Hey all, Kendall here! As it may seem, the J5Travel team is having a busy fall of travel. With John in Namibia and being somewhat "off grid," I am taking the opportunity to share some of my favorite Virtuoso properties that I have been able to explore on my Amsterdam and Ireland trip. I was in Ireland with a group of fellow travel advisors on what we call a familiarization (FAM) trip. These help us visit and experience firsthand some of the amazing properties and activities we can then confidently sell to our clients. I decided to come a few days early and explore Amsterdam; after all, it’s a bit easier now that fully vaccinated Americans are no longer required to have a negative Covid test before coming to either of these countries (although it is always encouraged). I have loved everything about this trip, so I am excited to share the top 5 Virtuoso properties in Amsterdam and Ireland with you!
Top 5 - Virtuoso Properties from Amsterdam and Ireland
!1. Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam
Conservatorium Hotel is located in the heart of Amsterdam’s famous fashion and museum district, adjacent to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, and P.C. Hooftstraat, a street of luxury retail shops. The feel of the property is very upscale and somewhat industrial or architectural. My room was unique in that it was a split level, so the bedroom was situated in a loft which made the room feel huge, which is true of all the guest rooms here. If the goal of your trip is to visit the museums, this is the place to be.
2. Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam
While I did not get a chance to actually stay here during this trip, I was able to tour the property and have a great lunch in their beautiful green restaurant. This property lives up to its name by truly being legendary. It used to be a convent in the 15th century and has since of course been renovated. However, before it was a hotel, it was home to the mayor’s office and was the place of the former princess of the Netherlands. The property still maintains its historic charm while now offering beautiful accommodations, canal views, and butler service in all suites.
3. The Merrion Hotel Dublin
In my personal opinion, Ireland does 5-star hotels extremely well. The Merrion in Dublin is no exception of course. Housed in four Georgian townhouses and a contemporary Garden Wing, its bedrooms and suites surround two 18th-century-style gardens. From the moment you step foot in this hotel, you just feel very welcomed and at home. The location could not be better being right in Merrion Square, and the property also features a not only one, but two Michelin starred restaurant, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. If luxury in the heart of Dublin is what you’re looking for, The Merrion has to be the perfect place.
4. Dromoland Castle Hotel
You can’t come to Ireland without experiencing at least one of their castles that have been converted to hotels. Dromoland is one of the few castle hotels that can trace its ownership back through history to Gaelic Irish families of royal heritage. Each guest room enjoys its own individual personality, blending period decoration with today's modern amenities. The walled gardens are a great amenity for guests, and the castle is just 8 miles from Shannon Airport, making it an ideal base from which to explore the exceptional beauty of the Shannon region. The castle is also close to the Burren and the fun cities of Limerick and Galway.
5. Ashford Castle
Last but especially not least, Ashford Castle has been my base for the past two nights and I can honestly say that it is one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had. The castle itself is grand and well-kept, the rooms are all unique and very large, but the grounds and activities offered are far and above anywhere I have been.
Anything from falconry, golf, spa, fishing, and horseback riding are possible, and those do not even skim the surface of the things you can experience here. I made friends with the lovely Irish Wolfhounds (picture below) whose owner will take guests on guided walks of the grounds every morning. I don’t want to speak too much about the experiences since those will be highlighted in another ezine, but I have to say I have been highly impressed with this amazing property and will be very so sad to leave!
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I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
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