East Meet West at Blakes Amsterdam
Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com
To read this entire feature FREE with photos cut and paste this link: http://www.jetsettersmagazine.com/archive/jetezine/hotels/holland/amsterdam/blakes/blakes.html
Don't forget to take an umbrella," calls a cheerful concierge at Blakes Amsterdam.
It's autumn in Amsterdam, air is crisp, and we are peering out front door of hotel, contemplating a sky filled with low, gray clouds. In a stand next to door are a number of large umbrellas, all black in keeping with Blakes' black and white Asian décor. They are complimentary for Blakes' guests, a practical reminder of personal service for which this upscale boutique hotel is known.
Amsterdam is a city of as many bicycles as people. In Blakes' hand-laid herringbone brick entry courtyard is a stable of bicycles. These are available for guests to use to tour city; you can feel right at home cycling with residents along picturesque canal streets.
Upon our arrival at Blakes we received a refreshing fruit juice welcome. Monique, one of several attractive young men and women in tailored black suits in reception area, asked, "Do you have any fruit allergies or sugar concerns?" before pouring our drinks.
The striking décor of Blakes Amsterdam has been created by London hotelier and internationally renowned designer, Anouska Hempel. The ambiance is high style, yet intimate and welcoming, an environment of luxurious escapism in an old European city noted for crowded accommodations.
The design of hotel building is an architectural makeover that respects past and embraces future. Blakes Amsterdam was once a dignified 17th century canal house, a landmark on one of city's most famous tree-lined canals, Keizersgracht.