Amsterdam is consistently voted amongst the world’s most liveable and economically stable cities and, as the financial hub of the Netherlands, I’ve always found its facilities cater extremely well for corporate visitors.
If you’re planning a business trip to Amsterdam, I’ve put together some useful suggestions and tips to help make your experience as pleasant and productive as possible.
Getting to Amsterdam
With a flight time of just over an hour from London Heathrow to Schiphol Airport, I think it’s often more efficient doing business in Amsterdam than trying to get from one side of London to the other! As the third busiest Europe/UK route, it’s serviced by around 35 flights daily through a number of carriers, including British Airways and KLM, so whatever time of day you need to be there you’ll be able to find an appropriate flight.
Once you land, Schiphol Airport is just 15km from the city centre and, for the most convenient way of getting there, I recommend organising a pre-booked private Amsterdam airport shuttle service, which will only take around 20 minutes to your hotel or meeting venue.
If you have to spend any extended periods of time at the airport you won’t be twiddling your thumbs – unless you want to, of course!
WiFi: The airport offers free WiFi anywhere inside the terminals. Simply choose the “Schiphol” network on your device. It’s automatic for a four-hour block, but if you need to extend beyond that you simply log out and log back in. (You can also pay more for the Premium Service if you need to download large amounts of data.)
Internet Lounge: If you want somewhere to work on a secure connection on a desktop computer, I’ve often used the Internet Lounge. It’s a quieter environment than the departure lounges and it’s also a bit more relaxing to rest your laptop on a desk and not on your knees.
Relax: While there are extensive amenities at the airport including automatic massage booths, a peaceful meditation centre and sleep rooms (and I’ve even had my hair done once!) my guilty pleasure is the delightful Xpres Spa, which offers a range of relaxing treatments. You’ll find it in Lounge 2, on Level 2.
My Favourite Amsterdam Business Hotel
My top choice for a relaxing and sophisticated business hotel would be the Conservatorium. Situated in a restored, century-old bank building in the Museum Quarter, it’s not just the luxury rooms and the elegant, industrial chic architecture that wins me over – although that is pretty stunning.
The Conservatorium is located out of the hustle and bustle of the main city centre so it’s the perfect place to host clients for meetings and conferences. There’s free WiFi throughout the hotel and a dedicated business centre with six meeting rooms, all with video conferencing capabilities and other state-of-the-art technology.
The hotel also has two elegant restaurants and a bar in which to wine and dine your clients and, after business is done, I like to treat myself to a visit to its onsite wellness spa, Akasha. Very indulgent, I know!
A Couple Others….
If you’re doing serious business in Amsterdam, the NH Amsterdam Zuid is a serious business hotel! It’s close to the airport, 20 minutes from the city (situated on the Financial Mile) and it has a 24-hour business centre including dedicated meeting rooms. There is free basic WiFi but you can upgrade to faster if you need it. If you book one of the Executive rooms you’ll get your own Nespresso machine and a desk with an ergonomic chair. They had me at Nespresso…
For functional, well-connected accommodation with great business facilities I can also recommend Hotel Casa 400, in the Amstel district. If you’re organising larger events this hotel is excellent, with 13 conference rooms of varying sizes and free WiFi throughout. There’s a bar and lounge to entertain clients/guests, as well as a very good onsite restaurant.
Wining & Dining Your Clients
For a restaurant that will impress your clients for all the right reasons, in my opinion the very stylish Brasserie Ambassade ticks all the boxes – and adds a few of its own. With a fantastic central location overlooking the canals, the art filled interiors and refined Library Bar offer a discrete, low-key place to conduct business lunches or dinners without being disturbed. You can even organise to dine in a private area if that suits your business agenda, and there’s WiFi as well.
I guarantee the exceptional classic French cuisine and sophisticated ambience of this superb restaurant will only serve to enhance your clients’ experience, as it did mine. Bribery? Me? Never!
Time to spare….
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with a few blocks of spare time between meetings there’s no shortage of things to fill it them.
Amsterdam has more than a dozen wonderful parks and countless green spaces, but I like to get away from the madness and take a stroll through the beautiful Frankendael Park, in the Oost district, for a couple of hours. It’s an absolutely beautiful little haven of nature, with loads of peaceful walking trails. The Vondelpark is also a favourite and, if I’m trying to clear my head of business, I like to cosy up at one of the little cafes and just watch the world go by – even half an hour does wonders.
If you do have time to visit the city’s famous attractions like the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House and Anne Frank’s House, get yourself a visitor pass and dip into all of them to get an overview. But my recommendation to really get the feel of the city if you only have a couple of hours is to jump on one of the canal boat tours and see it from an entirely different perspective. I’ve done the hop-on hop-off service offered by Canal Bus several times and I think this is the best way to do it without being locked into an itinerary.
You’ll certainly not be bored or disappointed if you need to visit Amsterdam on a corporate trip. With excellent accommodation, great food and plenty of attractions you’ll find a relaxed, friendly and future-focused city in which to do business.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct is one of the most experienced providers of fast, efficient airport transfers to and from all the main business hubs of Europe. If you’re coming to Amsterdam on business you can choose from our Standard, Executive and Premium private car hire services. A well-presented, courteous driver will meet you at the airport and you’ll be taken directly to your hotel, business venue or conference centre in a discrete, unbranded vehicle without delay.