conditioning you’ll need to prep for pedaling around the most bicycle-friendly capital city in the world—and Conservatorium offers guided city tours using its own private fleet. There are more than 881,000 bicycles zipping around Amsterdam (quadruple the number of cars). The city traces its elaborate cycling network to the 1970s, when a spike in road accidents inspired a series of peaceful protests, urging the government to invest in an alternate form of transport.

An outdoor speed-cycling session at Rocycle, a local spin studio.

Flowers Of Amsterdam

Pop Into A Local Flower Shop

Isabelle insists on a stop at Menno Kroon (11 Cornelis Schuystraat; +31-20-679-1950), a high-end floral emporium in Amsterdam’s charming Little Paris neighborhood. Though the main attractions here are undeniably the dramatic blooms—“Menno Kroon’s bouquets are eccentric, seductive, and unforgettable,” says Isabelle—more suitcase-friendly souvenirs exist in the form of handmade vases and intricate candlesticks. The master florist, an internationally recognized Dutch icon, devotes months to crafting an especially elaborate Christmas tableau, which eschews a traditional tree for a collection of unusual branches and gem-like ornaments.

An elaborate window display at botanical wonderland, Menno Kroon.

Amsterdam Dining

Feast On A Dutch Diet Of Reimagined Regional Classics

Local classics get the modern spin at Restaurant Floreyn (31 Albert Cuypstraat; +31-20-670-7357), a sophisticated Flemish eatery in De Pijp, considered one of Amsterdam’s more beatnik pockets. Bicycles and water-level indicators hang from the industrial-chic walls, while the kitchen churns out an inventive five-course tasting menu (it changes monthly) which might include savory mille-feuilles, deconstructed mustard soup (a specialty from the northeastern province of Gronigen), or a seasonal veggie-forward take on ice cream, flavored with parsnips and carrots. “They use contemporary techniques to recreate a rich culinary history,” Isabelle says.

The interiors at Floreyn, an innovative Flemish restaurant, are experiments in industrial chic.

Room For Dessert

Sample A Quintessentially Dutch Treat

Don’t be daunted by the line that curls around the iconic green-and-white striped awning at Café Winkel 43 (43 Noordermarkt; +31-20-623-0223); it’s what you have to brave to tuck into the city’s best apple pie slice, according to Isabelle. Topped with swirly clouds of whipped cream, the deep-dish dessert—considered an indulgent stand-in for breakfast by locals—is best accompanied by a cappuccino. Walk off those buttery calories with a stroll around the surrounding Jordaan neighborhood, chock full of artists’ studios (Rembrandt once made a home here) and flea markets.

Café Winkel 43's famous apple pie.

Shopping Excursions

Visit The Netherlands’ Oldest Jeweler

From forging swords for the House of Orange, better known as Holland’s royal family, to producing a set of silver keys for Napoleon himself, Bonebakker (Van Baerlestraat; +31-20-673-7577), an 18th century institution that has since expanded to pearls and diamonds, has a truly museum-worthy past. Today, the storied brand claims a contemporary boutique space in Conservatorium Hotel’s Van Baerle Gallery, also home to a cigar shop and Club Cinq, a Dutch children’s clothing and bedding label, showcasing everything from Boucheron and Piaget rings to a bauble collection that’s inspired by the Dutch Crown.

The Conservatorium Hotel is home to a plush boutique by Bonnebaker, Holland’s oldest jeweler.
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