The hotel is an elegant mix of tradition and modernity. This 19th-century building has added Italian marble interiors and stained glass windows to what was once a bank. It's also an original member of The Set Collection along with The Cafe Royal, London and Hôtel Lutetia in Paris (both reviewed by The Herald). The hotel includes a spacious lobby where it's a pleasant experience to sit and watch the various comings and goings. A special mention must go to the exceptional staff who can't seem to do enough for guests. Richard, with his black beard and man-bun, offered me a coffee on arrival and along with his colleague Lourdes made various helpful suggestions during my visit which allowed a greater understanding of the area as well as invaluable insider knowledge making travel and saving time a lot easier.


A large desk is situated in the corner of this room with a view of the main street. I was out like a light in the comfortable queen bed upstairs, the burnt orange colours of the room are also a subtle and calming touch after travelling. These stylish split-level rooms with tall ceilings offer an upstairs bedroom/bathroom that comes with a de-stressing rain shower option.


"I love to create the perfect symphony of flavour with Asian ingredients” is how executive chef Schilo van Coevorden describes the cuisine at Taiko. The hotel's atmospheric restaurant is recommended as one of the best in Amsterdam. As you enter a Japanese drummer helps create a unique sense of occasion as a tribute to the former music school. I went for the tasting menu celebrating the Year of Rice which included scallops, tuna and prawn dishes. Perhaps the stand out was the Miso black cod paired with a delicious oaky glass of Chardonnay.


The Set Collection have an exclusive partnership with the luxury skincare brand U Beauty where cutting-edge treatments are available for the first time anywhere in Europe. The Akasha spa is the ideal spot to leave behind the busy streets. I decided to go for a swim before dinner in the spacious 60ft pool. Facilities include a steam room, sauna and jacuzzi. The Element Aroma massage offers a unique opportunity to truly unwind during a 50-minute massage that blends a treatment tailored to your needs along with various natural aromas from plants and flowers.


The Amsterdam Light Festival takes place in December and January. I decided to travel on foot at my own pace. The Amsterdam City Card also offers the option of over 70 free visitor attractions and is an ideal way to get around when travelling in the city. Although I had been once before as a teenager, I wanted to return to the Ann Frank House. Visiting the rooms in which the family lived (and hid) is a surreal and engrossing experience that brings home the reality of Nazi atrocities. It remains a valuable insight. Booking ahead is necessary.


The hotel is situated in the Museum Quarter and is a few steps away from the Van Gough Museum. It is also an ideal spot to stay during the tulip season in Amsterdam. I went on the morning of my arrival and it was the perfect way to start the day, also nearby is the Rijksmuseum.

For more information Richard Purden flew with KLM from Edinburgh to Schiphol. Thanks to KLM and