Since I was a teenager I have wanted to own a hotel with the greatest hospitality. Over the years the dream has developed and the latest version is that I want to own a small and luxury hotel that makes the guests feel so great that you even can´t describe it. A unique hotel.
Visited Amsterdam as tourists
Amsterdam has it all. Great, nice and welcoming people. Beautiful buildings, parks and canals. Good food. Good beverage. A lot of bikes. Well there is much more, but this post is about the hotel. Not Amsterdam. When you are in Amsterdam you should book The Toren hotel. Just sayin. And I am very picky.
My hotel history
I am, as I told you, very picky. Yes, when it comes to hotel I am very picky. I started my career as a breakfast hostess at a hotel that mostly hosted refugees from Iran, Iraq och Lebanon as guests. I was only thirteen years old and worked in the weekends and holidays. After some time I got a job in the reception and later on I moved on to other hotels with business guest, working as a receptionist and night portier. I have always worked on small hotels, I loved the mix of the daily work. And I loved the relations with the guests, felt as I could make a difference in the guests day. I left the hotel business and wanted to try something else, but I have always looked back and the dream is still very clear to me.
The Toren hotel in Amsterdam
For three nights this week me and my husband stayed at The Toren hotel. The hotel in my dreams. I found it through recommendations in the swedish travel magazine RES. I will try to explain why I do recommend every person to visit this hotel. The website don´t do the hotel full justice and unfortunately I have not been using my camera as much I should, but if you google the hotel for images you´ll find a lot of nice pics.
Welcoming and including
I don´t feel as I am a guest, but still I do feel like I am a very important guest. I don´t feel at home, but still I feel like home. I mean, when I am at a luxury hotel I don´t want to feel like home, I want to feel like I am their best friend and that they take care of me because they want to. Not because I am their guest. This is hard to describe. But I think that if I say that I want to feel as if I am a part of the people, that I am included in the context, you do understand what I mean.
The staff at The Toren hotel makes you want to add them all to Facebook, just so that you can keep in touch with your new friends. The staff is professional in their including ways and I understand that they probably not are that interested in me as I feel. But that doesn´t matter. Next time I see them I think they will remember me. Maybe that is too much to ask for, but I really think they will. Because I thought them that you can drink Bols Strawberry Liqueur just as it is, without mixing it into drinks.
Beautiful furnishings and tasteful decorations
Always thought I liked modern and minimalistic interior. Now I know I don´t. I like when it is warm and beautiful. I think I liked minimalistic design because then it is easier to clean and then I at least could be happy about a clean room. At The Toren the rooms are everything but minimalistic. And very clean! No black tile joints, no hair in the basin and I never thought that ”hope they do clean this corner better next time”.
The interior seems inspired from burlesque – it´s dark and very colorful. I love it! Also fits well in Amsterdam I think. A city that always will send my thoughts to a city where you can make a lot of own choices. And where all people are welcome, no matter what you like, where you come from or how you look.
I am not that familiar with Amsterdam, but the location of the hotel really were perfect for us. We never had to use the tram, we walked or used the bikes we rented at the hotel to all places we wanted to visit. The canal tours also are very close to hop-on-hop-off.
The hotel have 38 rooms. You can choose between cosy rooms, luxurious rooms and top rooms. We stayed in room nr 109, a ”Special Deluxe Room with Garden View”. We had a deep Spa Whirlpool bath that we used every day. So lovely and relaxing! Rooms in Amsterdam are not so big because of the small houses, but at the Toren you can get rooms up to the size of 32 m2.
It is a lovely feature to be able to sit in the nice garden after a day full of impressions from the city. If you lucky the sun shines in your face and if it too strong you can sit under one of the parasolls. The furnitures are comfortable and the space is really calming.
The bar & the breakfast room
In the afternoon and in the evening it is more than a bar. It is an area where you socialize. A lot. The bartenders are spending time with you. They sit down at your table and talk to you. But they also give you the privacy if you rather want that. Their including behavior creates the climate for all guests in the bar, so the guests talk to each other more than I ever experienced anywhere else. In any bar or lounge. We actually made new friends with four other guests (and we added each other on Facebook). It doesn´t matter if you don´t sit at the same table, all talks to each other.
The last night we got nice and warm hugs from the bartenders when they wished us their welcome back. Have you ever got hugged by a bartender? I have not, until I visited The Toren hotel.
Of course you can order what ever you like from the bar, including some small food plates, as cheese for example!
In the morning it is a breakfast room. Not included in the price for the room, but for € 14 you get a lot to choose between. We got fresh strawberries for exeample!
Forgot our passports
Apparently we did all we could to stay an extra night. No, we did not, but we did forget our passports in the safety box in the room. Which would have forced us to stay another night (if they had any available rooms) if the staff didn´t do a really remarkable thing:
We never noticed that we forgot the passports, Mark at the hotel called us when we were in the train to the airport and informed us that they found two passports in the safe. He arranged so that a colleague took a cab to meet us at the airport. I was speechless and almost moved to tears about that incredible service! I was not even allowed to pay for the taxi!
I think you understand why I dedicate a entire post here at my blog in english about the Toren hotel. I am so grateful for everything and can´t thank the staff enough for making our stay more wonderful than what expected.
To Mr & Mrs Toren,
I want to thank you for giving me my believe back. The believe that it is possible to find hotels that really are good and that want to give us an experience – more than we expect, or at least to the level of what we pay for.
I also want to thank you for giving us Amsterdam. We will come back and explore your city more. And of course stay at the Toren hotel!
Since we seem to have the the same opinion of how a hotel should be run it would be nice to work with you. Some day. Today I run a WordPress web agency and are happy with that. Think of me if you need a manager for the Toren or another hotel you own or open. Maybe I am ready to make a difference then!
Anna, the picky hotel guest and the future hotel manager