Sakara's Insider Wellness Guide to Amsterdam
Sakaralites are bright, bold and often found busy manifesting their dreams. However, deep diving into your best self — the one that’s grounded, confident, and fearless — sometimes calls for a change of scenery to coax out its shine...which is why we love ourselves a well-deserved vacation, and why we were inspired to share with YOU, Sakara’s Insider Wellness Guide to Amsterdam.
For those who’ve never been, Amsterdam may conjure images solely of psychedelic substances and the alternative culture — but that doesn’t even tell half the story of this compact city’s vibes. Between the coolest little shops, the vibrant colored buildings and the art scene, Amsterdam is where trendsetters are born and vow to stay.
When Danielle traveled to Amsterdam this summer with her husband for a wedding we had to peer in on how this megababe and our stunning Sakara mama does wellness abroad. Because if there’s anything we’re experts at, it’s eating clean and playing dirty.
A very cool, artful hotel founded by a curator and an art historian that focuses on beautiful design and awe-inspiring innovation. Their rooms go from 1 to 5 stars which follow in price and spaciousness. But don’t be fooled, every single room is something to see. This place was equal parts gallery, hotel and playground (there was a swing in our room!) and is perfect for travelers seeking some inspiration and originality. Even the staff is cool and artsy. Oh and order the eggs and apple cake for breakfast — my husband got an extra order to go... This hotel is located a bit out of central city, but a 5-10 minute Uber ride is all it takes to be back in the center of it all, plus the drive to the hotel is beautiful.
Truly one of the most exquisite properties in Amsterdam and located right on one of the canals. In the mid 1600’s, this was the site of a famous Dutch theater which later burned down entirely and wasn’t restored until the 1990’s. The only remaining structure is the grand archway as you walk through to the building’s entrance and it’s the perfect beginning to all the charm The Dylan has to offer. The are two types of rooms as one part of the property is the older building while the other half is newly built and therefore much more modern. Both sides offer impeccable design and luxurious enhancements. Our room, which was a two story loft that overlooked the canals, was meticulously crafted all the way from the crisp white linen sheets to the cool, white-marbled bathroom. It was hard to find an excuse to leave the hotel!
A beautiful and newly renovated property with some of the most helpful and lovely staff in Amsterdam. The Canal House is perfectly located on a central canal and their stunning backyard is an incredible respite from a day of biking and walking around the city. The rooms are dark and sexy with a downtown, urban flair. Their morning breakfasts are fresh and delicious and there wasn’t a thing that we’d change about this hotel. Our room was lofty, long and sleek and had huge windows that opened up into the canal. The bathroom was black-tiled and the walls dark purple, all giving a lovely reminder that one is on vacation and it’s time to sit back and let oneself fall a little deeper into relaxation.
We had stars in our eyes as soon as we saw this greenhouse-turned-restaurant nestled near the Rembrandt Tower. There’s an indescribable energy at this stunning venue, where the founder Gert Jan Hageman has crafted an oasis “where daylight shines in from all sides and where the chefs are free to express their creativity daily using the best the season has to offer.” Leaning into nature’s bounty, De Kas has an ever-changing menu, where they find inspiration from their herb garden and neighboring nursery. It’s a fixed menu, so no need for us to make suggestions — except one: go!
Decadent in both ambiance and all along the menu, we were blown away by Bar Brasserie OCCO, the swanky hotel resto inside The Dylan (see above under SLEEP). Even if you aren’t settling into dreamland with The Dylan, their restaurant is a must-do. With a sleek and well-curated selection — there’s even a green juice with Matcha! —guests are welcome to indulge in local seafood and yummy greens (perfect time to eat your water!). We suggest having a cocktail or Dutch beer (so good) outside in the beautiful courtyard as you wait for your table (if weather doesn’t permit, they have a stunningly cozy room with a fireplace where you can relax and enjoy your evening aperitif). If you’re in the mood for something slightly fancier than the Brasserie, the other restaurant located in The Dylan, Vinkeles, has a Michelin star and is world famous. The chef, Dennis Kuipers, serves up a decadent tasting menu full of Amsterdam’s freshest and most beautiful ingredients. Be sure to make a reservation as they only have a few tables every evening.
When everything is new and out of the ordinary on holiday, it’s often comforting to have a grounded practice of nourishment in your back pocket — and the flood of minerals provided by a green juice proves the perfect fix. 100% Raw, Cold Pressed Juicery is the proud pioneer of the juice bar movement to the Netherlands. And they’re innovative to boot, by repurposing the extra bits of pulp for crackers and smoothies. Genius! Our vote goes to the Super Nova for smoothie superfood power or the simplicity of The Reset to work wonders in helping you feel radiant. Plus, the punchy red color pairs as great contrast to the greys and blues of the canals + skies.
MOVE YOUR BODY
With a tagline like “a killer workout for badass people” we knew we had to try out this spin class, located along the outskirts of Vondelpark. The minimalist, all-white design sang to our Sakara hearts and their commitment to creating a community in a sharp 45 (90, if you’re feeling saucy) minute ride had us hooked. For a city that is obsessed with bike travel, the beat-fueled workout to nowhere was definitely worth it.
We are pretty excited about this comprehensive yoga studio that offers an array of healing practices beyond what a happy baby pose can fulfill. Think: pranic healing, mindfulness-based psychotherapy, and a release personal clearing session. If you’re having a bit of lighter trip than an Eat Pray Love soul search, then pose like us and join in for a yin yoga class.
My hubs and I went on an exciting tour throughout the city which was an engaged way to view the sights, activate circulation in the body and feel the wind in their hair! The “Venice of the North” is made for biking — the only advice is to follow the canals and you won’t get lost! But if you want to get a little lost, you can also take a bike tour of the countryside and see the world renowned windmills as well. You can rent bikes on almost every corner (a Sakara favorite are Liv Bikes), but make sure they check the tires and give the bike a good check-up before you take it out for a spin- we had a flat tire part way through and had to make a quick pit stop back at the rental place. I highly suggest following the canals to the outskirts of Amsterdam where you’ll see the Dutch countryside. It was stunning and took us a good 90 min each way.
It may be just 2 short months, but the tulip season gathers millions of worldwide tourists, both causal, fauna lovers and diehard-nature-whisperers alike. We were a little late to the tulip party, but grounding was still on the menu for us wWe’ve got the Snaps to prove it!) The greenery in Amsterdam is second to none and the act of grounding (or simply placing your feet on the soil / grass / Earth) creates an inexplicable bond to nature and brings out a sense of peace you haven’t felt since childhood. My favorite places for “earthing” on the weekend away were the garden of the Canal House and Hornus Botanicus, one of the oldest Botanical Garden in the world (mmmm, nature!)
Jet lag is an energy zapper, skin deflater, mind racer and overall bummer. If you are truly vying to vacate the worries of daily life and start your holiday in bonafide zen, nix the jet lag and embrace floating tanks. Koan Float, in the heart of the city, is an ideal way to boost mental clarity, improve circadian rhythm and alleviate all the creaks and pain in the body from squishing up on the plane for all those hours. The process goes as follows: you float in an enclosed tank for an hour, experiencing absolutely nothing, and can bring your own playlist to hook up to the speaker system. It’s as simple and blissful as that. We say, booking this for directly after you hop off the plane will serve as a transformational treat to begin your trip.
You know us: we like to get a little bit naughty and a little bit sexy when it comes to nightlife, and especially while traveling - let's just say the Butcher Bar brings it. The name is decidedly not Sakara, but once you walk through the burger joint, you’ll arrive to an inconspicuous door with a buzzer. Ring it, say the password, and that’ll get you into a speakeasy that’s equal parts cool and laidback. The DJ, the cocktails and the underground hip-ness are all unmissable. We can’t exactly tell you how and where to get the password, but we know you Sakaralites are crafty little insiders wherever you go.
Smokes & Shrooms
So we’ve all heard that marijuana is legal in Amsterdam, but did you also know that “truffles” (aka hallucinogenic mushrooms) are as well? A word to the wise here: ask around for the true cafes as there are lots of tourist traps that sell synthetic versions of both marijuana and truffles. Don’t be shy to ask where to buy, remember, it’s legal! Be safe and have fun!
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