Japanese-inspired luxury on the Amstel Canal.
Baron Kishichiro Okura was, of course, Japanese yet his tastes ran towards the Continental, as evidenced in his studying at Cambridge and racing cars in Surrey in the early 1900s. So it’s not surprising that the hotel chain that bears his name exhibits a triumph of the best of both: chic, comfortable, art-filled rooms, clean Zen lines and progressive creature comforts such as a jet lag program. Naturally, there’s an executive floor, health club and ballroom. But the pièce de résistance of the sleek Okura? Two of the best restaurants in the city, Yamazato, which does haute Japanese, and French Ciel Bleu, helmed by a blogging Dutchman. Comprehensive renovations have turned the meeting and event spaces into some of the most stylish in the city. And much appreciated: the quiet location, away from the bustle of the city center.