Compliant Venues Ltd believes that the Radisson Blu Amsterdam aligns to the metric applied to our GREEN assessment status.
The Radisson Blu in Amsterdam is an unrated hotel aligning to our assessment of a 4star business hotel. The meeting space at the Radisson Blu is flexible for small and medium sized meetings providing a connected building housing a conference centre with areas able to be easily privatised for advisory boards, training and meetings up to 160 persons. Styling is modern, contemporary with a few subtle twists which remind you that you are in the Netherlands. The Radisson Blu quickly delivers a warm and friendly character created by delivering the balance of a conference hotel, that is not too big to become impersonal nor lacking in tasteful and subtle character. The Radisson Blu is located in the very heart of the city, in a quiet street, adjacent to some of the small winding streets full of restaurants and boutiques that make the city famous. The city’s international airport is 30 minutes away by cab, or a 10minute walk finds you to the central station with direct services virtually into the check in area of the Airport. The hotel already hosts a number of meetings for the healthcare sector.
Sales and Marketing
Viewing the venue’s website you can see an authentic representation of the location with language which blends its location in the historic centre of the city with its connectivity to both the airport and importantly the RAI convention centre. This hotel knows its place as a location for business and reflects this faithfully with the images used to present the hotel. There are modest references to the “golden age” standard and superior rooms in the hotel, however, this classification represents a business appointment to these bedrooms with a subtle link to the seafaring history of the Netherlands. Promotional material has limited references to luxury and provides a glossy brochure demonstrating the venue at its very best. Taken in isolation some of the marketing material may give the impression of a venue with luxury tendencies, however the reality balances this as the décor and facilities are contemporary business in style rather than luxury.
Location and Setting
In the historic centre the Radisson Blu is located on a quiet side street next to one of the city’s famous canals in the shell of a former Church. Internally, this architectural history is less obvious as the interior has been re-styled to reflect a contemporary hotel. There are touches of this history still remaining with the 3 story town house style of the minister integrated into the atrium reception and providing a tangible yet still subtle hint as to the history of the space. Part of the hotel including the restaurant, bar and the majority of bedrooms are on one side of the street and the conference centre housed in a former Paper Mill including with further bedrooms are located opposite. Both buildings are connected by an underground tunnel which provides an authentic connectivity and does not distract from staying in either side of the venue. Both buildings are within walking distances of the bars, boutiques and red light district of the city, these do not overpower the location and would require any visitor to take a short walk to find them. A day or overnight meeting could be located at the Radisson Blu with little or no integration to the city as required. Equally, there are a number of modestly styled restaurants within walking distance for those meetings which wish to make use of the city. The airport is a 30-minute taxi ride away and the central station, only 10 minutes away by foot provides regular direct services to the Airport every 15 minutes.
Fit for Purpose
The Radisson Blu has a position as a venue for business and the leisure market, its position within the centre of the city encourages that. However, the Radisson Blu takes business meetings seriously with a range of rooms for meetings of different sizes and when required plenary and breakout combinations. The conference centre area located on the 5th floor of the Paper Mill ensures that a meeting with confidentiality in mind can be held there, away from the main hotel area and providing a space for a meeting, small exhibit and 1 breakout room in a private area. The hotel itself aligns to the Radisson Blu brand which provides a multi-purpose venue for both leisure and meetings, the décor and character support the meeting offer and delivers a business hotel with nice touches and a genuinely personal almost boutique feel.
When entering the main hotel building you are faced with an atrium space with pod style reception desks, bar, main restaurant and a small lounge with a 1:1 style glass meeting room located there. The Pastorie bar is located in the ground floor of the original minister’s house and overlooks the lobby and reception. The design is the only space in the hotel which reflects the history of the original building with chandeliers, wooden floors and exposed wooden beams in an attractive setting, snacks are served here. The De Palmboom restaurant is located at the front of the hotel with an open plan format for 130 persons again with views of the lobby area. Originally a grocer’s shop this space can be described as stylish in design and provides a buffet breakfast, a la carte lunch and dinner menus with buffet options for groups, the lower level of the restaurant can be used in a semi private format for 62 persons. 360 videos are provided on the website and provide an authentic view of the facilities of the hotel.
We have outlined the fact that the meeting space is located exclusively in the Paper Mill building, this area provides meeting space which feels modern, comfortable with a hint of a theme through the wallpaper depicting, (though not at first glance), the role the Netherlands has played in international trade, with star charts and references to those areas of the world with Dutch heritage. This is soft in style and mostly the meeting space continues the contemporary format of the main hotel. There are 9 meeting rooms when separated and 6 when space is used without the removable walls. The largest room the Wapen can accommodate 160 person’s theatre style and can be divisible into two rooms supported by the Oranje boardroom. A modest lobby, for registration and table top displays, connects all spaces and the access to all other floors. Each room has views of the rooftops of this part of the city. On the ground floor there are a further 6 rooms, which provide rooms that can accommodate smaller meetings in cabaret or boardroom styles. The Batavia room labelled as the brain box room is positioned for strategic and out of box thinking and is useful certainly for the Healthcare sector, when environments are created for meetings where the data is complex and the discussions are encouraged to be open and outcomes more successful for the use of a space which changes the meeting dynamic. Space for refreshment breaks are available, though limited, however the tunnel between the two buildings is often used and is a genuine space for this type of activity when required.
The 252 rooms of the Radisson Blu are located in the two buildings of the hotel, with the Paper Mill, (the location of the meeting space) housing 67 rooms made up of business rooms (38) and standard deluxe (7), superior rooms (16), (3) suites and (3) junior suites. The main building houses the remaining 185 rooms which are made up of the standard deluxe rooms (85), superior or golden age rooms (74), business class rooms (10) and further junior suites (16). All rooms include a stocked minibar, safe, tea and coffee making facilities, a range of free to air TV channels, but no Pay TV and access to the hotel’s free Wi-Fi. Décor follows a contemporary theme with a Dutch theme carefully interwoven but not dominating the overall design. Overall the feel is of a comfortable hotel for business and leisure travellers. A number of rooms are labelled as part of the Golden Age period, this delivers the core theme in all rooms, added to by individual pieces of furniture such as chairs unmistakably Dutch in design. Standard rooms are 20m2, superior 25m2 and business rooms 30m2. All rooms except the standard deluxe rooms (92) include a Nespresso machine, bathrobes, slippers and walk in showers. Views are generally of the streets surrounding the hotel, some rooms on the top floors have an attractive roof top view. All rooms were refurbished in January 2016.
There is a modestly sized fitness room in the Paper Mill building with a sauna. There are no pool or spa facilities.
The service levels are consistent with a venue suitable for healthcare meetings and events. There is no sign that the venue attempts to use service and a guest to staff ratio to leverage luxury impressions.
There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel which was consistent in strength during our visit. No sign up process is required unless you are a conference delegate.