I don’t take enough advantage of long weekends. It’s something I have never thought about, largely because when I was at university I worked in retail, so you’d work these long weekends and make the most money. Not long after my university career/ stint in retail I moved to America, where it’s practically slave labour with your holiday days – so.. I’ve never really thought about weekenders.
This past Easter I did, and I took myself off to the nhow Rotterdam, located in the greatest city in Europe. After booking myself into what may also be the greatest hotel in Rotterdam, I realised “You never hotel anymore, how does it even work?” So I made a check list, of how to/ why you should hotel well and more often.
TIP 1: GET A ROOM WITH A VIEW
Do you know what is better than waking up in a hotel that makes you feel a little bit special because design/ aesthetics? Waking up in a hotel because design/ aesthetics….with a view. Honestly there are a variety of great hotels in Rotterdam, but I think nhow is the only one with this view, and even if another hotel has this view – why would you stay anywhere else when you could be surround by all the clever design/ significant architecture one can stomach.
The biggest nhow specific tip here: you want to stay in the Sunset room. There are a variety of rooms, one wakes you up with a sunrise (also know as the Sunrise Room – because why confuse the situation), another probably looks at buildings or something not as glam as a sunrise (Urban Room) and then there is the Sunset Room, which gives you THIS view over the city and that magnificent bridge. Or if you are feeling really fancy, you can get yourself the Horizon Suite, which has a bedroom and a living room takes in both this view and the sunrise. Pick your poison.
TIP 2: ACCESS THE RESTAURANT/ BAR SITUATION
As much as I think it’s a great idea to explore/ see the city (recommend highly in Rotterdam, because, as I said, it is one of the greatest cities in Europe) there is nothing better than a hotel that can wine and dine you in the space of a short elevator ride.
What you will find on the 7th floor of the Der Rotterdam building overlooking that bloody bridge is a menu of international dishes spanning the globe – all with a local twist. It’s largely organic/ local – so if you didn’t environmentally offset your airfare – you’ve just done your bit. The major recommendation I have here, get the taste menu – that way you are eating the best foods of the day, as decided by the chef and you don’t have to think.
Another thing worth a mention is the bar. Located within the same area, overlooking the bridge/ city – it has quite a range of cocktails and vibes. Facts, just so it’s not just like “Lucy says it’s cool”, the bar itself won Red&Grey Best Hotel Bar of Rotterdam in 2014, which is definitely something. So, have a few cocktails, stumble home – just don’t get the Pisco Sours, they were not a favourite.
TIP 3: BRUNCH/ BRUNCH/ BRUNCH
I think most of my life’s issues stem from how much I love eating. Majority of them (ca$h, weight, lack of time) would be solved if I wasn’t so focused on what I was putting my mouth at any given moment. So whenever I find myself staying at a hotel, I will take in the brunch because: food related.
I also believe it’s a mark of a good hotel. Only white toast and boxes of cereal – you are in a motel in middle America somewhere. Boiled eggs, cured meats and cheese? Germany. Ready to order omelettes, fizzy wine, gold coffee cups and a spread off all the meats and cheeses one could forcible stuff down their throat? You’re at the nhow Rotterdam. Wear loose trousers.
TIP 4: USE THE BIKES
Apart from totally fucking my back on the weight of Dutch bikes – taking the bikes for a spin was the best idea we had all weekend. Rotterdam is such an manageable space to get around on bikes and on top of that, you are in the Netherlands – if you aren’t riding Dutch style bikes, you’re not doing anything right.
To be fair – the tip here is not just about bikes but taking advantage of the general amenities; 24/7 room service, gym that overlooks the Eramus Bridge, personal trainers, a bloody marvellous coffee cart a stones throw from the lobby – and a bunch of other cheesy (but totally necessary) hotel type things. To each their own – abuse the services, punkt.
TIP 5: STAY IN AN ARCHITECTURALLY SIGNIFICANT BUILDING (!)
Going home to this view, makes you feel good about calling shit a day. The thing that is special about the nhow, is that the building was designed by world renowned architect Rem Koolhaas/ OMA. This group designed both the outside and inside of the hotel – which is rather a feature. It’s not often the rooms and finer details are concepted by the same person that directed the greater surrounds. Personally I wasn’t that aware of how significant this all was, until I humble bragged to my ex-architect father about my weekend in the greatest city in Europe (Rotterdam) and he educated me in all it’s architecturally exciting glory.
It may very well be the only city in Europe that after the war has really considered it’s future rather than simply trying to salvage the past – and proceeded in a way that gives it some rather strong footing as a new city of Europe. This building has a lot to do with that. So even being able to stay there, and not just glancing at it awkwardly from a windy bridge is bloody major.
Special thanks to the nhow Rotterdam for having us. We’ll be back, you were wonderful :-*