An artsy traveller in Museumplein, Amsterdam’s famous museum district, need not look beyond the Conservatorium hotel as the ideal base from where to explore the area. It is perfectly located, being minutes from the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, and most importantly, the two-centuries-old Rijksmuseum. Why the Rijksmuseum? Because the museum, known for its Dutch Golden Age paintings, is celebrating the ‘Year of Rembrandt’ in 2019 — marking the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn’s death.
As part of this commemoration, the Rijksmuseum has partnered with the Conservatorium to highlight the legacy of the iconic Dutch artist who gave us masterpieces such as The Night Watch and The Jewish Bride, both of which enjoy a pride of place within the museum. And so, the luxurious property is offering a special package with added amenities and especially curated artwork in a suite reminiscent of Rembrandt’s masterpiece, The Night Watch.
Called the Art Suite by Rembrandt, the room was designed by Dutch designer Imra Boom, who was enlisted to create a colour scheme inspired by the Dutch master’s most famous and mysterious, life-sized painting. “We wanted hotel guests to be immersed in the different elements and colours of Rembrandt’s work, and to inspire them before seeing the real thing at the Rijksmuseum,” said Boom.
Renowned Dutch artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck has added her interpretation of The Night Watch in the bathroom. “By combining our own interpretations of colour schemes and artwork, we wanted to create a different type of experience in which guests feel as if they’re actually a part of the painting,” she said.
Besides offering a two-night stay at this special Art Suite by Rembrandt, the Marten & Oopjen and a copy of the book Rembrandt: Biography of a Rebel by curator Jonathan Bikker that you can take home with you.
This specially curated experience gets even better with two premium supplements — a private after-hour tour of the Rijksmuseum’s Hall of Fame (MYR34,904) and a two-hour private walking tour, highlighting Rembrandt’s life and work and the places that inspired him, through the city of Amsterdam (MYR884).
Adding to the pleasures of an art-yearning creative spirit is the history of the Conservatorium itself — a striking 19th century structure. Formerly the Sweelinck Conservatorium, a destination for gifted young musicians, the building was retrofitted to create duplex-style suites with loft bedrooms, and exposed structural beams. Inside too, the hotel retains much of its historic character, including a Steinway piano in the Concerto Suite and objets trouvés everywhere you turn. The collaboration has resulted in a reinterpretation of the classic masterpiece and an opportunity for art aficionados to savour the work of Rembrandt effortlessly, in a luxurious setting. If you time your travel correctly, you could also be among the very few in Malaysia who’d ever see The Night Watch undergo its much-anticipated, multi-million-euro renovation live at the Rijksmuseum.