Did you know that the World Luxury Hotel Award, which is pretty much the Oscars of the hotel sector, went to a provider of luxury apartments this year? Not a hotel, but an upmarket holiday apartments provider! It reflects a global trend in the hospitality industry; more and more people prefer to stay in private apartments which they rent through reputable companies like our humble selves…
People looking for stylish breaks might not be able to afford a penthouse in a 5-star hotel, but if they book an apartment accommodation, they pretty much get the same deal, for a fraction of the costs. That’s certainly the case if you choose one of our apartments!
The popularity of apartment holidays is also driven by a zest for new things. If you are in for a treat and decide to design your own holiday in Amsterdam, why not go for the city’s hottest escapist alternatives? At Amsterdam Apartments, you are offered the choice of a wide range of accommodations which epitomise style and elegance, frequently located in monumental canal houses dating back to the 1700s, right in the heart of Amsterdam’s characteristic centre.
Needless to say that all our apartments come equipped with state of the art kitchens, and yes, you are of course allowed to use them! So what if they’re in UNESCO-designated monuments…
Those who are inclined to show off their culinary abilities need to find the best ingredients for their cookery plans of course and let me give you a word of advice; do not ask the locals for directions to gourmet food shops.
Nine out of ten Dutch people will point you in the direction of the Albert Heijn, which is an upmarket grocery chain store. But you can do way better than ploughing your way through those claustrophobic supermarket aisles behind a trolley. Ask yourself if, when you are camped out in a great big luxury penthouse suite plus kitchen, you would really want to go to a supermarket? Of course you wouldn’t!
So let me share with you where I shop for my dinner parties. There is such a thing as a gourmet heaven in Amsterdam, you see. You just have to know where to find it. Punch these two words into your mapping app: ‘Rembrandtplein’ and ‘Utrechtsestraat’. Or if you are in a hurry, punch in one word: ‘Marqt’.
Marqt (which phonetically sounds like the Dutch word for market) is the largest gourmet shop in Amsterdam. It is where you will find food items of the highest quality. They are ethically sourced, which will mean that they taste so much better because the food you buy is as close to its origins as feasibly possible. And no, at Marqt you won't come away with inedible or hard to chop, uncookable or woody tasting products. You get smart, authentic and yes healthy food items which taste a whole lot better than supermarket fare. Just visit the shop’s website and see what’s on offer.
Everything you buy in this delicatessen, is tastefully packaged and if you have special dietary requirements, the staff is on hand with expert advice. English is spoken. A lot of the food is locally sourced, so this is your chance to get a real taste of Amsterdam!
In case you have time on your hands, give the cafe upstairs a try, or explore the Utrechtsestraat just around the corner from Marqt. It is a mecca for gourmet lovers. Most gourmet shops on this street specialise in a particular food category, and chances are that if you do not find every product on your shopping list in Marqt, you will be able to pick it up in one of the other shops in Utrechtsestraat.
This street is great to devote an entire afternoon to if you love specialty food and/or interior design/music/books/gift/clothes shopping. Just so you know, it attracts chefs and cooks from all over Amsterdam and further afield.
One last insight, before you draw up your shopping list: the Dutch refer to gourmet food as ‘delicatessen’. The word ‘gourmet’ is used in the Dutch language, but refers to what in English is called ‘raclette’.