A former university building just outside Amsterdam's canal belt, Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Maurits at the Park has undergone a transformation worth dissecting. This sophisticated city stay in tranquil Oosterpark presents with the kind of high-spec interiors – high-thread-count linens, pillowy carpets, fine furniture – that have our attention. Slice through the five-star furnishings to discover its dreamy, guests-only lounge and low-lit bar. Underpinning this fine specimen is the 1908 building itself, where high ceilings, sweeping staircases and ornate windows elevate the hotel’s architectural allure. Its beating heart, though, is Floris van Straalen’s fine-dining eatery, VanOost, housed in a show-stopping atrium. Please note While we await real-life photographs of Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Maurits at the Park, please note that the current gallery is in fact computer generated.
Noon; earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £387.80 (€440), including tax at 9 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 7% per room per night on check-out and an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include breakfast.
Long before Bodyworlds, the hotel was originally an anatomical laboratory for pathologists, the Vroliks (first name: ‘fun’), whose preserved collection of human and animal bits and bobs is now at the Vrolik Museum in the city’s suburbs.
At the hotel
Restaurants, rooftop bar, private lounge/workspace, gym, sauna, treatment room. In rooms: free WiFi, Bluetooth speaker, smart TV, Nespresso machine, free bottled water, minibar (free for suite guests), bespoke bath products.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms at Pillows Maurits on the Park are finely furnished with carpets and drapes in pale hues, elegant, sturdy furniture and a smattering of tech. Pillows Suites are generously proportioned and come with a separate seating area and, in some cases, park views. The Pillows Grand Suite is gargantuan with a regal ensuite and luxurious bath tub. Opt for a Grand Luxury Room to secure a high ceiling and period windows.
The hotel has a treatment room, available for soothing or restorative massages. Its sauna is a great place to unwind and can be reserved for exclusive use.
Things to ask yourself before adding to suitcase: can I ride a bike in this? Would this work aboard a canal boat? Have I packed glamorous threads for fine dining at VanOost?
Pillows and Pillows Grand Suite guests get free exclusive use of the sauna and a free minibar. One Luxury Room is adapted for wheelchair users, and all of the hotel’s communal areas are wheelchair accessible.
All ages are welcome and cots are available for an additional fee; babysitting can be arranged with notice (at extra cost).
Planet-friendly nips and tucks are at the heart of day-to-day operations: the hotel uses renewable electricity and motion-triggered lights, mostly with LED energy-efficient bulbs. Ensuites and toilets are fitted with low-flow plumbing, and a drinking water dispenser allows guests to refill bottles and flasks. Food waste is targeted with responsible menu planning and dedicated food waste collection. The hotel has collaborated with Artis Zoo to create a bird-friendly city garden with feeding and nesting areas.
At VanOost, we’ll take a window-side table with park views, please. Anywhere on the terrace at Spring Café Brasserie can’t fail to please.
At VanOost, smartly tailored attire befits the elegant setting – something sparkly pairs well with its air of occasion.
VanOost restaurant takes centre stage in the original Dutch-gabled 1908 building, featuring an oversize, arched window at one end and vast picture windows across its length in an impressive, double-height, timber-beamed space. Linened tables and plumply upholstered banquettes bring modern elegance to the party, and we’re on tenterhooks to see what chef Floris van Straalen will bring to the menu – although if his artily plated dishes at Shaffy Restobar are anything to go by, you can expect a confident fusion of culinary influences, celebrating seasonal Dutch ingredients. With a substantial terrace edging the leafy serenity of Oosterpark, Spring Café Brasserie is the hotel’s all-day eatery, serving typical brasserie fare from salads to steak via sandwiches and burgers, as well as breakfast and brunch.
For apéritifs with bird’s-eye views of the park, head aloft to the Rooftop Bar where an open-air terrace of wicker chairs and low tables encourages lingering.
Spring Café Brasserie is open from 7am until late, with breakfast served until 11am. Dinner service at VanOost is from 6pm–10pm.
Selections from the all-day dining card can be enjoyed in your room at any time, day or night.
Just outside Amsterdam’s canal belt, Pillows Maurits at the Park is beside Oosterpark, in the city’s south-east.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is 25 minutes away by car. The hotel can arrange private transfers from €40–€50 one way.
Amsterdam Muiderpoort is just over a kilometre away from the hotel, who can arrange transfers for around €10.
The hotel has valet parking in a secure underground car park, from €70 for 24 hours.
Ditch four wheels in favour of seeing the city by bike – Amsterdam’s transport of choice – or exploring its waterways on a canalboat tour.
Worth getting out of bed for
If you’ve already got the classic ‘Dam sights ticked: café-hopping by bicycle, art fixes at the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank’s house, why not try something a little leftfield. Architectural and anthropological treat, the Tropenmuseum is Pillows Maurits at the Park’s neighbour, providing a colourful exploration of world cultures in lofty, elegant halls. Pillows Maurits at the Park’s anatomical past may inspire you to track down medical treasures at Thom & Lenny Nelis Antiques, one of a streetful of antiques shops dedicated to curious collections on Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. Flower stalls on house barges and on the surrounding cobbles create a spectacle of colour at Bloemenmarkt – Amsterdam’s floating flower market – be it armfuls of tulips or flower bulbs by the barrel-load. Art house cinema and bar The Kriterion is an impressive space in which to catch recent movie releases while savouring its heroic past hiding and saving Jewish locals from persecution during German occupation. You’re also near Artis Zoo and the Hortus Botanicus gardens.
A canalside restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows, De Kop Van Oost is where chef Nick Holter and team whip up steak tartare and mains such as cod brandade and slow-cooked venison, elevating classics such as burgers and pizza with beautiful presentation. From the team behind Rebel Wines, Alex + Pinard on Dapperstraat is primarily about excellent bottles of natural wine and a menu of snacks and small plates to accompany them; inventive dishes include fermented fennel in a spicy langoustine bisque, and salsify with miso and white chocolate.
Nearby Louie Louie is a commendable spot for a brunch of pancakes, pastries or omelette, and has a range of broodjes, salads and soups for lunch. There are many places in the city to get your eggs benedict fix, but the easterly outpost of brunch institution Drovers Dogis a short walk from the hotel and offers hollandaise-draped eggs with either grilled ham, smoked salmon or sautéed mushrooms.
Multi-storied Tales & Spiritsis a temple to mixology, set to enliven aperitieven with little-known distillations and mysterious mixers: be sure to pop next door (probably before the second drink) to L’Atelier de T&S; part shop, part wonder, this emporium is stocked with cocktail-related curios you’ll suddenly realise you need.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this grand hotel in the Netherlands and unpacked their aged wheel of gouda and knitted Van Gogh dolls, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Maurits at the Park…
In a grandly gabled period building at the edge of sculpture-dotted Oosterpark, Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Maurits at the Park is a first-class urban hotel with a storied past, just outside Amsterdam’s canal belt. Its off-centre setting is geography to cherish, offering doses of calm from its parkside brasserie and rooftop bar that are an antidote to Amsterdam’s bustle, as well as rooms with generous proportions you won’t find canalside. High ceilings and feature windows dating back to the building’s 1908 inception as an anatomical laboratory now enhance the hotel’s contemporary appeal. Restoring listed buildings is Pillows’ stock in trade (see Pillows Luxury Boutique Hotel Anna Van Den Vondel) and it’s been achieved at Pillows Maurits at the Park with trademark aplomb. Period-meets-modern interiors bring together sweeping staircases and stately-home proportions with luxe furnishings (heavy drapes, high-thread-count linens, pillowy carpets) and modern enticements (multiple drinking dens; a spa and gym; guests-only, high-spec lounge). So won over is lauded Amsterdam chef Floris van Straalen that he’s transplanting his fine-dining eatery VanOost here from its original outpost on Keizersgracht – an endorsement from him and a culinary win for this stellar stay.
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