Built in the late 19th century, the Conservatorium in Amsterdam, was originally a bank before becoming a 20th-century music school and now has been transformed into five-star Leading Hotel of the World property. Sitting smack bang in the middle of town in the Museum Quarter as the best address, the landmark neo-classical lies among the city’s greats, the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.
Roy Tomassen, general manager of the Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam talks about how the iconic landmark building has reinvented itself into the modern luxury hotel with its contemporary design, sustainable ventures and its collaboration with local artists to promote the rich heritage of the city.
TD: What is the USP of the Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam?
To begin with, we enjoy a great location as we are right across the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and magnificent Vondelpark. Guests have easy and fast access to the canals of Amsterdam as well as Schiphol Airport. Amsterdam has for decades attracted people who drive change and creativity and is a place where established and emerging ideas come together to shape the future. Matching the spirit and pace of contemporary life, The Set Hotels which own the Conservatorium Hotel are explicitly designed to enable new discoveries and to capture the hearts and minds of guests in the process.
What are the sustainable practices being undertaken at your property?
We are the first Dutch hotel to be awarded with a Green Globe certification since our opening in 2011. The hotel uses a thermal energy storage system and reuses water from its swimming pool in the sprinkler system. We also aim to reduce the amount of waste as much as possible and give preferences to reusable sustainable items, avoiding use of plastic containers for example. Also, our cleaning products are eco certified, which minimalises use of toxic substances.
Executive chef Schilo Van Coevorden and the hotel’s food and beverage department aim to promote local organic ingredients and limit the use of ingredients from endangered species of food.
The hotel is also part of the Destination Charging Network and now has two electrical chargers for cars in our courtyard. One for Tesla cars, one for other electrical cars. We have partnered with Positive Luxury, a community of luxury brands who are conscious of the planet and its future. The interactive Butterfly Mark that it carries, provides transparency, highlighting to consumers which brands they can trust based on what they are doing to better our world.
Tell us more about your collaboration with the local artists and the music school?
We have established a strong collaboration with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam since the day of its opening in 2011. The Expression of Art Award emphasises the heritage and history of the building, which has been the house of the former Sweelinck Conservatory of Music from 1983 to 2008. We are giving the students of the music school a podium to perform every weekend in the lounge of the hotel. The award gives four bands the opportunity to perform within the hotel and compete for the scholarship of EUR 5000 (USD 5500.40) offered by The Set hotels. Additionally Sennheiser, the premium headphone brand, offers the Audience Prize of EUR 750 (USD 825.06). All guests who purchased a ticket this year, supported the Papageno Foundation that focuses on the development of children and young people with autism by offering music therapy and a place to work.
What was the motive behind your popular Art Months programme?
In the spirit of enabling discovery, the hotel plays host to the Art Months and also builds long-term collaborations with local artists for its Residence Suites. The atmosphere of these suites is that of an Amsterdam apartment, with a balcony overlooking the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam’s world-renowned contemporary art museum.
Owing to its rich heritage, what kind of unique travellers do you receive at the hotel?
This hotel is a great fit for all kinds of travellers. We welcome many locals, leisure and business guests. The lobby of the hotel is also known as the ‘Living Room of Amsterdam-South’ and with an in-door shopping gallery, the hotel welcomes many guests from the residence area as well. Furthermore, it is used for business purposes during conferences taking place in the city as well as for product launches or meetings within the hotel itself. Lastly, the hotel is a perfect fit for leisure guests and families that would like to explore the city, especially with the famous museums next-door.